if you want to eat good food: do it on yong kang jie [part 3]

I sure do love this street!

I’ve ventured here many a time, hair — and sometimes skirt! yikes — blowing in the breeze as I YouBike my way down the ..oh, I don’t know, six or so long blocks of rocky pavement it takes to get here.

This night was no exception!

I remember one of the first times I explored this area, I found this restaurant and made a mental note to come back later.

One of the foods Taiwan is famous for is it’s Beef Noodles or [ 牛肉麵 ] niu rou mian.

And ya’ll know how I feel about beef…. generally: I don’t feel a thing. Because I do not have any feelings for beef. I am not interested in beef. I am not attracted to beef.

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My less that lovestruck regard for beef likely come from the fact that growing up–no one quite knew how to cook it properly. I consider beef a choking hazard. (yes, it was that bad!)

But I’ve come to not mind it so much.

Especially when it taste as tender as this looks:

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老張牛肉麵店 or lao zhang niu rou mian dian “Old Zhang’s Beef Noodle Shop” is pretty popular in Taiwan. There’s even a food critics article plastered outside like a wanted poster of positivity — you want to try this place, you want to eat these noodles. IMG_2162But do you, really?

I ordered, because lordy I can not stay away from the la — Spicy Niu Rou Mian or la wei niu rou mian [ 辣味牛肉麵 ]

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And, digital drum roll — this bowl of soup was again (like everything I’ve eaten on yongkang jie) absolutely scrumptious!

The beef melted in my mouth, the noodles had that bouncy QQ freshness, and the broth — slightly sour, spicy, and a just a little sweet!

And what is it about hot weather that just makes hot soup so much more delectable?

IMG_2160One of my favorite cultural differences about eating in Taiwan is the little plates of veggies they leave sitting out for customers to pick up. (you do have to buy them first–I think…)

I got spicy pickled cucumbers–similar to the ones my aunt has made for my family — and that I’ve made myself. I think I was drawn in by the fresh chilies on the plate….

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I also ordered this drink–which I didn’t like too much. Too sugary and too bubbly.

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As I lapped up my noodles, the only foreigner in the restaurant–this little kid and his dad kept staring at me. I didn’t want to make things awkward for them by staring back, because that would make things awkward for me, so I just sat there making funny faces instead —

— like mmmmm-this-is-yummy-face and what-an-interesting-decor-face and oh-dear-in-my-nervousness-I-accidentally-hit-myself-in-the-eye-with-some-of-the-soup-face…

The latter was my favorite.

I did accidentally make eye contact with the father, and he looked away hastily. 好尷尬啊!

As I was walking back to the main street to find a YouBike to ride home, I looked down at the road and realized my shoes matched the pavement:

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let this be a sign

let this road be mine

let it lead me to my past

courage see me through

heart i’m trusting you

to bring me home
at last~

Who ever thought a post about noodles would end with the lyrics to a song from Anastasia?

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