Sunday, December 13, 2015

let's talk food

Recently, I've touched base with three people, one via Skype and two via email, who are thinking about moving to Hsinchu. During our discussions, all three eventually asked about the same topic: food. And I so get that. I would definitely be curious about my culinary options too.

I always lead with: we have an Outback Steakhouse here.
I kinda think it says a lot.

And while it is undeniable that Hsinchu does not have all of the same options for western dining as Taipei, we can usually find what we want here, whether it be a steak, cheeseburger, pizza or really good Italian food.
We have found a nice groove for cooking/eating; we typically eat in half of the week, and eat out the other half. Usually, when we cook at home, we make western dishes. When we eat out, it's to eat local at family owned restaurants or food stalls.

For the nights when I cook, the first thing I have to think about is: what am I going to make? Usually, it's a homemade soup in the crock pot, tacos or burritos or enchiladas, pasta or some kind of meat & potatoes. There are quite a few grocery stores near our apartment, but my favorite is Wellcome Mart. It has lots of fruits & veggies, meats (like pre-diced chicken breast and ground beef), real imported cheeses (like cheddar, Parmesan, Colby, etc), beans, rice, pasta, cereals, etc. The only items I now buy at the more expensive specialty import stores are tortillas, tortilla chips and sour cream. I used to visit these import stores every weekend, but they are further away and more expensive so now I rarely go at all.

As far as eating out, we are so spoiled!
Now that it has cooled off quite a bit, our new & favorite week night tradition is to walk to our favorite restaurants. The ones we visit most often are: a Vietnamese restaurant, a duck restaurant, a beef noodle soup restaurant, a dumpling stand, a teppanyaki restaurant and a ramen joint. Usually, our meals average out to less than 300 NTD, which is less than 10 USD. That's for the both of us too!

If we are really craving it, we might go to a really nice Italian place run by an Italian man. We typically go all out here and our meals can cost $60. As it's the best Italian food I've had outside of Italy, I don't mind paying the hefty price. Sometimes we also go to The Outback Steakhouse, where a burger costs around $10. And sometimes, although we always regret it, we frequent a hole in the wall called The Taco House, which sells tacos & nachos along with mashed potatoes and mozzarella sticks.

I guess what I am trying to say is everything is here if you are patient enough to find it.

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