Wednesday, December 30, 2015

News: LES BEBES CUPCAKES closing



Farewell @lesbebescake

Farewell my favorite red velvet and peanut butter chocolate cupcakes in Taipei

Farewell my favorite grilled veggie salad and prawn risotto

Hopefully we'll see you again someday... (or maybe you can just keep the cupcake shop near Yong Kang open!!!!? Let's petition them here!!!!) If you've ever been a fan of Les Bebes' cupcakes or cafe, it's time to hurry and get your last bite ever at one of their two shops. They will CLOSE DOWN their stores after 12/31 (tomorrow!)!!!

So these are my last cupcakes of 2015 and my last bite of Les Bebes' wonderful flavors, textures and cuteness for awhile. I was waiting for them to announce it on their social media before sharing the news, but I can't put off letting you guys know any longer. I usually find out about these closings too late, and I think they should feel the love and sadness their closing is going cause all of us hungry in taipei! Thanks for being one of the best cupcake shops in Taipei for the past few years, your cupcakes have been a part of many celebrations in my life and we'll miss you!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

pizza: i recommend BIG BOYZ PIZZA


BIG BOYZ PIZZA
No. 38, Lane 256, Nanjing E. Road, Sec. 3, Songshan District
南京東路三段256巷38號
(02) 2721-9797

MRT: Nanjing/Fuxing

website: Big Boyz Pizza's FB page

hours: 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM,5:30 – 8:30 PM; closed Mondays

$$ (NT$300-400 a person)

Kid friendliness: room for strollers. NY style as well as deep dish pizzas available. no high chairs spotted.

Visit reviewed: 12/3/2015




For some strange reason, two new deep dish pizza places opened in Taipei within the six past months. Either it was just a matter of time or the universe is telling us something- Taipei NEEDS deep dish pizza. After trying Love at First Bite a few weeks ago, a number of instagram readers suggested trying Big Boyz Pizza as well (in the alleys down the street from Breeze Center). 


So a few weeks ago, I headed to the three month old Big Boyz with a few friends who also hold Zachary's (from Oakland/Berkeley CA)as the benchmark standard for our deep dish pizza cravings. I was a bit surprised to see it completely empty, but it is only a few months old. (There's also an NCIS express down the street)
Big Boyz's Taiwanese chef trained at the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli in SF, as demonstrated by the diplomas that hang on the wall.



The menu's focus is on pizza- deep dish and NY style pizza, with a few fried appetizers and drinks to add to the meal. No salads or desserts (which Love at First Bite has both, as well as some tasty ribs). But if you're there to enjoy the pizza, then you should save your stomach space for pizza! If you've never had deep dish pizza, it's like a stuffed pizza you eat with a knife and fork- the crust is taller like a pie and there's usually a mound of toppings underneath the cheese and sauce. Part of the reason I love Zachary's Pizza is the layer of crushed tomatoes atop so it feels a bit more fresh. Would love to see that in Taipei as an option!

 

Because we ordered the pizza when I made the reservation in advance (as suggested), the pizza was made already. So when we were about 20 minutes late in arriving and sitting down, the pizza was kept warm in the oven and a bit past its optimal state. I would have preferred the satisfaction of eating it hot out of the oven with stringy cheese. But the pizza was still tasty- the cornmeal crust was buttery and the toppings aplenty and flavorful. I got the recommended Pizza No. 1 with mozzarella, provolone, homemade italian mild sausage, bacon, pepperoni, mushroom, bell pepper and caramelized onions. The pizza was slightly smaller than I expected NT$799 for 8 inches, but still very filling for three people. 

Also on the menu for deep dish pizzas are the Chicago Classic (mushroom and pepperoni), Hot Summer (with chorizo, mushrooms, jalepenos, onions, olives), Bacon and Mushroom, and Veg Barrel (vegetarian).  Twelve inch pizzas are available for NT$1299-1499. NY Pizzas are available in 12 inch and 18 inch in NT$300+ and NT$560-790 range. There's more variation to the NY Pizzas with garlic shrimp or bbq chicken options along with the more traditional margherita and pepperoni toppings.



You can see the cheese has cooled off and is not stringy anymore. 






When you go to Big Boyz, I would recommend that you ask them to let them know when you want the pizza ready (right at your time of reservation, 20 minutes after, etc?) and not to precut it until it's served. Personally I would ask they bake the pizza to be ready 15-20 minutes after my res to let everyone settle in. They deliver to neighboring area, but they are closed Mondays. Between the two deep dish spots in Taipei (Big Boyz vs Love at First Bite), I would come to Big Boyz again to try the pizza hot as I liked their crust better and try their NY pizza, but if you have some people who want to eat other things then you're better off at Love at First Bite. Who would have ever thought that Taipei would have not just one, but two deep dish pizza places!

Friday, December 04, 2015

dessert/froyo: LLAO LLAO


LLAO LLAO
at XinYi Vieshow
No. 20 SongShou Road
松壽路20號

MRT: Taipei 101

Kid friendliness: Yes kids will love to choose their own sugary toppings

Visit reviewed: 


Newly opened Llao Llao frozen yogurt at Xinyi Vieshow sits across from the newly opened Jamba Juice giving us more options for icy snacks during this very cold Taipei winter. Can Llao Llao succeed where other froyo shops in Taipei have not? 


It all looks familiar- the Pinkberry-esque glossy white and green signage, an array of fruit, candy, berries and nut toppings to choose from, as well as fruit and chocolate sauces too. But the taste of the frozen yogurt here tastes quite different than the tarter Pinkberry/Yogurtland flavor that I'm used to- maybe more milky and sweet and less tart? Can't put my finger on exactly what it is.

Because of the grand opening they are handing out bitesized samples as well as coupons with trivia questions on them to win a free topping. Multiple choice questions like how do you pronounce the companies name, Llao Llao, to help initiate customers into familiarity to the Spanish froyo chain. (The answer by the way is that it's pronounced Yao Yao with the double Ll making a Y sound)

Available are mini (NT$69), small (NT$89 +one topping), medium (NT$119 +3 toppings), large (NT$139 +3toppings) and sanum, which has fruit and topping options buried in the center kind of like McDonald's berry parfait, as well as smoothies. I had a free coupon thanks to my friend P so I decided to give it a try with some friends.


Toppings include oreo cookies, white chocolates, muesli, candied pecans, chocolate smarties, dried cranberries and chocolate covered peanuts. 





I was happy to see strawberries and blueberries included in the fruit toppings. There were also cantaloupe, kiwi, grapes, watermelon, pineapple and (ewwww) tomatoes?!!! Hopefully the berries don't disappear after a few months as I've seen that happen at other froyo places here. 



The sanum (NT$139) is the largest of the options with three fruits, two toppings and one sauce. I probably wouldn't order it again, (I'd get a small instead) but it was the only option for my free coupon. I tend to stick to berries for frozen yogurt- so it was blueberries and strawberries for us. I only had a couple bites, but my friends enjoyed it a lot. For those of us used to the tart version of frozen yogurt might have a harder time getting used to the different flavor of Llao Llao. But maybe that is preferable to locals who like their desserts sweet instead of sour. If frozen yogurt and smoothies aren't your thing, you can run across Vieshow to Krispy Kreme and Ireland Potatoes for donuts and french fries. 







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