A Visit to Taiwan

It’s been a fairly busy week, but I have to admit, it didn’t deter me from getting a few new things to blog about!  Let’s start off this MLK weekend right with a few more entries I hope you enjoy!

Ping’s Palace: Duluth, GA, USA

This small “cafe” is tucked away in a very large Chinese grocery store called Great Wall Supermarket (大中華) in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, GA.  Most Asian grocery stores have a mini food court of some kind that has various types of food “stalls”.  Ping’s Palace is one of the few places in Atlanta that you can find the closest thing to traditional Taiwanese street food.  To list all the kinds of street food in Taiwan would take up multiple entries, especially since I haven’t been to Taiwan personally.  However, being that there is a fairly decent-sized Taiwanese and Chinese population in Atlanta, I grew up eating a lot of this type of cuisine, especially on Saturdays when I would go down to the Chinese Community Center in Chamblee for Chinese school.  (yes, school on a Saturday blows).

I came here to grocery shop with Momma Lim on Tuesday, and we decided to get a small “snack”.  She believes that by eating lots of beef tendon, it will help with her ligaments and arthritis.  It may be an old wives’ tale, but I have had several people of her age tell me the exact same thing.  Good thing Taiwanese people know how to make this into a tasty noodle dish!  Our sampling menu consisted of:

Beef Tendon noodle soup (牛肉面):  a savory soup with beef tendon chunks and bok choi served with noodles.  Personally, I’ve had this served better elsewhere.  For one, their noodles are simply ramen noodles.  If you’ve eaten as many noodle dishes as I have, you can nail a ramen noodle anywhere.  The soup was fairly savory as this dish does call for a number of spices.  You can find a version of the recipe here, but I haven’t tried it out myself.  Maybe once upon a day when I am not completely bogged down will I attempt to make this dish as it is one of my favorites.  Personally, the soup was too salty.  I didn’t even eat the ramen and ate only the tendon pieces that I split with ML.  The tendon was cooked very well: some places do not let it slow-cook long enough and it comes out very tough and chewy, but this place did a good job.

beef tendon noodle soup

beef tendon noodle soup

I ordered something light called “salty flower beancurd” (咸豆花):there is a sweet and salty version of the flower beancurd.  Normally, I like the sweet version – served with sweet watery syrup and peanuts.  However, I tried a salty version out on my trip to L.A. last October, and it was absolutely delicious.  While Los Angeles may have enough Taiwanese to form a nickname like “Little Taiwan”, we don’t have that here in Atlanta sadly.  The dish was fairly … okay.  I wouldn’t say it was fabulous, but it wasn’t terrible either.  The tofu was done well, not falling apart, but the soup could have been better.  It was also a bit saltier than I would prefer, but I believe that the salt comes in the form of a dark sauce that they put on top of the soup that the tofu is served in.  Honestly, it was a somewhat watered down version of flower beancurd served in diluted yet still viscous hot-and-sour soup.  I will have to try and make my own version of it with just silken tofu some time as I like to add minced meat chunks and  large bamboo shoots as well.

salty flower bean curd

salty flower bean curd

My favorite snack that I ordered today was the sticky rice roll.  They had two versions of it – a white glutinous rice roll and a purple glutinous rice roll.  Purple rice is supposedly better for us so I ordered that.  I believe the roll itself is still the same: a chinese donut cruller (deep fried of course), rolled with dried pork floss and sometimes preserved vegetables.  It is very filling for a fairly small snack.  My guess is that the cruller serves as a base to which you roll the rice around it.  ML thinks that if you add a cruller, you don’t have to use as much of the pork floss which is what costs the most.  However, it tasted great to me.  The proportion is just enough to give a well-balanced flavor of salt (pork floss and preserved vegetable) to rice and cruller.  I’d probably order this again over anything else if I wanted something small to munch on.  However, I wouldn’t eat too much of this because a) it’s mostly carbs and b) glutinous rice can lead to constipation!

salty rice roll

salty rice roll

All in all, here’s my summary for the day:

  • beef tendon soup: **.5 (2.5 stars)
  • salty flower bean curd: **.5 (2.5 stars)
  • sticky rice roll: ***.5 (3.5 stars)

If you’re shopping at Great Wall and are in the need of a snack, check them out in the food court! (they even have a yelp review!)

2300 Pleasant Hill Rd
Duluth, GA 30096
(678) 957-0098
Bon apetit!

This entry was published on January 18, 2014 at 12:36. It’s filed under Taiwanese, The Gastronome and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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