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Oct 16, 2011 12:30 PM

Elmhurst Review: Taiwanese Specialties

The Chinese name for Taiwanese Specialties is Old Snake Alley, a famous Night Market in Taipei. That’s fitting considering the large number of Taiwanese appetizers (23) small plates (10) and specials on their ambitious menu.

They even will hand you a special laminated menu that contains 15 specials in Chinese only and 10 listed in English and Chinese on the reverse side. There is no overlap between the two.

Two of these Chinese specials were ordered: Fragrant and Hot Shrimp
(香辣中蝦) and Plain Boiled Pork (蒜泥白肉). The Fragrant and Hot Shrimp were saucy and spicy while the Plain Boiled Pork (sliced pork belly) came with shredded ginger and a soy garlic dipping sauce.

Ginger Duck Soup in Hot Pot was ordered from the English language specials and was quite savory with generous pieces of chopped duck, sliced ginger, tofu, goji berries and red jujubes in a boiling broth.

Taiwanese Specialties serves up excellent versions of the Taiwanese Hamburger or Gua Bao (only $3.50), Oyster Pancakes and Braised Pork over Rice .

They feature plenty of offal dishes, soups and seafood as well as almost 20 “over rice” dishes like Beef Stew over Rice and Dried Bean Curd and Pork over Rice.

Taiwanese Specialties provides yet another solid reason to visit Elmhurst.

Taiwanese Specialties
Taiwanese Gourmet, Corp.
老華西街台北菜館 (Lǎohuá Xījiē Táiběi Càiguǎn)
84-02 Broadway (corner of Broadway & St. James)
Elmhurst, NY 11373
Tel: 718-429-4818
Free Parking
Hours: Everyday from 11 am until 2 am.


Village Voice review:

Taiwanese Specialties
84-02 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

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  1. interesting, sounds good, had you been there before when it was david's or lin's? I kept hearing it went downhill so i never tried it, but sounds like maybe its under new ownership

    3 Replies
    1. re: Lau

      I had not been there when it was David's or Lin's. They have many more Taiwanese appetizers than I remember at Main Street Imperial. (I've not been to Red Chopstick yet.)

      1. re: scoopG

        yah alot of the food you got and the food they talk about in the VV article is all street food stuff.

        - Main Street: definitely is not specializing in street food. I really need to go back here and write a full review again.
        - Red Chopsticks: has alot of it on their menu. The 雞捲 / chicken roll (which is actually pork and fish paste) is really good and worth trying.
        - Gu Xiang: doesn't really doesn't excel at street food although i tried a dish last weekend that was pretty decent, ill write another review about that dish. Their food is more like home style stir fries. Still my favorite of the bunch.

        Main Street Imperial Taiwanese Gourmet
        59-14 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

        135-40 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

        Red Chopstick
        136-17 41st Ave, Queens, NY 11355

        1. re: Lau

          I found Gu Xiang to be not as good as Main Street Imperial, although that was some time ago.

    2. 老華西街台北

      I am wodering if this is the Mainlander ethnic community in Taipei, that Chen Shui Bian 陳水扁 bulldozed to make a park in about 1998 or 1999.

      When I lived in Taipei, I wandered through this place, late at night. They had live bats hanging in cages, and more, all for medicinals and food.

      I left Taipei, and had learned that it was designated for bulldozing, and during eviction, several older men committed suicide.

      Anyway, I was relegated to a back table, and had some nice chats with the female staff, but they were quite busy, and I sat in their space so to speak, so did not have proper table service, and no one's fault on that one, but did not see the name as being 老華西街台北菜館. I had settled in to read the sunday papers, and have some casual beers. I came at a very busy time.

      I will have to go again, have beers in the absence of sunday families dining. Order a few dishes.

      A cultural divide exists between establishments, I suppose.

      What one can do on East Broadway is more akin to what exists in Taiwan and Fuzhou. Any other interpretation?

      I have never seen the outward show of protest in the dining room of a places in Outer Borough Chinatowns, when ordering a beer, and asking for a menu to take some time to look at. It spoiled my entire appreciation of this place.

      Still a Ponderosa Steakhouse 氣氛 chifen (atmosphere).

      I do plan to go back and try dishes.

      Though this came from the male maitre " 這裡是酒巴嗎!"
      Yelling at the very hard working waitress who in the rush of attending to a full dining room with her co-workers, was so kind and attended to this thirsty guest, with smiles and professional politeness.

      polite hardworking and friendly waitresses. That is a reason to return, I might say.

      Service always a factor, as are rude male maitres.

      Nice review.

      They do not have pig feet.....很難苦。。。吃苦!

      5 Replies
        1. re: jonkyo

          We have all had an experience like you describe. More than 30 years ago, we were taken aback when having dim sum at an UWS restaurant, the Great Shanghai we ordered a single item (expecting to order items as we went along instead of ordering a meal all at once) when the older waiter scolded us saying they were not a "soup restaurant". We adjusted and enjoyed, but thats not the only time weve been met with a bit of harshness.
          Also, in a city like NY having waitstaff from a different region is not that surprising and not something to fault a restaurant for - outside of hole-in-the-walls with only family working, restaurants have to find the help they can -
          Finally, regional restaurants here (my observation) tend to want to present a wider range of dishes than the smaller specialized restaurants in the homeland. For example, malaysian or singapore restaurants presenting dishes that would have been served in several different hawker stalls back home. Its understandable. since a handful of restaurants here are seeking to satisfy the yen for home food of a broad spectrum of people, but it makes for some unevenness of dishes.

          1. re: jen kalb

            Yes, I gathered that, the wider offerings, you are so correct.

            I mentioned that, and it is all packaged under one roof.

          2. re: jonkyo

            I am glad to hear that you are willing to give them another shot.

            1. re: scoopG












              我爱 Elmherst

              Dried Tofu is so good.

              It is called 豆腐干 (doufugan) or simply 豆干 (dougan).

              But of course you should use the traditional character in such a restaurant: 豆乾 (dougan).