June 19, 2012

The Door

Address: No. 26, Lane 57, Dàzhí St, Jhongshan District
Telephone: (02) 8509-8786
Hours: Sun - Thurs 10am to 9pm, Fri - Sat 10am to 10pm
Price: $$

Who would've thought an American diner such a lucrative concept in Taipei? Well, apparently, everyone. And they're right on the money.

In my new favorite part of town, there's an offshoot of the popular "the Diner" called the Door. Tucked down a tree-lined lane in Dàzhí, the Door is in a picturesque neighborhood. Walking from the Dàzhí MRT, you get the feeling that you're in Portland. What with all the college kids from Shih Chien University, tree-lined avenues, free Wi-fi cafes, bookstores, and small parks and green spaces, it's as close as you'll come to the real thing.

the Door is significantly smaller than the Diner and has only eleven tables inside, some able to accommodate five people easily, while others can accommodate two at best. Arriving on a Sunday around 2pm, I was told there was a 20 minute wait. So, I headed down to Kooka Coffee (yup, you read that right) for a cold latte; more on that later.
Taking a seat at my table for two, I immediately ordered the Asparagus and Chicken Omelette ($250 NT). I'm working my way through their amazing omelets and this one was next on the list. The omelets come with a choice of white or wheat bread, hash browns or potatoes O'Brien, and coffee or tea. There's a complimentary glass of kiwi juice that comes with each omelet order, a small cup of assorted fruit, and all omelets are made with organic eggs.
Several minutes later, my breakfast arrived, smelling divine. Tucking into the potatoes O'Brien, I was initially overwhelmed with the seasoning. There was a lot of salt and pepper on the potatoes and, though the potatoes weren't soggy, there was more oil than I'd care to see at the bottom of the plate. This was the first time I've had a less than wonderful experience with the potatoes O'Brien, so I'll definitely order them next time despite my latest disappointment.
If there's one thing the Door does right, it's most certainly the omelets. Fluffy and delicious, these omelets never disappoint (I should probably knock on wood). The eggs are cooked enough so that they aren't raw, but not so cooked as to taste like rubber. You immediately notice the cheese! It's the glue that holds the whole delightful concoction together. It's warm, gooey, flavorful, and present throughout the omelet, not just stuffed in the middle.
The diced chicken pieces are huge and lightly seasoned, adding another dimension to the omelet. My only minuscule complaint is that the asparagus pieces were quite tiny, a little lacking in quantity, and I had envisioned asparagus heads as being in the omelet, though this was never specified. Also, the onions got a little lost in the sauce, as the saying goes; but overall, I was immensely satisfied.
The wheat bread was lightly toasted and the whipped butter on the side was appreciated. Not wanting to leave, despite my hour-and-a-half-long stay, I decided to order myself a treat (as if a huge omelet wasn't enough). I debated between the milkshakes, nachos, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, until I remembered the list of imported sodas.

the Door serves three imported sodas ($60 NT for a 12 fl oz. can): Dr. Pepper, A&W Root Beer, and ... Mountain Dew? I've forgotten the last one. My eyes probably glazed over after reading Dr. Pepper. I ordered one and was tempted by the waitress to turn it into a Dr. Pepper float for an extra $40 NT, but didn't.
If you need additional reasons to love the Door (you know, besides the locale, Dr. Pepper, American style food, Wi-fi, and cute waiters), consider this; there's self-serve, all-you-can-drink hot coffee/hot tea/ice-cold water, and no service charge! My total came to $310 NT and I drank a swimming pool's worth. The menu is in English and Chinese and the staff speak both. The Facebook page is here.

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