Fresh slabs of juicy, tender, delicious meat. BBQ comes in a wonderful array of tasty styles, from Japanese grills with rich dipping sauces, to good ol’ fashioned American BBQ. However, if you are looking for the meatiest, juiciest, most savory, mouth-watering meat on the planet, then you would be hard-pressed to find anything as good as slow-cooked, smoked BBQ. Lucky for you, Ed from Ed’s Diner is well-experienced in such matters, and has brought his amazing skill to Taipei.
With an actual custom-built wood-burning smoker, hours of slow-cooking perfection and, most importantly, the same secret BBQ sauce and rubs used by the 6-time best BBQ master in the world, the meat at Ed’s Diner is the result of a true love for food and quality. From the giant rack of ribs, to the savory pulled pork, beef brisket and the chicken leg, everything is done right and served in generous American-sized portions. Because of the skill and method of cooking, the meat at Ed’s Diner is not only permeated with rich flavor, but also manages to retain the juices that are responsible for that tender, melts-in-your-mouth, texture.
On my first go, I went with the safe-choice of the pulled-pork sandwich. If you are heading to Ed’s and don’t know what to get, order this! The pork is the best I have tasted in Taipei and one sandwich was more than enough to leave me stuffed. Of course, that didn’t stop me from getting the set meal (NT$280) which includes soup, salad, drink and one of the sides (baked potato, sweet potato, fries or baked beans).
The soup changes from time to time. I have tried both the pumpkin soup as well as the tomato and both were nice, although I personally prefer a bit more flavor and richness. The salad is pretty basic, but comes with a unique homemade sweet and tangy dressing, which is both healthy and light.
As for the sides, the fries and baked beans are the most original offerings. The fries are also slow cooked, taking two hours to prepare, and you can taste the difference. With regards to the beans, I was totally happy and surprised to find that they are actually more like a Chili (as in Tex-mex beef stew, not the vegetable) than just plain old beans. However, even though it was a nice surprise, the beans were a bit on the sweet side, and not nearly spicy enough (but that’s just me).
On our second round, we ordered the BBQ chicken and the beef brisket, both of which were equally as excellent as the pulled pork. The beef, especially, just melts away and the sandwich is gone before you even know it.
I still haven’t had a chance to try the ribs yet, but I have heard mostly good things about the dish. While everyone has agreed that you can’t match the amazing flavor, some have said the ribs can be on-and-off as far as juciness is concerned. However, everyone still strongly recommends trying them out.
Ed’s Diner is a bit of a ways out of the city, located about a 10 minute walk from Mianmar (美麗華)/JianNan Station (劍南), but if you are heading out for excellent BBQ, then a little walk will do your stomach some good. In a quiet neighborhood, the restaurant has a comfortable no-frills atmosphere, as well as a much-appreciated outdoor seating section.
The service is on-the-ball, and time from ordering to getting to your main course is usually about 15 mins tops, a wait you won’t even notice if you get the soup and salad. The wait-staff speaks both Chinese and English, and are really friendly, never shying away from a good conversation.
Even better, Ed’s Diner does take out so you can order in ahead of time and miss the crowd. And you can be sure that there will be a crowd and peak times, which means you should call ahead to check availability of food items and tables, both of which can run out quickly.
Comfortable dining atmosphere? Check. Friendly staff? Check. Real American-style slow-smoked BBQ? Check and check! If your carnivorous side is dying to sink it’s teeth into properly cooked meat, then you won’t find many places in Taipei as good as Ed’s Diner. It might not be America, but seriously, you might have trouble telling the difference.
You wanna see more of that meat? Check out the official Ed’s Diner Facebook page.
If you are looking for the best steak in Taipei, then you will probably want to also check out Ruth’s Chris. Just prepare your wallet.