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[personal profile] thisisarestaurantblog

Oh Taipei. I miss you so much and long to return to you, city of cheap dining out. You can do anything--anything!--except make good Indian food.

Mexican food, however, is within your grasp.

Grandma Nitti's Kitchen, located within the Shida Night Market area of Taipei, is something of an expat hub. Any given evening, you're likely to see at least as many foreigners as Taiwanese. Maybe it's because they sell canned Chef Boyardee, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and other things that people far from home crave. Maybe it's the AWESOME used stuff sale that goes on every Sunday to benefit Animals in Taiwan, an animal welfare organization with a lot of expat members. Maybe it's because of its location, a university area. Or maybe the food is just delicious. :3

This is not authentic Mexican-from-Mexico food; it's stuff like quesadillas and fajitas, the kind of food you'd get at Chili's in the States. They also offer other Western fare like meat loaf and lamb chops. The emphasis is on homey, unpretentious food.

The homeyness and unpretentiousness extends to a extent that many Westerners may not be comfortable with: Grandma Nitti's has cats.

Yes, I took that picture from our table.

Not effecting the popularity of the place, as you can see.

Portion sizes are small and prices are higher than most other Western places. The trio platter above cost NT$760 (~US$23). I split it with two of my roommates, and on our way home we grabbed some baozi to fill our stomachs. Part of this is because imported ingredients, particularly cheese, are expensive. The food is tasty, but IMHO Grandma Nitti's should be saved for Mexican cravings only. There are other Western restaurants with better prices for other kinds of food.

You can add on dessert and coffee to your meal for NT$100 (~US$3).

Grandma Nitti's also serves breakfast. The omelets in particular are good, Western-style omelets, instead of the Japanese-style which is so common in Taipei. However you're still gonna find the same tiny portions and high prices as dinner.

The menu is bilingual and the waiters speak English well. Credit cards are taken. Free Wi-fi.

To get there, ride the MRT to Taipower Building Station, get out at exit 3, and walk up until you get to Lane 93 (it's the second alley I think). Turn right, and you'll see it on the right hand side of the street.

Name: Grandma Nitti's Kitchen
Location: 8, Lane 93, Shida Rd., Taipei (台北市師大路93巷8號). (02) 3365-3448
Prices: NT$400~1000 (US$12~30) for dinner (meal + drink). Brunch is NT$200 on weekdays and NT$300 on weekends ($6/$9), tea or coffee not incl.
Service: Typical for Taipei re: the waiters. The ambiance is comfortable and you won't be rushed out if you go there, order coffee, and sit playing on your laptop. There is a service charge (aka an enforced tip), unusual for Taipei. The service should really be better than it is, with the service charge. Most places in Taipei, you don't tip at all.
Food: Tasty but small and expensive portions of Western style food, especially TexMex and breakfast.
Recommended?: Expats should hit Grandma Nitti's at least once, if only to say they've been there. If your time in Taipei is at all limited, however, there are better options.


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