Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Apartment

Working a lot and moving these past few weeks. These are the reasons why I haven't posted recently. I plan on putting up some pics of my new place and filling you in on the details soon. Not much else going on to speak of.

Will get back into this blogging thing this week, I promise!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Eddy's Cantina...Dining Heaven!

Saturday afternoon, Catherine & I headed up to Danshui to check out the much talked about new Mexican restaurant, Eddy's Cantina. Ed & Jo, the married couple that run the place, greeted us with smiles and were very friendly. They opened the restaurant about a week ago, so it was fun to talk about how it all took place. Jo explained that they managed to do pretty much everything themselves. By the look on her face I could tell it was hard work. It looks great. The atmosphere is pleasing and inviting.

The only thing that impressed me more than their hospitality was the quality of the food. The chicken burritos and quesadillas exceeded my expectations. I like to think that I know Mexican/Latin American food pretty well because of my time living in Honduras. Since returning from Honduras, I have found very few places that can compete with the stuff I ate while living down there, Eddy's is one of them.

I found myself, on more than one occasion, calling Ed over to our table to compliment him on the consistency/authenticity of what I was eating.
*The tortillas, which are hand-rolled, are spot-on. They seem to melt in your mouth.
*The chicken & rice mixture in the burrito defies description, especially when you splash it with sour cream and guacamole.
*The beans in the quesadilla had that earthy taste that I enjoyed while living in Central America.
*The tea and horchata complemented the meal.

I know I am gushing! It's just so great to find food of this caliber in Taipei. I can honestly say that this meal may be the best dining experience I have had in the 3 years I have lived here. Click here, or on the above images to visit their site.

Since it's about an hour away from my apartment, I plan on taking advantage of their delivery service. You can email the restaurant and they will deliver the food to your door for a nominal fee courtesy of 7/11. It comes to you frozen...just nuke in the microwave and enjoy. What a cool service for those of us on the south-side of Taipei.

Here are some snapshots from our visit:

The entrance. Finding the place is pretty simple. Exit the Danshui MRT and head left towards Jhongshan Rd. Walk up the hill for about 10 or 12 minutes and look for it on the right. You know you are close when you see a covered bridge.

Jo & Ed Gonzalez, the owners. They are working hard to keep it authentic. Ed spoke to me about doing his best to recreate the tastes he grew up with...I think they are off to a great start!

Taking a break from stuffing my face. In the foreground is the quesadilla. The cheese and beans were mouth-watering good.

About halfway through the burrito. Catherine ate a few chips, but I couldn't be bothered. The main dishes were all I was interested in.

The horchata (the drink on the right) was interesting. It is similar to a semilla de jicaro, a rice-based drink I tried while in Honduras. Eddy's concoction blended milk, rice and cinnamon. Catherine wasn't crazy about it, but I thought it was tasty.

In a nutshell, Eddy's Cantina es un restaurante fantástico!

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Bleak Outlook for College Grads in Taiwan

I came across an article a few weeks back that shocked me. I had no idea that pay-rates for college grads were so low.

Here is a link to the article in the China Post:
Pay for college graduate first job seekers drops

The figures in the article seem awfully low.

NT$26,000 a month for college grads, master's degrees about $31,000??? Wow, that seems crazy low. Average pay has dropped over 5% in the past year. The $26000 figure works out to be about US$5/hour for a forty-hour work week. I know that the cost of living in Taiwan is considerably lower than in the U.S., but this is ridiculous.

The report also states that unemployment among college grads is at an all-time high, 4.5%.

How can anyone with even a tenuous grasp on economics be satisfied with such a pittance?

Is the fear of unemployment so potent that young people will work for poverty-level wages?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A Summer Staple

If it's summer and the sun is shining, then the tea is brewing. Sun tea is one of my favorite summertime must-haves. My mom seemingly always had a jar on the window sill soaking in the sun.

A month or two ago, I bought a 3 liter glass jar and a box of Lipton tea bags and decided to start brewing my own version of the caffeine-soaked goodness. It's been great. Catherine and I have enjoyed drinking the brew sans sugar and lemon. Just the natural tea without all the crap the store bought teas add. Here is a pic of the nearly finished product:

It's simple to make and mighty tasty! Just fill the glass jar with water (it must be glass because plastic makes it taste funny and doesn't do well in the sun), drop in 7 tea bags, sit it in the sun for about 3 hours and let nature do it's thing.