Friday, March 19, 2010

Yesssss it's 7-11... again

I know what you're thinking, 'oh no this idiot is posting about 7-11 again.' Yes. That's true. I am an idiot, and I am posting about 7-11 again. While those are both valid points, I feel like I have to share the wonder that is 7-11 in Asia to the rest of the world (as I have in my series of posts prior to this one). In another installment in what might be the stupidest thing I could possibly blog about, I'll explain how 7-11 has bastardized the incredibly spicy concoction that is 麻婆豆腐 (Ma Po Tofu) into something deliciously commercial, and brought me joy in the form of a rice balls and 2 layer sandwiches. Up first is the beauty you see to the left. While you might remark that it's 'just a plain sandwich,' you'd be overlooking the fact that that sandwich cost me all of 19 NT (slightly more than 50 cents). Consider the fact a plain ham sandwich at any deli in NYC would cost upwards of $4, that seems absurdly incredible. Grab 8 of these and you have enough food for an entire day... maybe not if you're a fatty like myself, but you get the point. It's cheap... fact. There are a few varieties, but I chose the chicken cutlet ham combo. Sandwiched between delightfully fluffy white bread, that carries with it the familiar buttery taste of Asian bread, is a semi-crisp chicken cutlet, melted American cheese, lettuce, tomato, ham, and... oh lord, Kewpie mayo. Surprisingly good, not just for the price, I ate countless numbers of these when I worked at Academia Sinica over the Summer.

Did I ever mention that 7-11 does a crazy good job at preserving rice balls? Again, ranging in price from 17 to 19 NT (just around 50 cents), there's fillings of tuna, pork floss, egg, and a couple others that I can't remember.

Beautiful innards of the rice ball itself. Miraculously, the rice is still semi-moist, the pork floss nice and dry, and the nori crispy. I don't know how it works, but it does. You would think that sitting in a fridge all day would render these puppies tasteless and stale, but you'd be wrong. For 50 cents, paired with a drink, these make for a pretty fair breakfast. Starbucks... take note, I would prefer rice balls over scones any day.

Now... onto the bento version of Ma Po Tofu. In another of their bento offerings, you get a box of compartmentalized tofu in chili oil and a section of rice. When you buy it, they microwave the sauce and ladle it onto the other side for you. At the same 59 NT price (roughtly $2) for this and a drink, that's not all that bad. As far as the taste, it wasn't all that bad. I mean, it's pretty hard to mess up Ma Po Tofu. Add tofu and meat, apply chili oil liberally to taste (until you can't taste anything). For something that you find in a fridge at a convenience store, I was pleasantly surprised. Now don't get me wrong, this will never be my go to option for food, but hey, for $2 can you do much better? Hmpf... didn't think so.


Robyn said...

I have fond memories of buying onigiri and sushi rolls from the convenience store around the corner from my apartment in Taipei. I MISS THOSE STORES SO MUUUCH. ;_;

Nicholas said...

i wish there were convenience store chains like this in the US. instead all we get are corner bodegas that look grungy, sigh.

joanh said...

i've never tried their ma po tofu but their rice triangles are pretty good! i just took a bunch of pictures at 7-11 this morning to do a snapshot post about them

Nicholas said...

so when's this 7-11 post coming!?

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