Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pigs feet from 東東牛肉麵 (East East Beef Noodles)

pigs feet from 東東牛肉麵

Another one of those things that I don't really understand about Asian people. Their obsession with random limbs off animals (tongue, tail, feet, snout, and so on). Taiwanese people, and I guess Fuzhou people, love pigs feet. They braise it in soy sauce until it's fall apart tender, and the 'meat' is basically hanging off the bone. There's not all that much meat on the foot, and it's generally pretty expensive relative to most other meat in the supermarket. So on yet another errand run for the grandmother, I took a detour to a restaurant that I've passed by numerous times over the past few years... 東東牛肉麵 or 'East East Beef Noodles.' I feel like I don't have to say this (since most of you are already thinking it), but that's one of the dumbest names I've ever heard. Alternatively, if they aren't saying 'East East,' then they're calling it 'Dong Dong.' I'm not sure which is worse. What'd I think of their food?

I got their 招牌 or 'specialty,' pigs feet over rice (the picture above). First off, I want to say that this is probably one of the ugliest things I've ever taken a picture of (and there is no way of making it look more appealing). Also... it's no better in person. I actually had a certain description I was going to write on my visual impression of it, but I'll let your imagination take over. Anyway, for 95 NT ($3) you get 3 pigs feet over a giant bowl of rice, with pork sauce, half a tea egg, and some veggies on the side. As described above, the pigs feet are stewed in a soy sauce based broth until the 'meat,' which is actually more accurately described as hide, is soft enough to peel off with chopsticks. The meat takes on the flavor of the broth, and actually possesses a characteristic feel that's halfway in between that of pork belly, and pork hide. In truth, it's a pretty unique texture that I haven't found in any other dish. I guess I can sort of understand why it's a classic Taiwanese dish.

As for my impression? Obviously I wasn't in love with the dish, as I find pigs feet to be way too much work for way too little meat, as well as possessing a, perhaps mental, aftertaste of... well... foot. Basically, it's something I only got because it's what they're specialty is, and I would never buy it again. I should've considered the fact that they have beef noodles in their shop name and gotten that. Oh well.


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oh snap. I can control the text here?