Apr 27, 2012

Ed's Diner


Ed's Diner is a unique restaurant providing huge portions of BBQ items from their very own smoker. They serve racks on racks of ribs with mouthwatering sides like baked beans and corn on the cob. They also serve a hefty 14 oz. prime rib for those with a big appetite. Most of their items seemed to be seasoned with dry rubs so if you are expecting juicy, saucy baby back ribs then you will be disappointed. However, their well seasoned and tender ribs are very delectable in their own right. Come visit for a taste of rustic, western BBQ.
Address: 台北市樂群二路216號
                 No. 216, Lèqún 2nd Road, Jhongshan District
Phone #: 02-8502-6969
Business Hours: 10:00-24:00
Website: Ed's Diner's Facebook Page
Accepts Credit Cards: yes
Price Range: $$$
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating: yes
Alcohol: yes

Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  4 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.67 out of 5
Side Note: Great Ribs, but come early because items sell out fast.

The decor here is kind of like a faux brick house. They are probably trying to recreate the countryside little house n the prarie type of roadhouse BBQ joint feel. It kind of works. The restaurant is pretty small and packs up fast. If you plan to visit you should come early because when they run out of items they really mean it. We wanted to try their corn on the cob and baked beans, but ended up not being able to. The restaurant might even be even more packed after a popular Taiwanese show introduced Ed's Diner on TV. Their service is alright for Taiwanese standards, but I feel like they may be understaffed because there was only like 2 waiters servicing all these tables plus the ones on the outside. Another reason they may be understaffed is because our plates had a unidentified layer of grease on them, which is kind of disgusting to eat off of. The cleanliness and speed are they main reasons why I feel their service is a little on the average side. Since we got here late, we were forced to get less desirable items such as cole slaw, salad, and baked potato.
Their cole slaw is nothing to write home to mom about. The cole slaw was merely shredded cabbage and carrots with a layer of a mayo based sauce on top. Coleslaws I was used to eating were served in a bowl and drenched in this thin creamy and sweet sauce. This one didn't have that wet and tangy feel to it at all. Yet at the price of 50 NT, you really can't expect much.
Their salad was a little better, but still not very impressive. Like most salads in Taiwan, the leaves were sliced a bit larger. They really need to cut leaves into smaller pieces and toss their salad more thoroughly. I felt like the sauce wasn't very even, so some leaves were left without much sauce. Then again, you can't complain given the price for this side. Moving on to the main attractions of Ed's Diner...the BBQ items:
This place no doubt has the best smoked BBQ items in Taipei. Their chicken wings were succulent and suffused with flavor. They also have a side of sauce for you to dunk if it just isn't flavored enough. Yet, even without extra sauce, you can get the charred notes and smokey notes from each bite. Speaking of charred and smokey things, for some reason I found it odd that the restaurant itself and the surrrounding vicinity of the restaurant did not stench of smoke. Their items probably could taste even better, but are possibly being held back by regulations on being too smokey. I remember being able to smell the goodness whenever I drove by a Wood Ranch even from the Freeway 200 meters away. Anyway, try their wings, as it is a cheap side (160 NT for 6 pieces) and they are pretty tasty.
The main attraction really is the full rack of ribs. For about 900 NT you can get this main entree and two sides plus a drink. It is slightly on the expensive side for one person, but tolerable when split between two. Half the amount should fill the average Taiwanese person easily.  The ribs look kind of dry, and thats because they are. These ribs are seasoned with a dry rub, so those people who like it less dry can dip it in the sauce they provide. The meat inside isn't too dry though, and is succulent enough to eat without dipping it in extra sauce. They were cooked very thoroughly and the meat kept its juices. I came imagining myself eating some saucy flavorful baby back ribs; these were not so bad after getting over the initial dissapointment.

If I ever return, I feel like I have to try out their Prime Ribs and baked beans. It's been a while since I had a good smokey piece of prime rib and a sizzling side of ranchero style baked beans. The whole in my heart that Wood Ranch, Bandits, Claim Jumper used to fill seems able to be temporarily filled by Ed's Diner here in Taipei. Ed's diner serves authentic BBQ at charitable prices...especially if you compare it to the nosebleed inducing prices at Lawry's. Ed's Diner is a good option for BBQ.


joanh said...

i've been curious about this place.. thanks for the write up.

Ed said...

I am the owner of Ed's Diner. Can you tell me where you can get "non-lazy salad", obviously within my pricing, as I find it hard to source salads here.


Johnny said...

I guess you have to make it yourself~ I have no experience in running a restaurant, so i'm not sure how plausible it is to cut it up into smaller pieces yourself. You guys definitely are priced very competitively. I always assumed that every restaurant prepared their own salads, but I guess it makes sense that your lettuce leves are similar to others around the island if you source it from a common distributor. The salad isn't a major drawback from the experience though...Love your ribs, and I gotta return for some of that prime rib soon.

Johnny said...

Oh and out of curiousity, would you guys ever bring Tri-tip to the menu?

Ed said...

Salad, like coleslaw, is made fresh to order which is why its usually always available. It is layered, not 'just' put in a bowl with a topping of sauce. I certainly don't expect to please everyone, but it would be better if you can offer examples of how you think it should be done. Tri-tip will added at some future point.

Johnny said...

Well It might bring up your costs, but California Pizza Kitchen offers an assortment of salads that are well tossed/seasoned, and topped with an amount/variety of ingredients that make the salad seem bountiful/colorful.


With the exception of the classic caeser salad, the lettuce to "other topping" ratio seems to be about 1:1. The lettuce are prepared to bite sized pieces so you can fork portions into your mouth easily.

The only main gripe I had with the salad was the size of the lettuce. Maybe you can request the supplier to control the size of each leaf to not exceed ~5cm length or width.

If a little more color was added by maybe throwing more raisins or maybe adding carrots or orange bell peppers that might brighten it up too. But that will add to the cost of the salad.

The salad was tossed, but the cole slaw wasn't. Most steak houses serving cole slaw in the states have em in bowls drenched in its sauce. I think it's rare to see shredded cabbage served with mayo-based dressing topped on top in establishments back in the US. It's a phenomenon I witness primarily in Taiwan.

I think the main idea is that the salad should be ready to eat, easy to eat, and consistently good to eat. Tossing the salad will help each bite to be more or less consistently yummy and taking the extra step to make it ready will pass on to the consumer as a considerate move. A salad could be easier to eat if each forkable portion was bite-sized, some other restaurants that offer bigger leaves are even more ridiculous...
Yours were just slightly bigger. Maybe the supplier can control that end. I hope these suggestions were more helpful.

Ed said...

With respect - a CPK salad costs NT$450 - mine is NT$50. Your comments are not reasonable.

Johnny said...

Well, my lazy blogging glossed over a lot of issues. I'm sure you guys can whip up something comparable with the same amount of resources. I'm gonna revise that section.

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Here's the presentation about the competition

And here's their facebook page

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Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

Hi Ed! I think your Salads are simple but delicious! I also very much enjoyed the sauce you put on your coleslaw. No, it's not a typical slaw, BUT THAT's OK because I still really like it! In fact, I'm making pulled pork sandwiches tonight and had a hankering for your slaw- in an attempt to find some variation online I came across this blog. We lived in Taiwan for 2.5 years, moved back to States Dec 2014- but often frequented your diner while there...IN FACT we're a family featured eating at your place on the "popular show" mentioned in this blog :). They interviewed my husband and got some good footage of me stuffing my pregnant face! Good times and good eats with the family there. Thanks!!!

Heather said...

Correction- we left Taiwan Dec 2013! and MAN do I miss it!!! ;)

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