Where Did 2012 Go? Some Explaining.


The garden of my restaurant I share with my 2 Taiwanese partners

Over the last 6 months I have entered the crazy, exciting, and rewarding world of becoming a restaurant owner. I have remarkable less personal time. Some days I only have enough time to sleep, 7 hours maybe. And yet I still here from the peanut gallery that some of you I manage to see/email with want more blog posts. Thank you guys for your support! I like this blog, even if its been in the back seat for a while


Here it is, pretty right? We renovated and decorated it. 


Bar seating with open kitchen

Introducing Loft Wine Bar and Bistro in Taipei, Taiwan. We opened the first week of October 2012. You can check our contact and yadayada on our website. We serve a refined menu of New American classic dishes including BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches (a favorite with Taiwanese), a Lamb Burger (very popular with foreigners), sour dough Flatbread Pizzas, Bacon Mac and Cheese, Ribs with Sticky Sweet Balsamic Reduction, a Veggie Burger Tower, a Cheese Plate, Hummus, and Apple Pie (the best in Taiwan, I swear) among other delights. I could spend more time telling you whats NOT house made then what is but a few features are: house made cucumber pickles on the burger, pickled watermelon, house ground burgers, house made sauces, hand cut fries, and on and on.

 Apple pie a la mode


Bacon Mac and Cheese and big old side salad 

 Caramelized Onion and Sausage Flatbread Pizza

 Black Bean Veggie Burger Tower with triple battered onion rings

Our goal, my goal, was to bring higher quality of American food to Taiwan. There are a lot of American restaurants in Taipei. Burgers, pizzas, and pasta are all really trendy. Many are ok, many are mediocre. The challenge is make that goal profitable in a land of commercialized restaurants with 15 page menus of nonsense. Taiwanese people also have a specific palate, are sometimes less adventurous eaters. So I wanted to set a menu that really grabs Taiwanese people, but has complex and satisfying home cooked flavors to America. So I'm making things harder for myself then necessary, but for now I am sticking with it.

So now you know where I went. I have a million billions things to tell you about our first three months of business. Some of the bad things that have happened are: plumbing problems, difficulty placing ordering food in Chinese, expensive lettuces which must be ordered 2 weeks in advance and cost between $10 and $30 dollars wholesale, lack of staff and when finally finding good staff and training them for 2 months that staff member being bought away by another restaurant, lack of space for equipment, lack or refrigerator space. Some of the great things have been: people like our food! We are the #5 ranking Taipei restaurant on Trip Advisor. We will be featured in some publications this coming month. We have pulled off 2 successful holiday meals Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving at Loft

And we generally aren't failing. We aren't packed every night, yet, but we are ok. Whats more as we are all happy. Its really very crazy, stupid and problematic thing to go starting a restaurant, but its great.

More tales later, and recipes, I hope. Happy 2013!

Comments

  1. Good to hear from u! hope could make it to taiwan next year at some point! :) Jaakko

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  2. So great to hear how things are going! People ask me about you all the time :)

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  3. Thanks Meera. I will try to update more. Was thinking about season 3 of Dirt Talk. Are you in?

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    Replies
    1. Are you offering to event plan from Taiwan?! Amazing. I'm always in for hosting. We're having our annual farm meetup and celebration at the Knights of Columbus on Feb 3, if you want to grab a cheap plane ticket back :)

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