For Eddy Gonzalez, eating in Taiwan isn’t much different than eating in Mexico. “Everybody eats at the stand … . A lot of good food is at the stands,” he says.
And so he thought: why not open a Mexican food stand in his neighborhood in Tamsui?
Located in the night market outside of Tamsui MRT Station (淡水捷運站), commonly referred to as the Old Street area (淡水老街), Eddy Burrito serves one of the best burritos I’ve had in Taiwan.
“I want to give customers in Taiwan the real taste, the taste I grew up with,” says the Canadian-born Gonzalez, whose parents are Mexican immigrants.
The Eddy Burrito stand is the standard night market set-up: a metal cart with a sign on top, with three plastic stools in front for patrons. But Gonzalez adds a personal touch with a Mexican flag draped behind the stand and recorded Mariachi music playing in the background.
The menu is simple: burritos (NT$79) and quesadillas (NT$59), which are filled with cheese, refried beans, Mexican-style rice, grilled chicken, and two different chili sauces (optional). Everything is made from scratch — Gonzalez and his wife, Jo Gonzalez (曾佩玉), spend each morning preparing the ingredients. The tortilla is cooked on an iron griddle as soon as you order.
It’s hard not to appreciate that everything is homemade, especially the tortillas, which had just the right consistency — soft and chewy. They were also thick enough to hold the filling, which prevented things getting too messy. My first burrito was a little dry, but I remedied this on my second visit by ordering extra cheese (NT$6) and “Eddy’s green sauce,” a combination of salsa, guacamole and olive oil.
The portions are on the smaller side, so for a full meal order a burrito and quesadilla, or two burritos if you’re really hungry. Vegetarians can order either item without the chicken, with grilled onions and extra refried beans as a substitute.
Address: 15 Gongming St, Tamsui Township, Taipei County
Telephone: 0922-101-148 (Chinese and English); 0919-336-444 (Spanish)
Open: Wednesday to Saturday, 3pm to 10pm; Sunday 2pm to 10pm
Average meal: NT$100 to NT$150
Details: Chinese and English menus; cash only; delivery to anywhere in Taiwan, call for more information
On the Net: www.eddyburrito.com
A couple of other things on my wish list: guacamole and sour cream. Perhaps when they expand. Business has been good, and the Gonzalezes are considering starting a restaurant in the Tamsui area.
For dessert, try the sopapilla (NT$25), which is a tortilla cooked with butter and sugar, and horchata (NT$35), a milky drink made of rice, cinnamon and vanilla. Horchata also goes well with the meal, especially if you’ve added a lot of Eddy’s chile rojo, a very spicy red chili sauce, also homemade.
The trip to Tamsui is well worth it for Mexican food fanatics, but if you’re wary of night market crowds, avoid the weekends. Not in the Taipei area? Eddy can deliver burritos anywhere in Taiwan within 24 hours through 7-Eleven’s “freeze-and-deliver” service. Shipping costs NT$150 for up to 20 burritos.
The stand is a seven-minute walk from the MRT Station. After exiting the station, find the nearest Starbucks and walk up the adjacent night market street half a block; it will be on your right. Alternatively, listen for the Mexican music.