Ed’s Diner, which opened six months ago in Dazhi near Miramar Entertainment Park (美麗華百樂園), serves up authentic American-style barbecue in hearty portions at reasonable prices. Operated by Brit Eddy Sweeney, the restaurant smokes its meat with longan wood, logs of which are stacked outside the restaurant. The interior of Ed’s Diner is simple but homey, with large windows and wooden folding chairs that give it a picnic-like atmosphere even at night.
The menu features barbecue chicken, pork, prime Angus beef brisket, ribs and a 14-ounce Angus beef bone-in prime steak. One of the most popular items is the pulled pork hamburger (NT$150 or NT$250 in a set meal with soup, salad, a bread roll, side dish and drink). The meat is piled into a hollowed-out white bread bun and topped with crunchy coleslaw. The sandwich was delicious and the sauce was sweet and tangy, while the coleslaw added just the right amount of creaminess. My companion was also happy with his large slice of tender Angus brisket (NT$330 for a set meal), though he wished the meat had been from a leaner cut (you can call ahead to Ed’s Diner to see if specific cuts of meat are available that day).
On a second visit, we requested an extra serving of the restaurant’s freshly prepared spicy hot barbecue sauce, which tasted delicious slathered on the brisket. The sauce is also served with the ribs, which are prepared with a dry rub made of herbs and spices. The barbecue ribs are sold in slabs and can be ordered a la carte (NT$450 for half a slab or NT$800 for a full slab) or in a set meal. On both nights we ordered ribs, every single bite was pleasingly tender, with not a hint of dryness on the entire slab.
Address: 216 Lequn 2nd Rd, Taipei City (台北市樂群二路216號)
Telephone: (02) 8502-6969
Open: Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 9pm. Closed Mondays.
Average meal: NT$300. There is a minimum charge of NT$250 per adult and NT$100 per child on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights
Details: Chinese and English menu, cash
The menu features a selection of classic barbecue side dishes, like corn on the cob (NT$50 a la carte) and baked potato (NT$50). The slow smoked sweet potato (NT$50) was a good complement to my pulled pork sandwich, but I could have done without the melted cheese on top, which added very little flavor and obscured the sweet potato’s rich, savory flavor. The home baked beans (NT$50) take 12 hours to prepare and taste good, though my companion thought that the sauce was somewhat too thin. My favorite side dish was the home cut fries (NT$50), which the menu says takes two hours to make. The skin was crispy without being too oily and lightly salted. Every plate comes with a dinner roll, which we used to sop up the juices and leftover sauce from our ribs and brisket. The soup and salad served with set meals are forgettable and just give diners something to nibble on until the main course arrives.
The service at Ed’s Diner is extremely prompt and the food arrives quickly, so you don’t have to wait long. Meat is prepared in limited quantities each day. If you are craving a particular dish, make sure to call ahead to check its availability. Ed’s Diner is usually busy on weekend evenings. Reservations aren’t required but they are highly recommended.