Friday, November 28, 2008

CLOSED! american/new in town: i strongly recommend YUMA SOUTHWESTERN GRILL

CLOSED a/o 2/2011

No. 21, Alley 11, Lane 216, ZhongXiao E. Rd, Sec. 4
(02) 8773-8895


hours: 12 PM - 11 PM (last orders at 10 PM)


Kid friendliness: high chairs available. lots of room for strollers

Visit reviewed: 11/14/2008

Yuma Southwestern Grill has arrived into town offering a huge menu of Southwestern style (think TexMex or Chili's) grilled ribs, chicken, shrimp, nachos and sides to be eaten family style.

Located in the alley parallel to Chung Hsiao East Road, you would have spotted its bright orange and blue storefront if you made it around the corner past the busy 248 lane filled with Alleycats, Toasteria, Chili House and Mary's Hamburgers.

I had been graciously invited to the Grand Opening by the owner (who previously founded the successful and delicious Alleycats), and the menu and concept definitely picqued my interest. I couldn't make it that night, but I wanted to try it out as soon as I could.

We made our reservations for the following week and were greeted by its friendly host/manager. Our waiter spoke fluent English and was helpful in helping suggest what to eat.

If you're not sure what to order, they make it easy by offering some sample menus for larger groups that will give you the right amount and mix of food. We decided to try the menu for 6 which included half order of ribs, half order of prawns, whole chicken, steak fajitas, calamari, chicken salad, and a side of rice. We also added the nachos.

Along with deciding if you want ribs, chicken or shrimp, each one has 3 different kinds of seasoning to choose from... if you like it spicy, then you could get the Peri Peri or Garlic and Chili Butter. We chose the cranberry and honey baby back ribs, dry rub chicken and rosemary and lime prawns. Yuma was inspired to make everything to be shared family style, but of course, you could order things individually as well.

Along with all the grilled meats, there's also an array of margaritas, wines, cocktails and beers and lots of sides to choose from- coleslaw, fries, corn, tortillas, rice.

How great would it be if they made sweet potato fries or cornbread (as asked recently by reader Christopher T.- where can you find cornbread in Taipei)? Mmmm. I'd be in trouble!

Everything arrived quickly to the table, maybe a little TOO quickly for family style eatings.. my mouth couldn't keep up with all the food on the table, and some of it was cold by the time I got to it. In the future, I would ask the servers to ask the kitchen to pace it a little more, or at least put some room between the appetizers/salads and the main meats.

The Arizona Chicken and Roasted Corn soup- hearty broth based chicken soup that you couldn't really find in Taipei before now, sweetened with the corn and fragrant with cilantro- a happy discovery since everywhere the soups served here always seems to be creamy and indistinguishable.

It's more than a week later and I'm still thinking about this soup. I could make a meal out of the soup and the nachos.

The Porky's Pulled Pork nachos (NT$240) were huge and piled with toppings, the way nachos should be! It was a good mix of toppings and melted cheese with the crispy chips, not served individually like some of the chain restaurants around town (and not Doritos with salsa like at some local eateries. Doritos with salsa is NOT nachos!)

The blue cheese in the Flame Grilled Lime and Rosemary Chicken Salad (NT$280) is not for everyone, but I liked its pungent taste mixed in with the salad and ranch dressing. Unfortunately the chicken in the salad that night was unbearably dry- I didn't eat it and instead saved room for the main courses.

I was not crazy about the Texas style calamari (NT$190) which was spiced batter then fried, but it seemed to do okay around the table.

The steak fajitas (NT$390) loses to Chili's on only one factor (no guacamole!)- with large slices of steak, warm tortillas, cheese, fresh corn salsa and pico de gallo, you have everything you need to make your own mini soft tacos, or pile in some rice and make a mini burrito. They also offer a trio shrimp/chicken/steak fajitas.

With so many things on the menu, I would say I wouldn't order the shrimp again. I was a bit surprised when our half order of butterflied prawns came and I saw six regular looking shrimp on 2 kabobs (NT$320/half dozen). That's like almost $5/US for each kabob!

I guess I expected them to bigger when I saw the word prawns.

Instead, put your money towards the ribs and get them with the sweet cranberry and honey glaze. We got the half rack, but should have gotten the whole. (NT$370 half/680 whole)

For dessert, you can choose between their crumb cheesecake or their Tijuana and Vanilla Lime flan. The group was split over which they liked best, but I didn't like the crumbly crust (which may have been its feature). Rather, I liked the sweet and tangy flan, which had a hint of lime and vanilla.

One waitress seemed confused when we asked for plates (to split the desserts around the table) and she said they didn't have any extra small plates. Oh well.

Yuma Southwestern Grill has the perfect location and bright colorful space to become a neighborhood hangout for great grilled fare that is competitive taste-wise and price-wise with not only its neighbors around the corner, but with the Western chains. Inside its brightly styled interior with large spacious tables and a table full of food, you might forget for a moment that you're in Taipei.

I will definitely have to come back for the lunch menu which offers a variety of wraps (NT$150-195) with a side of chips and additional soup for NT$30. It could be the perfect meal... with an order of nachos.

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Anonymous said...

Ya a tasty joint and a nice addition to the city.

And you are right...stay away from the shrimp and stick with the chicken and ribs!

Leslie said...

gawd, I'm sold. Can't wait to order those nachos...something I've definitely been craving

alicesg said...

Looked so good and yummy. Good information on the whereabouts.

joanh said...

anonymous: thanks for reading and the reinforcement on the opinion!

leslie: let me know what you think if you make it there!

alicesg: i'm happy that it's here! are you in singapore or taipei?

Alan said...

Hi Joan

Thanks for your kind review. It is much appreciated. We are working on making our prawns a better value option.

Thanks again,


joanh said...

Alan: Thanks for a welcome addition to the Taipei food scene.. can't wait to see what restaurant you open up next! Also, please let me know if Yuma ever has any events/promos/new menu you'd like to let readers know about!

Richard said...

You should have tried the roasted rosemary chicken with lime!

Absolutely to die for! And yes..the nachos are huge! When I went I got over overzealous and I ordered the same soup and salad, but different nachos (road runner I think), and rosemary chicken....for two people!! The portions are not small and what I think be priced very fairly.

Btw I'm living out here in Taiwan and graduated from UCSD as well!

Alisa said...

I love Yuma!! It's right near my house and everytime I go there I enjoy it more and more. Alan is so nice and all the stuff has been very helpful and nice. I was also surprised at how fast the food came out, but I will not complain about that :)

joanh said...

richard: i will try the rosemary lime chicken next time! i tend to order a lot for two as well! :) at least you could pack the leftovers for later? are u back here for work or family or fun?

alisa: thanks for commenting! any other recs for that area?

Richard said...

To answer your question, I'm out here in Taiwan working...I was here almost 3 years ago when I was hired, then transferred to our Shanghai office for a year. I've been back in Taiwan for a little over a year now. I was referred to your page from a high school friend of mine that has been working in Taiwan ever since he graduated (Roughly 4 years).

There are actually a few people from UCSD working out here. And unsurprisingly, Mexican food is the food that we all crave the most. When I was in Shanghai, aside from my quest for good Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup, my search for good authentic Mexican food was at the top of my list. Fortunately after many failed attempts, I was able to find a decent source for both.

Keep up the good work on you blog, we're all counting on it!!

Also..I recently re-visit Yuma..and the Rosemary Chicken ended up being very dry and hard...a lot different than the first time I went. Quite a different experience..hopefully it was a one time ordeal.

ALan said...

Hi Richard

Sorry about your last experience. As with all new restaurants consistency takes time, and we are hard at work at keeping our quality up!

On your next visit, I'm willing to cover your tab should you not think out Lime and Rosemary Chicken is not the "to-die-for" dish you had on your first visit.



billy said...

Wow! This place looks great. Can't wait to try it. More convenient than Eddy's Cantina but the next time I'm in Danshui I'll give him a try too.

Thanks Joan.

Tina said...

My colleagues and I went today for a work lunch because it was recommended by you, and it was sooo good. And surprisingly cheap too!

billy said...

Your review and pictures looked so good I had to try it. I wasn't disappointed. Delicious food, big portions, reasonable prices. My only complaint is that the sodas are served up in tiny bottles. They should get a soda fountain so we can get refills. But overall, great new restaurant.

joanh said...

richard: cool.. let me know what you end up picking as your favorite Beef Noodle Soup. you have to try the Shan Xi Dao Xiao Mien (previously reviewed) and Eddy's Cantina and let me know what you think

alan: that's so nice!

tina: cool! i'm so glad!

billy: yay! glad you got to make it and my track record is going strong! :) i think their water cups are a bit small too- makes for lots of refills if you drink a lot of water.

Slee said...

Went to Yuma mid-Nov - Cranb/honey ribs, coleslaw, and Roasted Pumpkin soup pretty much rocked our world.

Spinach wrap was a bust, but we were told they were workin'on it.

Regardless, triple thumbs up on the food, love the decor and feel of the place - great addition to TPE eating scene. Thanks!!

Jake said...

Went to Yuma this evening - good tex/mex! Our server (Shane) was very nice, and the service was extremely speedy (almost too speedy - I had to choose between letting the cheese on the nachos or my ribs cool while enjoying the other).

Overall - quite tasty with plenty of seasoning that makes it stand out among the (admittedly limited) pack in Taipei. Definitely worth a visit to give it a try. Also, their Margaritas are quite potent!

Anonymous said...

Visited tonight with friends from Taipei. Place was EMPTY on a Sunday night. We ordered trio (wings, french fries, calamari), full rack of ribs (dry rub), and a Santa Fe salad. How bad was it? Well, first, the salad was extremely sour. Next, the ribs came out. Ribs were dry (I guess that's what a dry rub is, huh?). Cole slaw was not good. Rice was very dry. Chicken wings were not crispy with sauce, just soggy. Fries were ok. Calamari was ok. Sauces with the trio were unidentifiable. Is the BBQ? Peri-peri? Mayo? Garlic? Not sure. Had to ask for ketchup. Overall, very disappointed. Should have been able to tell from the empty place.

Anonymous said...

Yuma Grill... well I was excited when I saw the reviews but how can so many people be wrong? Maybe the management has not been around enough. I ordered the fajitas (beef) - the steak was tough and chewy... and cold when I received it. The tortillas were also hard. I found myself looking across the street and wondering if I should've gone there instead. Sorry to say that I won't be back unless one of my friends drag me there. Please tell me I'm wrong...

Anonymous said...

As far as I know, Yuma is now closed (5/23/11). I heard that now there is a pub there, but I haven't been around the area myself to find out.


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