Wednesday, April 30, 2008

american/sandwiches: i recommend TOASTERIA CAFE

No. 2, Lane 248, Zhong Xiao E Road, Sec 4

(02) 2731-8004


hours: Mon-Thurs 10AM-11PM; Fri-Sat 10AM-2AM; Sunday 11AM-9PM


Kid friendliness: tiny patio to eat along a busy alley, but cheese sandwiches and fries are definitely kid friendly.

Visit reviewed: 4/5/2008

With almost 20 types of grilled cheese sandwiches offered at Toasteria, there's a lot to choose from. Not to mention the fries, salads and fish and chips. From the basic classic grilled cheese (with cheddar, mozzarella and "good olive oil) to the tuna melt to chicken options to unique combos like Grapa (Grilled Gouda, red wine onion jam, roasted garlic and fresh basil)- Toasteria uses cheeses like cheddar, mozzarella, feta, gouda, jack, and various combination with aioli, honey mustard, roasted peppers, pesto garlic and even wasabi!

I was in a hurry so I ordered my classic grilled cheese (NT$70) to go. It's definitely better to grab a seat (if they have one available) and eat your sandwich hot off the panini grill and the combo addition of fries and a drink for NT$60 is not a bad deal. I opted for Grape Fanta which I hadn't had in forever, and it definitely made me feel like a kid again, drinking grape soda with my grilled cheese. THe fresh basil is also a nice touch, giving the sandwich an extra layer of depth.

The patio, while small, is a nice place to people watch and eat if it's not crowded, and there's also seating along the bar. Right next door to the Zhong Xiao Alleycats (not TOO far from SYS Memorial hall), you should wander over to check it out, even if you are looking for a hot midnight snack with their late hours on weekends.

Next time, I want to try the Grapa (NT$95), the Chicken Jack Cheese (chicken, grilled jack cheese, caper aioli)(NT$95), the Tunamelt (NT$85) or the Feta Pesto (roasted pepper, shiitake mushroom and onion).


nesiote said...

While every one of their sandwiches is excellent, the real highlight is the dipping sauce (a kind of aioli I think). Its the real reason to order the fries, and some people I know even dip their sandwiches in.

Would have preferred sweet basil to thai basil but with sandwiches this good I'm not complaining.

David said...

I also think highly of this place. The combination of olives and real cheese is hard to find in Taipei.

One complaint is this place seems to be very popular. A few times I have been past and there has been such a huge crowd in the tiny restaurant that I didn't even bother to go in.

Edward Juan said...

that looks cute! I wanna go there when I visit Taiwan! I can't believe they have real cheese and olives now.

abstractpoet said...

Hey Joanh, if you like tapenade, their Middle Eastern grilled cheese is to die for. So so good.

Anonymous said...

can't wait to try this place. haven't had the David says, it's just too does this compare to the yummy sandwich you made in your Hello Kitty sandwich maker? I'm thinking of getting my own panini maker from the States to make my own.

joanh said...

nesiote: mm, i don't think i got the dipping sauce with the fries last time. do you have to order that extra?

david: yeah, i guess that's when you can order to go.

why edward juan?: it's a pleasant surprise to find places like these here

abstractpoet: okay, i definitely will!!

anonymous: they have some options like roasted red peppers that i don't necessarily have on hand! so it's a good option if you don't have a lot of gourmet cheeses on hand which are also expensive unless you buy in bulk at costco, then it takes forever to use up.

Anonymous said...

You know, for only $NT70 you can get a decent cheeseburger just two doors down from Toasteria at Mary's Hamburgers (the same as in TienMu), on the other side of Alleycats.

I also like Toasteria but I usually opt for one of Mary's cheeseburgers.

joanh said...

billy: so it is the same as the one in Tien Mu... I've been meaning to try Mary's as well.. soon!

ABC said...

I just had Toasteria for the first time last week (I found it cause it was next to Alleycats, which you recommended).

It's pretty great - I recommend the Shitake.

The owner is Israeli I think, and used to own a chain of Middle Eastern/Pita restaurants in Taipei.

nesiote said...

I think the aioli (made of capers from what I can gather) comes standard with the fries, but you can always order extra (like I always end up doing).

They are very busy, and with the heat that those toasters generate its not going to be all that pleasant in the height of summer. Given the popularity of the place, the owner should seriously invest in a closed restaurant.

The owner is the same guy who started Sababa, so he's definitely on to a good thing. Can't wait to see what his next restaurant offering is going to be.

joanh said...

arvin: cool.. i will have to try that out. just had the feta today (with pesto, shiitake and red bell peppers)

nesiote: maybe we should start putting ideas in the owner of Sababa/Toasteria's head of what we want to eat next? :)

nesiote said...

I'd love a place that does really good/interesting/gourmet salads, like you get back home. And with real ciabatta on the side...

joanh said...

nesiote: OMG. that would be awesome. have you tried the salads at Nonzero? I liked their roasted pepper salad.

nesiote said...

Apologies for the lengthly time it takes me to respond. I haven't tried Nonzero, though from your review it seemed the salad was the only reason to go there.

As always there are plenty of good restaurants serving good salads but they seldom go beyond the chicken caesar salad. By and large I'm never really impressed by salads in Taiwan (certainly not the 'salads' that come as part of a set menu).

Carnegies surprised me with a creation know as the Thai Beef Salad which sadly turned out to be the equivalent of drinking a bowl of vinegar with some greens thrown in for flavour.

I'm looking for a place that does salads for the sake of salads

Patrick Cowsill said...

These are the best sandwiches in town. I like the olive - salmon concoction. My only complaint is that they don't serve diet Coke.

Anonymous said...

Or First time experience - BBQ Chicken , and the Kalifornia Sandwiches - both were very yummy. Our only complaint: the two cooks were eating their own sandwiches as they prepared ours... although they did the Taiwanese style "eating it from a wrapper", one guy wiped his lips with his fingers, the other guy hoisted up his pants.... neither ever washed their hands while preparing the food as we sat at the bar overlooking the griddle - we saw it all. We can go back...although, had this been 8 years ago when we first arrived in TW - we would have left. Disposable gloves are really cheap..... you think some hygiene tips would be helpful for business?

cocoberry said...

Just visited this place for lunch and think it's the best sandwich place in town! I've had my share of sandwiches in New York and this beats even the ones I've had there for 1/2 the price. Had the feta pesto which i highly recommend, and the fries were fresh, thick and satisfying :)

Anonymous said...

Raised their prices 40% I guess to fund the new shop. I will make my own sandwich at home. Good luck on the new high prices.

Sam said...

I went there this weekend (7/6/13) and thought it was quite delicious! I was craving some cheese and this more than fit the bill. The brie, caramelized onion and bacon sandwich was delicious. I agree the aioli is the biggest highlight :) It maybe wasn't the absolute best grilled cheese I've had, but it was very enjoyable and satisfied my craving! Thanks for the recommendation :)