Early Bird Diner
62, ZhongMing S Rd
Hours: 8 am-11 pm
No service charge (tipping encouraged).
Free wireless Internet.
Early Bird Diner's new, larger location is truly the closest thing central Taiwan has to a traditional, all-American diner. The spacious, attractive ambiance includes a long dining bar with stool-style chairs, comfortable bench seats against the walls, American pictures and memorabilia, and a fenced-off outdoor area with umbrella-shaded tables. Hailing from northern New Jersey, owner Will Grazecki has taken his already-popular eatery to the next level by opening later in the day to offer an evening dining menu, including items like the 11-ounce Sirloin Steak with mashed potatoes, onion rings and fountain drink (NT$777). What hasn't changed from his last three years in business is his wide range of breakfast items, available till 5 p.m. This includes varieties of Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine, waffles, bagel selections (from NT$59), French Toast (NT$139, with juice), a very hearty Breakfast Burrito (NT$179), pancakes (blueberry, banana, chocolate chip), and full breakfast combos, from the "Tree Hugger" (NT$199) to the "Kitchen Sink" (NT$269). There are also six salads, various hot sandwiches like the popular Roast Beef Swiss Melt (NT$199, with fries), cold sandwiches like William the Conqueror (a BLT and hash brown, over-easy egg sandwich slathered with mayo), various wraps, hot dogs and burgers. For drinks, there is a good range of shakes (NT$120), smoothies, soft drinks, beers (NT$100) and cocktails. --By Douglas Habecker, translated by Naomi Lai
A. The new Early Bird Diner's warmly-lit, inviting setting, with over 60 seats, is a perfect place for dining and hanging out. Will says he will be regularly showing live Yankees games (7:05 a.m.), plus NHL hockey and NBA, on the big TV behind the bar.
B. Will reserves a larger corner table to the right of the door for special groups of eight to 14 diners.
C. Chicken Parmesan Eggplant with Penne (NT$300) is another new main-course items now available.