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COMPASS MAGAZINE > December 2014

The Uptowner: American diner food done right

By Ian Crews
Translated by Sho Huang

1, Lane 480, HuaMei St, West Dist.
(04) 2326-0429
Hours: 7 am-10 pm
English menu available.
Free Wi-Fi.
Credit cards accepted.
No service charge.

The Uptowner is located in one of the small alleys between SOGO Department Store and HuaMei Street quite close to Taiwan Boulevard. It has a nice patio with about 10 tables out front as well as an open floor plan inside with booths, tables and a bar, backed by a generous-sized TV for watching sports. In the back corner is an open kitchen, which I personally prefer. There's something enjoyable about watching your food being cooked and prepared, it makes a restaurant smell and sound delicious, and it shows us diners how much hard work goes into our food.

The Uptowner opened earlier in 2014 and is co-owned by three expats. This is not imitation American food but the real deal. Breakfast food is served all day and includes breakfast sets like the "Farmer" or "Cajun" with eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns and more; seven different omelets (and an option to build your own); and six Eggs Benedict choices with five different hollandaise sauces.

And that's just the breakfast part of the menu. The Uptowner also offers plenty of sandwich options, the most popular being the Chicago Club, along with soups, salads, wraps, chili, and delicious, delicious hamburgers. A note on the hamburgers: They are sizable, reasonably-priced, contain no filler, and are cooked to perfection. The most popular one is the "Don Dada", which has bacon, pepper jack cheese, jalapenos, barbecue sauce, mushrooms and onions.

If that's not enough to entice you to try The Uptowner, you should be aware that it makes its own milkshakes and smoothies, and for NT$60 you can add alcohol to them. The french fries and hash browns are made in house and the former are possibly the best I've had in Taiwan. They still have the skin on them and are fresh, crispy and everything else good french fries need to be. Refills on fountain drinks and coffee are free and there's a daily 2-7 p.m. happy hour of the buy-1-get-1-free variety.

The Uptowner  The Uptowner
Left: NThe Bloody "Boomer" (NT$180). Cocktail drinks like the Bloody Mary and others are mixed with vodka and tomato juice.
Right: The Don Dada (NT$295)

The Uptowner The Uptowner The Uptowner
Left: Chips and Salsa, free with Facebook check-in
Medium: The Cajun Breakfast Set (NT$275)
Right: The Farmer Breakfast Set (NT$280)

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