By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Anna Yang
119-1, WenXin Rd, Xitun Dist
Hours: Mon-Fri 9 am-6 pm, Sat-Sun 9 am-9 pm
The spacious, Montana-inspired Glacier Coffee is an outstanding cafe that brews its coffee from top-grade imported single-origin and blended beans. However, it is now also an equally good dining destination with a rich and wholesome assortment of all-day brunches, sandwiches, desserts and other edibles. This represents a complementary partnership between husband-and-wife owners Hans Chen and Ann Li, who respectively handle the coffee and food.
Topping dining choices are six brunch sets, including three Frittatas (NT$240-300). This Italian dish, somewhere between a omelette and crustless quiche, features an egg/milk batter poured into an iron skillet over a main ingredient and cheese and baked for a wonderfully savory result. Diners can opt for a Smoked Salmon Fennel and Dill Frittata, Vegetable "Happy Morning Meal" Frittata, and Potato "Crispy Piggy" Frittata (including bacon).
I tried the vegetable version, a steaming mix of egg, mozzarella cheese and broccoli, mushrooms, peppers and onions. Like all brunch items, it came with a yogurt mixed with nuts and herbs, a wonderful warm fennel roll (bread may vary) with French butter, and coffee. Honey breakfast tea or any menu drink discounted by NT$50 are also drink options.
Non-frittata brunches are the "Mr. Mushroom Energy" Brunch, including scrambled eggs, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, bread and, of course, mushrooms; "Miss Salmon Luxury" Brunch, which replaces mushrooms with smoked salmon; and "King Bacon Classic" with bacon and sunny side up eggs. All come in standard (NT$260-330) and larger (NT$380-450) sizes.
Also don't miss the "Signature Hotcakes", which aren't normal, thin pancakes made from batter on a griddle. Instead, these delights are thick slightly-chewy hot cakes baked in a cast-iron skillet. The "Royal Secret Garden" Pancake (NT$260) is topped with a changing variety of fresh, seasonal fruit, arranged in a flower-like pattern and crowned with a scoop of ice cream. Even sweeter is the Chocolate Banana version (NT$240).
Other dining items include two grilled panini sandwiches; "Things On Toast"--three pieces of toast with changing mix of salty and sweet toppings; a big bowl of "Summer Splendid Yogurt" with fruit, nuts and cereals; and five "healthy desserts", from macarons to the "Glacier Moody Lady"--a dessert special that depends entirely on Ann.