I know it's kind of an odd thing to celebrate the Fourth of July while in Taiwan, but Americans can't help but to feel a twinge of FOMO when seeing all our friends firing up their grills for Independence Day backyard bbqs. So I put together a short list of places you can go for smoky charred ribs, brisket, BBQ pork and all the sides. Mac and cheese, cornbread, coleslaw, baked potato or baked beans. I was going to add some Japanese yakiniku and Kbbq for extra meat grilling action, but I decided to save that for another day.
Ed's Diner was one of the first to serve American style BBQ in a stand alone restaurant in Taipei, opening in 2012. Serving thick slabs of brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork sandwich, BBQ chicken, Ed's Diner uses the "same rubs and sauces as the six time winner of the Barbecue World Championship. My favorite side dishes are the baked sweet potato topped with butter and cheese (!!), baked beans and baked potato. Reservations are a must.
BBQ ribs (Image from ED'S DINER Facebook)
A popular fast casual BBQ joint from New York, Mighty Quinn's serves brisket, burnt ends, BBQ pork, BBQ chicken, spare ribs. Order first, eye your spot for a table or get food to go. The brisket is my favorite, be sure to ask for a juicy or fattier cut (NT$990/pound or NT$360 one serving) or splurge on the signature brontosaurus rib which is a giant beef rib (NT$1200). Recommended side dishes include dirty fries, corn fritters, mashed sweet potato, three bean salad.
Burger (Image from Mighty Quinn's BBQ Facebook)
Baba Kevin perfected his barbeque from over seven years of catering slow smoked BBQ, and finally opened up a shop last year after customers kept asking for a permanent spot to go to. Bbq lunch plates (NT$200) and Bbq sandwiches (NT$150) with beef brisket, pulled pork, lamb or chopped bbq chicken. Ribs are available with advance notice. Baba Kevin is one of the few that smoke their meats with imported hickory, mesquite and oak wood chips. The 24 hour smoked brisket and pulled pork are my favorites and the side dishes include buttered rice pilaf, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, Mac and cheese, coleslaw, cornbread and brownies. Ask for his housemade BBQ sauce and try the candied jalapeños. If you can't decide try the Goody Burger or All American BBQ platter.
BABA KEVIN's American BBQ burger (Image of Hungry in Taipei)
Texas Roadhouse is a popular chain from the US, serving tables a free bucket of peanuts and warm dinner rolls w cinnamon butter upon seating. Service is friendly, ribs are juicy and American sized portions for price. Texas Roadhouse probably has the largest menu and bar selection with options like steak, fish and shrimp along with ribs. Atmosphere is lively with locations in Xinyi and Minsheng neighborhoods.
Ribeye & Grilled Shrimp Combo (Image from Texas Roadhouse Facebook)