TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE, February, 2007.

The Original Baby Backs

Santa Fe Salad

Appetizer Sampler

Feeding your primal instincts at Tony Roma's

--- By Rebekah Godfrey Translated by Jean Huang

(02) 2719-0992
156, MinSheng E Rd, Sec 3
Hours: Sun-Thu 11:30 am-10 pm;
Fri-Sat 11:30 am-11 pm
No smoking allowed.

Western food can be found at a number of fine restaurants but, if you're craving juicy ribs, head to Tony Roma's, the place that's "famous for ribs". Tony Roma's may not be the best place for a first date, unless you ladies want a glimpse of your man's primal instincts. With the exception of the salads and seafood platters, the finger-lickin' good food is best consumed heartily and without inhibitions.

Tony Roma's opened 12 years ago in the center of Taipei's financial district. The management is friendly, and the food fantastic. We tried several dishes, and have highlighted our favorites, starting with the unique, "world-famous" Onion Loaf. The half loaf (NT$130) is a huge helping of onion rings stacked in a rectangular shape with a flaky, pastry-like breading. Bad for the heart but good for the soul is the Appetizer Sampler (NT$390), which is a plate of Fire Wings, Potato Skins, Mozzarella Sticks and three dipping sauces.

A wide selection of salads range from NT$180 to $380. Try the Santa Fe Salad, which is a no-nonsense array of fresh vegetables, crispy chicken breast, cheese and bacon on top of a crunchy tortilla shell. Another popular favorite is the Papaya Salad, which combines diced papaya with salad greens and wonton skins, tossed with a papaya dressing, avocado, and grilled chicken breast.

But don't forget the ribs. The Original Baby Backs were invented in 1972 and are basted in a barbecue sauce that is considered "top secret". A half slab is NT$520; a full slab NT$860. You can also try the St. Louis-style Ribs, which are a very special cut of sparerib and described as "thick, juicy and meaty".
Other meal options include seafood dishes, chicken dishes, sandwiches and burgers. For dessert, try the Cookie Sundae, which is a homemade cookie baked in an iron skillet and topped with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge. Can you get more American than that?
A bar is available, with plenty of beers, cocktails, margaritas and hard liquor on the menu.