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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Little Taipei

You can take the girls out of Taiwan, but you can't take Taiwan out of the least not in Rockville, Maryland. According to the city's Wikipedia entry:

...(the) North Potomac (is) the area with the highest percentage of Chinese ancestry in any place besides California and Hawaii... well as the fact that:

Rockville is widely considered to be a "Little Taipei" due to the area's high concentration of Taiwanese immigrants.

But before regaling you of our brief foray into Formosa, USA, our day today began with another slice of Americana in the form of the local volunteer fire department's annual Open House. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed herself this afternoon as she explored the fire station and its equipment, all the while weighing whether she wants to be a firefighter or a dentist when she grows up.

This antique fire engine was one of the first things we checked out after arriving at the fire station

The local sheriff's office was represented by this hog

One of the highlights of our open house visit was the tour of the inside of the fire station. The classic pole is still in use at this station, as one of the firefighters demonstrated for us. 

Amber enjoyed getting a chance to wield a fire hose. Unfortunately, her clumsy father proved to be an inept videographer, with the result being exactly two seconds of recorded imagery.

The fire station may have had a usable pole, but an actual Dalmatian couldn't be located

My video follies continued when I tried to record a demonstration of how the firefighters rescue people trapped in vehicles. I had recorded about ten minutes' worth of footage of the doors of a Saab being pulled off when the camera ran out of battery power. After a fresh change of batteries, I did manage to both get a photo of one of the doors being carted away, as well as film of the roof being pulled off.

My daughter could barely move in the firefighting suit

The day's festivities concluded with a demonstration of the ladder. It's difficult to make out in the photo above, but there is a firefighter at the very top.

After the open house, we made the short drive out to Little, I mean Rockville. As it was still too early for dinner when we got there, we took a walk around the downtown area. At one point, we did some shopping at Dawson's Market, an environmentally-conscious local supermarket. Here, Amber and I enjoyed a Curiosity Cola, an "orgasmically brewed carbonated cola soft drink" according to the Google search entry! 

Our raison d'etre for driving out to Rockville was to dine at Bob's Noodle 66. I've been to Taiwanese restaurants in Japan on several occasions, but this establishment was a first of its kind for me in this country:

Here's a look at the menu. Questionable historical interpretations aside, it's somewhat surprising that the English on the front was written with the same high level of language proficiency as you would find back in Taiwan:

And now to the food pics. Unfortunately, my shots aren't up to same high standards employed by the New Hampshire Bushman. Still, here goes anyway. First up is a picture of what my daughter had, the Minced Pork & Egg on Rice 滷肉飯 (lǔròu fàn):

My wife had the Pork, Mushroom Thick Soup 肉羹 (ròugēng), while I feasted on an Oyster Pancake 蚵仔煎 (é​zǐ​jiān) and a Taiwanese Hamburger 台式刈包 (táishì guà​bāo):

We all shared a vegetable dish that wasn't listed on the menu, but which is known as 空心菜 (kōng​xīn cài), while I washed it down with a papaya milkshake 木瓜牛奶 (mù​guā niú​nǎi):

Finally, the real reason why we had to drive out to Bob's Noodle 66: they had Crispy Smelled Bean Curd 臭豆腐 (chòu​dòu​fu). The stench was barely noticeable...

...which is probably a big reason why Pamela pronounced it to be "disappointing". That, in turn, means it's highly unlikely we'll be dining again at this particular establishment, for once my beloved has crossed a restaurant off her list, we can never go there again. This despite the fact I rather liked the food at Bob's Noodle 66. There is some hope, however, for Amber and me as near the restaurant is a supermarket selling a lot of Taiwanese foodstuffs. So perhaps we will make the drive out to Rockville again sometime in the future:


  1. Jim,

    thanks for the kind plug! your food photos looked good. as a matter of fact, i viewed them at lunchtime, so now i have to go out and eat! lol take care.

  2. Your food shots are always mouth-wateringly good!

    My wife has been very surprised to learn just how many Taiwanese there are here in the Washington, D.C. area. There is a large Asian population in general here, with one result being quite a few large Asian supermarkets just a short drive away. We live behind a large shopping center that serves the Vietnamese community (great restaurants and a good food market), and yesterday we picked up some food to go from a Korean BBQ restaurant located in a shopping plaza full of stores with signs written in Hangul.

  3. Wow! This is Gloria Tsai from tourism info website Eatgo. Thanks for agreeing to share some of your articles on in Taiwan. I spent nearly 10 years in America and I went to high school in Rockville, Maryland (Wootton High School)!! What a coincidence to meet someone who was in the area!