I’m new in Taiwan and went into bagel-deprivation withdrawal after about two weeks. Desperate, I got my hopes up and promptly dashed to pieces by going first to NY Bagel and then Leben Cafe (Xindian), but the bagels in both places are way, way too spongy. I don’t blame Taiwan because just about anywhere in the USA outside of New York and LA/SFO has spongy bagels. For you non-New Yorkers, it’s like most of the pizza in Taiwan: it looks like pizza, they call it “pizza”, but it’s just not pizza. Another example is MOS Burger - those ain’t hamburgers, they’re something else. But anything is possible! Coffee in Taiwan 20 years ago, except in expensive hotels, was complete SLOP (over-sweetened, non-dairy creamer, out of a foil packet, “3-in-1”), but now it’s fantastic all over town. BTW, if you want to taste coffee it the way it was in the old days, try some at a Taiwanese xiao-tan that sells it in paper cups alongside soybean milk to wash down your sao-bing or fan-tuan. GAG!
Anyway, does anyone out there who knows what I’m talking about know of a place in Taipei where good bagels can be purchased? Sorry if I sound like a bagel-snob, but I’m addicted to the firm, chewy, salty taste and texture, and if you are not from NY and prefer the spongy kind, peace be with you, brother!