Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mita Italian Restaurant and Bakery, A typical weekend in the LinGuang MRT area of Taipei City

I am now back in the USA and will try to catch up on my blogs from Taiwan.
I stayed 5 months in a nice condo rental just minutes from the LinGuang MRT Stop on the Wenhu (Brown Line) MRT line.  

This area surrounding the LinGuang MRT station in Taipei is like so many small communities or neighborhoods in this metropolitan area of Taipei City and New Taipei City of over 6.5 million people. So many people make their living selling their own prepared or cooked food in the streets, market areas, or on the first floor of their home along the street.  Of course, many others have other types of commercial business also on the first floor of their homes in the same areas.  At meal times the streets get crowded with people looking for a place to eat their favorite local Taiwanese food, or to purchase and take it home to eat or share with their family. 
Most of these neighborhoods have local streets or alleys used exclusively as a day or night market selling a wide variety of food and products. 

This is approaching the LinGuang station.  We stayed at one of the brown high rise buildings in the "Left Center

The LinGuang weekend market has more than 100 “stalls” with people selling nuts, vegetables, fruits, raw meat, fresh seafood, prepared food, bagged food and snacks and so much more.  Rain or shine, from just before noon to about 2pm, these alleys are packed with people walking from vendor to vendor, buying or sometimes sampling the “wares”.   

This main weekend market goes on for blocks!

Leaving the Weekend Market and walking to Mita Pasta

My favorite local restaurant near Mita, for "POT STICKERS" & great price at ONLY $5 NT (US $0.16) each

Occasionally a car, small delivery truck, or mopeds “worm” their way slowly down the alley.  The prices for most of the product sold in these markets are much less than in super markets or local grocery stores.  

Adjacent to this weekend market are a few local streets that are packed with small stores such as drug stores and restaurants serving local and more. 

One of my very favorite restaurants in this area is Mita Pasta and the attached Mita Bakery. 


First the Mita Pasta Restaurant.

This local neighborhood restaurant seats about 50 people or so and is clean and inviting.  

One view of part of the restaurant

The staff is great and well trained, and Jacky is especially attentive to all of his clients including me.   Jacky can be seen trotting back and forth when he is busy, and his English is good enough to communicate with anyone speaking English.  More about Jackie’s great service later, now the menu and food.

Jacky taking an order

The menu is not extensive, but every meal I tried was very tasteful, and one of the better local places to eat Italian food in Taipei.  I have eaten here about 15 times or so and have tried many of the dishes on the menu including the Garlic & Oil, the White Cream, Traditional Tomato, and Pesto sauce & pasta entrees.  Their baked dishes, Risotto and fried appetizers are also better than average.  

The Menu

My favorite meal is their traditional spaghetti with tomato vegetable sauce.  Adding meat or seafood is also an excellent choice, but the beef with basil is so very tender sliced thin that I highly recommend this choice.
A Great value at $68 NT - Soup, Salad, Bread, Drink, and the desert (in photo below)

Can you tell how much I loved the Pumpkin soup????

The spaghetti sauce is delicious!

Not a big serving size, but Very big on taste!

The entrees are very generous servings and quite filing for a price of $98 NT (New Taiwan) dollars to $288 NT dollars (from less than $3.00 USD to about $7.00 USD).  You cannot find a great tasting Spaghetti meal in the US for $3.00.  (Even a large can of terrible tasting canned spaghetti costs more!)   

But the best deal is to upgrade your meal for $68 NT dollars (a little more than $2.00 USD).  For this upgrade you receive four (4) items worth over $200 NT dollars First is a great salad with a choice of 4 dressings and my favorite is the yogurt dressing with passion fruit….simply awesome.  Second best choice is their Japanese dressing that is better than anyone I have bought in a store.  Next is a soup choice of Beef or Pumpkin.  Both are tasty, but the pumpkin is by far the best choice.  Next is a selection of four deserts, and the Crème Brulee is wonderful.  Finally you can chose from 8 different drinks from Tea, Coffee, Hot chocolate, Iced Coffee, or one of three delicious and refreshing Iced Fruit Teas (Cumquat, Chamomile with Pomelo Green Tea, and Peach with Melon Green Tea).

Mita Pasta is a very nice neighborhood Italian restaurant, with excellent service, great food, generous servings, and a great value when you upgrade your meal.  If you stop buy ask for Jacky and tell him I said hello!

Now the Mita Bakery!

As I stated in a few of my earlier blogs, there are many hundreds of fine local bakeries scattered all around Taipei.  They abound with fresh baked breads, cookies, cakes, muffins, pastries, buns, rolls, sandwiches, and more.  They make most or all of their fresh baked goodies on the premisis.

Many of the variety of sandwiches are actually buns stuffed with meet such as wieners, hams, and more along with cheeses, corn, and other vegetables,  just great for a snack or light meal on the run. 

The selection of breads are a delightful variety compared with the US, and include such combinations as cheese & nuts, fruit and nuts, multi-grain with seeds such as sesame, sunflower, pine nuts, garlic, etc. 


After tasting a nutty cranberry and strawberry bread at Mita’s Pasta Restaurant in my first few weeks in Taipei, we have been back almost 3 or 4 times a month buying their backed goodies.   One of my many favorites is their cranberry coconut twisted roll (about 10-12 inches long) full of taste and satisfying sweetness.   


We also like their cheese roll which is about 16” long, and so very soft.  It has a rich cheese and buttery taste that goes along very well with their Pasta dishes (as does their garlic bread) that I often by to go.  The pictures below were taken just a few weeks ago, and show some of their wonderful offerings.   Stop by often as the baked goods variety change almost daily.

Edward C.

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