My mom was was born and raised in Taiwan and never settles for anything mediocre, so when she recommended Tofu 101, a Taiwanese breakfast shop, I knew it was going to be amazing. Tofu 101 is located in a strip mall across from Bellevue’s Factoria Mall. The store front is modestly decorated and the inside is even more stark, but that lends to a food-centric experience. Against their bare walls are shelves just lined with an assortment of Taiwanese breakfast foods and snacks, as well as fresh soy milk by the jug or the to-go cup. Once you get over the fact that you’ve just arrived at breakfast heaven, you notice the line of customers patiently waiting to package up their choice of steamed or pan fried buns at their own pace. We quickly noticed that every customer ahead of us waited for one thing: Chinese donuts. There’s no better indication of “what’s good” than that, so we waited our turn, then picked up far too much food – just to be safe. As expected, the Chinese donuts were the best either of us have had; and keep in mind that we have traveled to Asia multiple times and tried almost every Taiwanese/Chinese restaurant around. We also picked up some steamed buns with an assortment of fillings, as well as pan fried buns, noodles, etc., which were also exceptionally fresh and flavorful. This place is pretty well-priced and also vegetarian-friendly, so don’t be shy to spread the word. Well, maybe keep the donuts on the DL. I’m already looking forward to our next visit and excited to try everything else!
Some other notable breakfasts:
In an effort to spend less on brunch, which really add up both $ and calorie-wise, we’ve been making most of our weekend breakfasts.
“Stroopwafel” from Oxford. These Dutch treats are addictive. If you’re lucky, you can find them in the International Foods aisle at your local grocer. Make sure to try them both dry and “warmed” over tea or coffee.
Steamed pork meatballs rolled in sweet rice, a Taiwanese delicacy.