Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

New Perspectives and Pig Ears

Last Saturday, I tagged along on a Taiwanese American Students Association sibling outing. TASA upperclassmen brought their freshman “siblings” to Bob’s Noodle 66 in Rockville, Md., for club bonding and good food. Then, I wrote a column about Taiwanese food and how Taiwanese students find their Georgetown “family” through the club. Well, that’s how everything was supposed to happen.

But my life is marked by hilarious misadventures or, as one might say, “epic fails.”

The day started innocently enough. I was to meet TASA Secretary and Hoya Opinion Columnist Caitlin Gilbert (COL ’13) outside McCarthy to catch the 12:10 p.m. Dupont Circle GUTS bus. Alas, the outdated GUTS bus website deceived us — we luckily found the bus outside McDonough right before it left!

Only Caitlin, her sibling Annie Chiang (COL ’14) and I caught the bus after this last minute change. As we left Georgetown, Caitlin got a call from Gary Chung (MSB ’12), TASA co-president and self-professed Bob’s fanatic, telling us he was on his way  — to the GUTS bus stop.

It was no small miracle that we made it to the restaurant without delay or having our $20 bills eaten up by the SmartTrip machine. Gary eventually followed with his roommate Christian Fagel (COL ’12). At this point, this clearly wasn’t quite the sibling event Caitlin and I had in mind. But in anticipation of an authentic Taiwanese meal, none of us were complaining.

Bob’s exterior is fairly nondescript — but once you open the door, you know you’re in for the real deal: servers holler at each other in Mandarin, your nose fills with tempting smells and 95 percent of the patrons are Asian.

The service is fast — our appetizers landed on the table before we decided on our entrees. Gary and Caitlin dove into a plate of pig’s ear, though the rest of us were hesitant to say the least. But it’s not every day I get the chance to eat pig’s ear (then again, nobody knows what’s in Leos’ mystery meat), so I dove in as well. It was thinly sliced, served cold and marinated in chili oil. It had an unfamiliar, springy, gelatinous texture — which was not unappealing at all.

Texture was a central feature of the oyster pancake: a fluffy omelet whipped with sweet potato powder, slippery oysters and spinach, topped with a mildly sweet and salty sauce. The omelet was my personal favorite of the meal — I love eggs, I love oysters and especially in combination. They can do no wrong!

For our entrees, Caitlin ordered her usual squid, mushroom and thick noodle soup. The rest of us were bestowed with hearty beef stew noodle soup — tender pieces of beef, spinach and fresh noodles in a salty beef broth — in bowls bigger than my head.

As we dined, we sipped on frothy, black milk bubble tea. Gary explained the food scene in Taiwan, “You can spend a whole day just eating. Taiwanese food includes a lot of small snacks — you can eat something in one place, walk a block and find another small dish.”

Caitlin brought a different perspective to the table, having grown up outside of Taiwan. She described her mom, who was born and raised in Taiwan, as “an amazing chef.” It’s clear that this girl knows her stuff — Ms. Gilbert is a foodie like no other and has sampled most of the Taiwanese spots in the D.C. metro area. Aside from Bob’s, she recommends A&J — but remains loyal to Flushing, a neighborhood in her native New York “packed with authentic Taiwanese food.”

Despite a successful meal (at $72 for five people, to boot), the day wouldn’t be complete without one last hitch. After being delayed for 20 minutes due to track repairs, the subway finally arrived and then left — without Caitlin and Annie — having shut its doors before they made it inside.

So we had issues with transportation and organization, and I didn’t get the story I was expecting. But Bob’s authentic Taiwanese cuisine spoke for itself — and was definitely worth the epic fails.


Christina Crisostomo is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service. She can be reached at [email protected]Breaking Bread appears every other Friday in the guide.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hoya

Your donation will support the student journalists of Georgetown University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hoya

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *