-Grubbing in ChicagoTaiwanese Treats in Chinatown
Over the last couple years the city has gone from virtually no Taiwanese food to having more than a handful worth of Taiwanese spots to try. From what I can see in my experience Taiwanese food is one of the trendiest in the country right now. It's long been popular with people of Taiwanese descent on both of the coasts but it's starting to move inland. There's no better example of this than the influx of Taiwanese Cheese Tea and dessert shops to have opened up in just the last few years. None more intriguing than Meet Fresh which opened last summer on S. Clark in a new strip mall development in Chinatown that's basically dominated by Taiwanese businesses. Three of them are dessert shops.
Locals Favorite in Chinatown
Franchises from Asia are starting to appear in America the way American fast food outlets appear over there. It can be tough to dig up the exact information as far as the history on some of these franchises as far as that goes. Meet Fresh is no different. They have locations in nine countries with US locations in more than a handful of states. Under the "About us" page on their website they share this - "Sister and Brother Fu grew up in a family which has been farming for generations in the Feng Yuan District of Taichung, Taiwan. Using selected ingredients and traditional processes, they made soft taro balls and delicate herbal jelly desserts. They adhered strongly to the belief to serve customers the best tasting desserts and believed sincerity to be the key to customer's satisfaction". There are no savory options at Meet Fresh but they do make warm desserts. Taiwan has one of the worlds great dessert cultures and it comes in all sorts of colors, textures, and temperatures. I haven't gotten into the dessert soup just yet but I'm also just becoming familiar with the cold stuff.
Icy Taro Ball #4 at Meet Fresh
I named Meet Fresh one of 2018's best Chicago openings over at Eater. While I haven't dived as deep into the menu as their regulars have I cant get enough of their specialty shaved ice dessert called "Icy Taro Ball #4." It's made with shaved ice, sweet potato, red beans, boba, and taro. I remember when I first had Taiwanese dessert in Dallas and was asking myself what had I gotten into. Then I couldn't stop eating it. No different here. This stuff is addicting man. A meal in and of itself. Another item worth trying is the Milk Shaved Ice with taro and sweet potato balls, tapioca noodles, almond and egg pudding, mochi, and ice cream. Wow! This place is f-ing great. You'll feel like royalty when your food arrives. Most dishes are easily split between two though most seem to make 'Meet Fresh' a meal.
Milk Shaved Ice at Meet Fresh
2026 S Clark St a
Chicago, IL 60616