We stopped by Taiwan Bear House for a quick lunch on the July 4th holiday. Many restaurants in Manhattan close on the 4th, but not in Chinatown. Still, while Chinatown was generally crowded, the place wasn’t busy–only one other table was occupied. But we think our visit was pretty representative of what you can expect even if every seat is taken, because it’s a small space–there are only five tables for two and six stools–and Taiwan Bear House does not play music. Together, these two factors ensure that eating in should be relatively pleasant.
And it was pleasant. We were absolutely comfortable. The design elements, standing alone, would lead one to expect a livelier soundscape, but the place was very quiet. In fact, we were surprised that the reading was over 70 decibels, but suspect that it’s due to a mechanical hum coming from the kitchen. The hum didn’t bother us, to be frank–it sounded like white noise, and was neither annoying or distracting.
Taiwan Bear House isn’t a destination spot. It’s a place that you order food to go or eat in and run. The menu consists of a series of “bento boxes,” which are round containers that look like steamers that are filled with rice, vegetables (cabbage), a piece of firm tofu, some ground meat (pork?), and a protein (mostly pork or chicken). The food was filling and tasty, and our meal was quick and quiet. We recommend it.
11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. every day
11 Pell Street (betw. Bowery and Mott Streets), New York, NY 10013