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Every Valentine’s, I think about how far my life has come since the same day back in 2004. Fresh out of college, I was living in a crappy apartment in Queens, with a long subway commute to my internships and a retail job at a store that was basically an upscale, pretentious version of Pier 1 Imports. After another delightful day of trying to convince rich women to buy really ugly, overpriced wrap skirts, I was finally on my way home, distracted by visions of the delicious Lean Cuisine Salisbury steak dinner that awaited me. A man speed-walking down the sidewalk in the opposite direction seemed like he was going to collide into me, so I tried to sidestep out of the way, but then he cut me off and I heard something unzip. I realized he was a flasher. (Fortunately for me, he was bad at being a pervert, because I didn’t see a thing.) I ran home in a blind panic, slammed the door, and, to my chagrin, realized that I did not in fact have a Lean Cuisine in the freezer.

Remembering things like that make me extra grateful for evenings like tonight. Not only did I get to spend it with my husband, but I also got to work my way through the dessert buffet at Palais de Chine’s La Rotisserie. I’ve heard a lot of people say that Grand Formosa Regent’s Brasserie Festival Buffet is the best in Taipei, but I think La Rotisserie is better. It’s more expensive, but everything—from the rare beef nigiri to the cakes and puddings—are actually items I’d be happy ordering a la carte. To be honest, some of the items at the Grand Formosa Regent’s buffet (including flabby slices of gristly sashimi) seemed like they were placed there to add bulk to the offerings on display.

Another thing I appreciate about La Rotisserie is that they have a section devoted to locally grown food. The last time we went there two years ago, it was organic vegetables. This time, it was nuts and dried fruit harvested around Taiwan. The drawback is that at La Rotisserie, you have to order an entree at dinner. I assume that this business model is how they are able to offer really good, delicious and unusual food items in the buffet, but, oh boy, I was so stuffed. It was worth it, though (and so much better than Lean Cuisine). If you are a glutton with a special dinner coming up, La Rotisserie’s info is 3, Chengde Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市承德路一段3號), tel: (02) 2181-9999 X3250.

I didn’t take a lot of photos, but I did find a great new use for Vine—looping videos of food! I complained last week about the app crashing, but their latest update seems to have smoothed things out.

I didn’t take a lot of pics at the buffet because I was too busy shoving people away from the seafood, but Adrienne at Vagabond in Taiwan has more photos of the buffet on her blog.

I’ve been making more of an effort to observe holidays this year. I used to scoff at people who seemed a little overeager about putting about decorations and other things for various special occasions, but then I realized it’s a fun way to mark the passage of time. This year, I put up embroidered lucky pineapple hangings for Lunar New Year. I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day stuff because most of it is too treacly for my taste, but I did punch out a lot of hearts and throw them all over my husband’s desk this morning. I was thinking of stuffing them in his wallet so they would cascade out when he went to pay for something, but then I thought that might be a little annoying.

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I hope you had a lovely day, regardless of whether or not you are a fan of Valentine’s. (If you are curious, I edited my photos with Afterglow).