6, J, N, Q, R, Z to Canal St.
Chambers St. to Houston St., Broadway to Pitt St.
Tucked into a dinky, tourist-free Chinatown alley, Taiwan Pork Chop House’s clean, communal, laminate tables sit under fluorescent lights, flanked by an odd display case that mixes big-bellied Buddhas with big-eyed Precious Moments dolls. The menu is tasty if brief, featuring pickled-mustard- and MSG-jolted soups and mains, rice dishes, and noodles that foster quick solo dining over leisurely group meals. The namesake pork chop is indeed excellent (the restaurant changed its name from Excellent Pork Chop House), served over rice or elastic white paste noodles with a handful of pickled, chopped mustard greens. Hearty eaters may find portions a tad stingy; if so, double your order, add a side of tasty five-spice-seasoned, batter-less fried chicken leg, or try a bowl of braised-sparerib soup—clear broth with butter-soft pork, laced with fragrant, fresh-sliced ginger. Dessert disappoints: A snow-cone-style ice grinder in lieu of a traditional ice shaver makes the Taiwanese ice dessert’s texture hail-like, instead of a soft and snowy bed for chewy toppings such as tapioca bubbles and grass jelly.