Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dining In The Compound

George Dean asked me to post his inquiry about dining facilities in the HSA compound. I wrote some time ago that I just couldn't remember where I ate my meals, except for the China Seas (Club 63) in the evenings sometimes. I had a fridge in my room at the hostel, but I doubt that I ate very many meals there.

In his inquiry, George wrote about getting food poisoning. The only time I remember that happening to me was the time I stopped by the Linkou Club Annex late one night to order some fried chicken and fries to go. I ate it back at the hostel and turned in for the night. About three or four o'clock, I had to make a quick run to the porcelain altar and returned there off and on until almost time to go to work. That was the last food I ever ordered from the Linkou Club!

Anyway, here's George's note:

Anyone remember the Foreign Affairs Service Division
(FASD) Mess Hall in the HSA East Compound behind the
Theater near the play field? It was run by the
Chinese Military with civilian employees and I
remember it was open as late as 1972 when I went back
as a civilian on vacation, but then I lost track of
it. I remember that they sold Chit Books for a months
worth of meals so you wouldn't have to pay with NT
cash. The food wasn't all that bad, but it seemed to
be a combination of Chinese and American styles and I
guess we knew about "Fusion" cuisine long before
anyone discovered it! I remember typos on the menu
such as "Fruits Pie" that I used to joke with the
waiters (How many fruits are in this pie?" We spent a
lot of time in that place when we were too lazy to go
to any of the Clubs. Yes, I was only food poisoned
once after a dinner meal I developed a fever and
nausea, and took a cab to the Navy Hospital in Tien
Mu. There was also a snack bar in the HSA West
Compound (near the bowling alley) that we went to for
lunch as our office was close by. Since TDC was only a
stones throw away, I'm wondering if anyone remembers
the FASD Mess Hall or even the Snack Bar?

George Dean


Bill said...

I worked on Grass Mtn and we also had an FASD Dining Hall. I remember that because several of my friends got sick I would only eat Fried Rice and Hot Apple Pie. I would occassionally have duty at the USACC HQ, right across from the FASD you mentioned and I always would walk to the Snack Bar (which was moved from the West Compound to the East Compount I think in 1976). I liked their burgers, fries, etc.
I also remember the "hot dog" guy outside of the PX, not bad once in a while.
Bill Kling

Anonymous said...

I remember eating in the Snack Bar in the HSA West Compound. As I recall, they remolded the building some time while I was there. During the 1966 - 1968 period, the Snack Bar was known for a decent breakfast and some wonderful sandwiches. It was the typical, get a tray and push your way down the line, ordering along the way. I don't recall if they brought the food to your table, or you had to wait in line for your dish. The place was always crowded, but then maybe I always visited when everyone else was off duty and everyone showed up to eat at the same time. There was a snack bar over at the Fleet Reserve Building. I was there a couple of times to meet folks arriving from Vietnam for R&R. They processed all the R&R Flights in and out of town through the Fleet Reserve Building. That was a circus at the building and the surrounding streets everyday during Vietnam. Hundreds of folks lined up trying to grab a GI and get into his R&R cash....

Don said...

Bill, I'd forgotten all about the hot dog guy outside the Exchange. I still can't visualize the snack bars but at least I remember that.

Hmmm...maybe that's where I ate all my meals!

Theo said...

I was at TDC 1968-1969 and had my first meal there. It was the first time I had ever had fried rice and it was delicious. Maybe it was because it was it was late in the evening or I was just hungry, I don't know. I never had much use for rice before Taiwan but learned to like it in many different dishes.
FASD was also my first exposure to Chinese women. The waitress there was absolutely beautiful.
I use to eat there on occasions but ate most meals at Club 63. I had no medical concerns after eating there.
For the first few months in Taipei I stayed in the hostel in the compound near the ball field.

glenn said...

I was just a kid during my stay, 1964-66, but I still recall the best sloppy joe sandwiches at the snack bar!