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Taiwanese Bian-dang in Manhattan, New York City

5/30/2014 by Eva Schmidt

During lunch time, on 53rd Street, you’ll see a long line of people in front of a Taiwanese food truck for their “bian-dang,” a Taiwanese word forlunch box.On the menu you can find fried chicken with rice, pork dumplings, tea eggs, and other popular Taiwanese dishes.

The owners of the food truck are Thomas and Diana Yang, two Taiwanese-Americans. This brother-sister team started their business in 2009. Back then, there were a few Taiwanese restaurants in the city and several thousand food trucks, but the Yangs were the first to sell Taiwanese food on a food truck.

At first, business was slack. People thought they were just another Chinese food truck, and the food truck’s name, “Cravings,” often made people think of desserts, not lunch. Few people would stop by and try their food.I couldn’t even give away free food,” said Thomas. To catch people’s eye, they painted their truck blue, and drew Taiwan’s national flower, the plum blossom, on it. They also changed the food truck’s name to “bian-dang.” Soon people started to notice them, and business finally got better. Now on a good day, they can sell about 150 bian-dangs in about two hours.

So what’s next for Thomas and Diana? Well, they hope one day there will be a block with Taiwanese food in the city, just like there is a Chinatown, a Korea Town, and a Little Italy. And their bian-dang food truck might just help to make that happen.

national 國家的
1.
What does the news story say about the Yangs' food truck?
How they fixed their business problems.
What made them start their business.
How they made delicious fried chicken.
What people love about their food.
2.
What does it mean when business is slack?
It is open every day.
It is growing.
It is for sale.
It is bad.
3.
What does that mean in the news story?
A Taiwanese restaurant.
A second Taiwanese food truck.
A business that is popular across the country
A city block that sells Taiwanese food.