Back in November last year, Taipei Times reviewed Evans Burger, a burger joint that has joined the fierce competition to provide value-for-money quick eats in the Shida area. We predicted Evans Burger would be here to stay; so
it came as no surprise
when in December, it opened a 90-seater just a few lanes away.
The real surprise is the venue, an old colonial-style bungalow that is ideally suited to the small-town diner vibe that the establishment cultivates. The cozy, well-lit interior overlooking a wooden veranda, and the veranda itself, make the new branch immediately appealing. The decor is similar to its original Pucheng Street branch (27, Ln 13, Pucheng St, Taipei City, 台北市浦城街13巷27號), but the new premises gives Evans space to spread out a little.
The menu has also spread out. In addition to established favorites such as its chili beef burger (墨西哥辣牛肉堡, NT$240), or its utterly over-the-top super jumbo burger (超級總匯漢堡, NT$350), Evans Burger has now released a range of all-day brunch dishes, which are also designed for the hearty eater. Evans made its reputation on its homemade beef patty (you get three of them in the super jumbo), which is wonderfully tasty, though the burgers, in the case of both the chili beef and tornado beef burger (龍捲風牛肉起士堡), were not quite what one would expect in an American diner.
There is also a similar disjunction from the expected in the brunch menu. The chicken steak brunch (NT$230, 烤雞肉蛋沙拉早餐)a platter piled with egg (any style, though the omelet is particularly good), a grilled chicken steak (tasty enough, but a tad too similar to the chicken you might find in a lunch box), pork and beans, romaine salad and some rather disconcerting baked apple, puts a distinctively Taiwanese twist to the idea of the American cooked breakfast. The bottomless cup of perfectly decent coffee makes it especially appealing. In the particularly Evans manner, there is also an up-the-ante option of the king’s breakfast (NT$280, 國王早餐)which adds bacon, sausage, and another egg to an already overflowing plate.
Address: 16, Ln 86, Shida Rd, Taipei City (台北市師大路86巷16號)
Telephone: (02) 2365-5022 Open: Daily from 11am to 11pm
Average meal: NT$300 On the Net: www.evansburger.tw
Details: English and Chinese menu; credit cards not accepted
Evans is American food targeted squarely at a young local clientele, and once you accept that this isn’t a cut-rate Dan Ryan’s but something very much its own show, everything falls into place. Celia Wu (吳怡慧), a manager at Evans, said that the blue cheese sauce used in the blue cheese burger (藍紋起士漢堡) was lighter in flavor than one might get elsewhere, and that the incorporation of traditional entrees such as the rosemary chicken steak (迷迭香雞腿排) and the American pork steak (美式豬排飯) were there largely to cater to more traditional Taiwanese who might not regard a burger — no matter how generously proportioned — as a proper meal. To make the most of the relaxed and comfortable surroundings, Wu said Evans might expand the offerings at the second branch to include a larger cocktail and drinks menu in the near future. The fact that Grolsch was on offer for NT$130 was already a big plus. A&W Root Beer (NT$50) was a touch of nostalgia that endeared me to the establishment. Service is super friendly, and there is no 10 percent service charge.