Cozi Burger opened two months ago behind a handsome stone facade on Jinhua Street (金華街) near Yongkang Street (永康街). The restaurant was founded by Jay Chu (徐定傑), one of the former owners of NY Pizza Kitchen. Chu spent several years living in Queens, New York, and Cozi Burger’s menu takes its cues from New York City’s famed roadside diners. The restaurant’s burgers and all-day breakfasts are made with fresh ingredients and decidedly better than the average greasy spoon fare, but there are still plenty of coronary-inducing creative dishes like the chili fries burger (NT$260).
One of the few vegetarian options on the menu is the spinach eggs Benedict (NT$230). Two perfectly poached organic eggs are perched on a mound of creamed spinach on a lightly toasted English muffin and covered with hollandaise sauce. The dish is served with small sides of fresh fruit and French fries. Cozi Burger’s breakfast portions are somewhat smaller than other American-style diners in Taipei, but I left feeling sated instead of stuffed. Both the sauce and spinach were rich without being too heavy and the English muffin was light and fluffy. The menu features two other eggs Benedict dishes, including one (eggs Benedict Cozi-style, NT$210) topped with ham, sausage or bacon and another made with smoked salmon (NT$250). Belgian waffles and omelets (including bacon and cheese, spinach and Mexican) round out the rest of the breakfast menu. On a recent Sunday lunch visit the restaurant was busy but not crowded, making it a comfortable spot for a relaxing brunch.
The restaurant’s specialties, burgers, are made with a giant white flour bun that is a little too soft and doesn’t taste very substantial, but it also doesn’t distract from the big, juicy beef patties. Cozi Burger’s signature sandwich (NT$220) is topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and spicy or non-spicy house sauce. The spicy version has a tangy, satisfying bite but is not particularly piquant. Specialty beef burgers include the Philly cheese (topped with green pepper, onion, mushroom, melted cheese and house sauce, NT$250), surf and turf (fried shrimp and oysters, NT$270) and the extremely unhealthy but intriguing sounding PBB burger (bacon and banana with peanut butter, NT$245). The one-pound wonder (NT$430) has three patties served with bacon and cheese. Non-beef options include fried cod (NT$250) or fried chicken (NT$195).
Address: 223-2, Jinhua St, Taipei City (台北市金華街223之2號)
Telephone: (02) 2358-1809
Open: Monday to Fridays 11am to 10pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 10pm
Average meal: NT$300
Details: Chinese and English menu, credit cards not accepted
The appetizer menu features finger food like excellent chili cheese fries (NT$150). The tortilla used for the chicken quesadillas (NT$230) was a little too thin for the substantial serving of cheese, meat and grilled vegetables, but otherwise delicious. Cozi Burger’s drink menu includes a small selection of beers, including Heineken and Corona (NT$100 each).