Gordon Biersch keeps Taichung dining interesting and international
By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Naomi Lai
533, Dadun Rd, 1F (Carrefour Dadun Branch); (04) 2310-7678
Just over a year since arriving in Taichung, Gordon Biersch has become a high-profile fixture in the local dining and drinking scene, helped along by an abundance of special events and promotions, a big menu, excellent craft-brewed beer and lively American-style atmosphere. Although many folks already take it for granted, it wasn't that long ago that the idea of having a top American microbrewery restaurant in this city would have seemed unattainable.
Thankfully, it is a reality, as Gordon Biersh has continued to expand the horizons of local customers, much like other predecessors have done over the years. A good example of that is its current SommerBrau "Passport to the Caribbean" promotion, continuing to Aug. 8. Drawing on its large American chain network, GB is able to introduce a variety of summery dishes that evoke places like Jamaica and Cuba and, according to the restaurant's custom, are freshly made from scratch with ingredients like mangos, coconuts and key limes.
Main entrees being offered include Mango Seafood Salad (NT$460), Scallop & Shrimp Key Lime Linguini, Jamaican Steak & Shrimp Combo (NT$880), and the spicy-sweet Caribbean Burger (NT$440), featuring Caribbean jerk spices, pineapple salsa and lemon aioli. Sweet-toothed diners can finish up with the Montego Bay Banana Split which, as GB desserts tend to go, is huge and amazing, including a grilled banana, moist pound cake and truckload of rich toppings.
Of course, there's the promotion namesake SommerBrau German Kolsch-style pale ale with a lighter, drier flavor that goes great with the food. One can also opt for GB's other five excellent regular beers, from the Marzen to Czech Lager. Many patrons enjoy more than one of these, thanks to a nightly buy-one-get-one-free 9 p.m.-midnight deal (with any NT$250+ food purchase).
Outside of promotions, the restaurant offers an already-outstanding menu. According to GB Taiwan president Jeff Lee, Taichung diners favor Starters (appetizers) like Southwest Egg Rolls, but particularly gravitate towards the steak section. Perhaps, as he notes, this is because GB only uses USDA Choice beef that is chilled, not frozen, to ensure tenderness and flavor. This extends to the burgers, which are made out of American sirloin that GB grinds itself. Burger and pizza orders have started picking up during GB's on-going World Cup game events (see Nightlife "What's On").
Yet one other facet to GB is its popular 10 a.m.-2 pm.
aturday/Sunday Weekend Brunch specials, which draw on the growing Taiwanese affinity for big Western-style breakfasts. All this is further evidence that Gordon Biersch is a leading player in the internationalization of Taichung dining and diners.