date night: Rick's Classic American Burgers

for our anniversary last week, Husband told me we could go to eat wherever I wanted. burgers may seem like a strange choice... but when you are an American expat who hasn't had a burger in almost two months, you want a burger. and when we want burgers done right in Hsinchu, we go to Rick's.

Rick's is run by - surprisingly enough - a guy named Rick. He's from Portland, but married a Taiwanese woman, and eventually they moved from the states to Taiwan. he's spent time as a teacher here before opening the restaurant, so he has an instant bond with any of the expat teachers who come in. he's also just a really great guy.

to understand why we love Rick's so much, you need to know about the typical burger in Taiwan. there's no shortage of "burger and brunch" places abound here. but they are 99% run by locals, not Americans, so they cater to local taste. their burgers seem to be more about: "how thick can I make this patty and how many toppings can I put on it?" sometimes the rolls taste a little off, sometimes the bacon is more chewy than crispy, but that's just life in Asia. they also seem to have a different understanding of rare/medium/well done over here. and as a person who is admittedly a little weird about food sometimes and just can't handle less than medium or medium-well... I can't bring myself to eat more than fries + salad at most burger places.

the menu at Rick's is basic, but everything is made with care: cheeseburger, chili fries, hot dogs, and grilled chicken. Rick grinds his own meat, makes his own sauces, and cooks everything himself. he's been working with a local brewer to develop new beers - the latest is an American blonde ale that has more hops than anything else we've found in Asia. [and they are working to make it hoppier!] it's Husband-approved so you know it's good.

and from all our time spent at Rick's, he's become our friend. he always comes out to chat with us, swap music with Husband, or offer us a taste of something new he's working on. after one simple conversation, Rick understands that I am gluten intolerant and so he serves my burger bunless with all the toppings on the side. he made us veggie burgers one night when we had a vegetarian friend in town, and is always very accommodating to our needs.

but you don't have to take my word for it - check out their facebook page or stop by to visit yourself. [and seriously - try the chili fries.]

Husband came up with the idea of doing a series of posts about our favorite local restaurants and their owners. we have been frequenting Rick's for just about our entire residence in Hsinchu, but I finally remembered to snap some photos with my phone before digging in [that should tell you how good the food is!] I'm hoping to add more posts like this in the future... I think you guys see a lot of our travels but not enough of our life here in Taiwan and I'd like to fix that!

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