Burgers at Bongos (Taipei)
We went to Bongos after getting several recommendations about its awesome burgers, which are said to be quite a hit with Gongguan locals and students from the nearby National Taiwan University. Tucked away in one of the side alleys off Roosevelt Road, Bongos wasn’t as easy to find as expected, and it also as a somewhat inconspicuous exterior that could be missed if you’re not on the lookout.
Strictly speaking, Bongos is a burgers and tacos joint, but they also serve salads, soups, sandwiches and other appetizers. One thing you should know about the place is that they have cats there (they tend to roam around inside and out), so if you’re not a cat person or if you don’t think it’s necessarily hygienic then this might not be the place for you. On the plus side, they have a massive wall of used books, which you can read at your leisure, buy or trade with books of your own. It’s a great idea.
But of course, we were there for the food. The great thing for vegetarians is that for each burger you can choose either a beef or veggie patty, and each burger comes with two sides — garden salad, potato salad or fries, which you can poutinize for an extra NT$30 or add chili to for NT$50.
We ended up ordering a fish tacos (NT$190, recommended by the waitress) as an appetizer and the Deluxe Bongo Burger with poutinized fries (NT$270) plus the chicken quesadilla with normal fries. We also got a garden salad and potato salad with the sets. And here they are!
We were looking forward to the burgers the most, but as it turned out the fish tacos was the best thing we ordered that day. Crispy tacos, beautifully fried fish with the spicy peppers and tangy mayo. Just sensational.
As for the rest, it was a bit of the mixed bag. The salad had a nice honey mustard dressing but the leaves did not feel very fresh and were a little moist from the refrigeration. The potato salad was excellent, as was the burger, which had nicely toasted bread, a very solid beef patty and melted cheese along with a solid serving of bacon, but the fries were not good. The poutine, in particular, was just too soggy and not hot enough, and even the regular fries were not crispy enough. The chicken quesadilla was not bad, a little on the dry side, but went well with the tomato salsa and sour cream.
On the whole, it was fairly satisfying and good enough to go back just for the fish tacos! I’d like to find an opportunity to head back.
Address: No. 23, Lane 283, Roosevelt Road Section 3, Daan District, Taipei (nearest MRT Taipower Building or Gongguan)
Phone: (02) 2365 2769