Article By Francis and Jin
2F, No,11, Zhong Liu Xiang.
Average Price per Person /人均消费:40RMB
F inally, at long last, a dedicated hamburger joint.
In the past, if you wanted a hamburger in Xi’an, you really only ever had a few choices: 1) a mall fast food chain, 2) a “western-style” restaurant that studied hamburger recipes from a Chinese primary school English textbook, or 3) just give up and get a roujiamo. Basically, no good options. But no more!
In May of last year, the Dick’s Bro restaurant entered the scene, dedicated to the craft of smashed burgers (a hand-shaped ball of ground beef dumped on the grill that is smashed flat into a flat patty). Their menu features hamburgers with fries/pickle spear, and that’s it. There are some sides, like meat-sauce covered fries and fried balls of chicken with some creamy sauce on top (from a castrated colonel no doubt), but hamburgers are the only entrée. Their newest location, just a little jaunt from the Bell Tower, has been serving up American-style goodness since August. The story behind it? The boss is in a band with some people who don’t want day jobs. He and some of his homies wanted a place to hang out and eat burgers. What more do you want?
And as with any traditional American-style burger joint, you get an affordable burger with a hearty side of attitude:
- To get there, you need to go into a small, dark, covered allyway, turn left and walk up a narrow, grimy staircase
- Both sides of the staircase are lined with layers of graffiti
- You may need to push/claw/fight your way through tourists taking “the perfect selfie”
- Prepare to jostle for a chair, since there isn’t much seating
- You may need to rearrange some clutter on your table to another table or to the windowsill
- There is a pet snake
- The hamburgers and fries are light on added salt “for your own good”
- There is hand sanitizer, but it doesn’t look like anyone uses it
- Choose a free-flow soft drink with lots of ice, self-serve, so go get it yourself
- If you want alcohol, there might be some off-menu, but it belongs to the bossman, who may have finished it earlier that day (negotiate at your own risk)
- You are guaranteed to smell like hamburgers for the rest of the day
- Above the graffiti, there is a scrawled message that roughly translates to: “Eat first, take photos later. If you only take photos, just be a dick then.”
Naturally, some snowflake customers take to Dianping to complain. For example, one review said, “The bossman’s apron looked rather unclean.” The response from the restaurant was “He’s a dirty little b**ch. Nothing we can do about it.” Another review wondered “Does the owner know what ‘dick’ means in English?” The reply was “Your way of thinking is too small.”
Overall, this was one of the most fun and tasty restaurants we have so far reviewed in Xi’an. We tried the double smash beef burgers, fried eggs, and fries, each of which we devoured completely. We enthusiastically recommend all of them. The restaurant gets a big thumbs up in every category except for service, which depends largely on whether or not the staff are actually at the restaurant during business hours. We recommend calling before lunch to make sure the boss is awake (or just to wake him up), and before dinner to make sure that their popular menu items are not sold out yet. If you have any dietary requirements, their boss and staff are happy to chat and answer your questions.
A final warning: this restaurant is not for those with delicate sensibilities. Enjoy an outstanding hamburger, with attitude. When you check it out, let us know what you think! Or don’t and go F$^& yourself.
Jin and Francis are both teachers in Xi’an and love exploring food. A special shoutout to Mark Karge for his contributions to this article. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com