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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day 父の日

In celebration of Father's Day tomorrow (at least in the United States, Japan and 53 other countries around the world - more on that later), this status-symbol seeking elitist snob was treated by his wife and daughter to a veritable craft beer fest at the Gordon Biersch restaurant in T'aichung 台中. For those of you who don't know, the Gordon Biersch Brewing Company is an American brewery that started out in Palo Alto, CA and is now based in Chattanooga, TN (I didn't know any of that either, and looked this all up on Wikipedia). The restaurant is a welcoming piece of Americana in central Taiwan, with familiar foods on the menu (I had a BBQ cheeseburger) and a coloring set for Amber that kept her busy until the food arrived (just like back home). But of course the main attraction is beer, and I went for the sampler, pictured below. The six brews were (from left to right) a Golden Export; a Hefeweizen; a Czech Lager; a Marzen (which Pamela ordered for herself); a Schwarzbier; and a seasonal beer, the name of which I didn't quite catch. All were quite good, but my favorite was the pilsner (Czech Lager).

All in all, I'd rate Gordon Biersch much more highly than Taichung's other brewery restaurant, Le blé d'or. The beer tastes better, and the while the food isn't cheap, they have actual meals, as opposed to the overpriced snacks at Le blé d'or. The environment is also more family-friendly.

As for Taiwan, Father's Day falls on August 8. Why? According to Wikipedia:

"In Mandarin Chinese, the pronunciation of the number 8 is bā. This pronunciation is very similar to the character "爸" "bà", which means "Papa" or "father". The Taiwanese, therefore, usually call August 8 by its nickname, "Bābā Day" (爸爸節)."

What this means in reality is that in roughly 5½ out of every 7 years, Father's Day falls on a weekday, meaning Dad has to work on the day that is supposed to honor him. Which isn't very "auspicious", if you ask me :)

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