Friday, July 25, 2008

I say hambaaga, you say hambaagu

Recently the beau and I worked up an appetite for some meat and headed down to a burger joint we had just discovered in our neighbourhood. Burgers in Japan fall into either the hambaaga category or the hambaagu category, the latter of which is a Japanese hamburger which is usually a grilled patty with some kind of gravy, ponzu or demiglace sauce served with veggies and rice. Despite never being a fan of rice with my burger instead of fries, I long ago lost the "I say hambaaga, you say hambaagu" battle with the beau. As with most things concerning food and drink, I have to bow to his superior palate. I can now think of nothing better than dipping a bite of hambaagu in some sauce and washing it down with some rice. Heaven I tell you!

But it is also inevitable that I still sometimes crave hambaagas of the bun and fries variety. Burgers are certainly getting gourmet here but first you have to wade through all the teriyaki burgers, katsu burgers and McPorks. I'm sorry but does "McPork" not sound dirty and wrong to everyone else? Anyway we went to Brozers' in Ningyocho and waited outside for half an hour for a table. It has recently been written up in a couple magazines or else all the trendy Japanese scenesters would not be going to Ningyocho to wait in line for burgers. I too, am anti-line, but as I hardly eat red meat outside of restaurants, I wasn't going away without a fix. I went for a standard cheeseburger that came with three onion rings and some fries (1000 yen) and it was quite tasty. The patty seemed a little thin but I was stuffed afterward so I guess it was just right. Tasted like North America. I'd go back.

I have still never been to Freshness Burger because the name puts me off, and although burgers should be fresh, it still strikes me as an oxymoron. Mos Burger, Japan's other burger chain, is great though. They cook to order and a chalkboard in each store lists where the vegetables used that day came from (all farms in Japan). Fresh natural veggies and Aussie beef is what they pride themselves on and their website even lists all the farms around Japan that they buy from. Again, the cheeseburger is good stuff.

The Mos cheeseburger comes with tomatoes, onions, mayo, mustard and this zesty meat salsa sauce stuff. Eating the thing is a whole other game and it's impossible to do it without a mess. But a tasty mess nonetheless. Mos also has rice burgers which I've never seen anyone order because come on, Japanese people don't go to a burger joint looking to eat rice.

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