Location107-0061 Tokyo, Minato-ku, Kita-aoyama 3-8-11
Fellows could be anywhere in America. They play the blues on the stereo. There is a Barq’s Root Beer bottle opener, though there is no Barq’s. It is a burger joint dreaming that it is a museum or maybe a museum dreaming that it’s a burger joint, a simulacrum of itself that feels more American than America even, against the backdrop of one of Tokyo’s fanciest neighborhoods. It feels immediately familiar to the American abroad, like you’ve been going there your entire life, even though you most certainly haven’t.
But amid all this nostalgic ephemera are the burgers, a solid menu that would be right at home in the fertile landscape of upmarket burgers that has spread all across the States. The patties are thick. The buns exceptional. Even the bacon is acceptable, which is a bit of a shock in country that can cure a fish to aesthetic perfection but cannot smoke a hog right to save its life. You can have a cheeseburger or an avocado burger. There are BBQ burgers covered in sauce and fried eggs to top any one you want. The classic Japanese teriyaki burger is well represented, and there’s a peculiar Mexican burger involving salsa, cheese, and avocados.
My preference, because I am a discerning masochist, is or was the triple patty burger topped with BBQ sauce and an egg. But sometime in the past year, the triple disappeared from the menu. But an option for extra patties has appeared in its stead, so now even bigger burgers are possible. Three patties were already a lot to get your mouth around, even with the help of the ubiquitous Japanese burger condom (a paper sleeve that is de rigueur when eating a burger in Japan), but as long as the question begins with “How… ” instead of “Can… ,” you can eat anything. Even if you don’t need to.