While I often write about rather chi-chi dining establishments, long-time readers will also know that I’m a huge fan of some pretty low-brow foods. Especially burgers. While in Japan this trip (I am writing this from Tokyo), one of the many things on my must-do list was visit a Freshness Burger.
Freshness Burger is a nation-wide chain. One friend once described it to me as the closest he had ever found to In-N-Out Burger outside of California. Other friends had similarly raved about Freshness Burger’s small but amazingly well-prepared burgers. During my last trip to Japan, my darling wife S had pretty much hijacked our itinerary. That meant that Freshness Burger was not on the menu — instead we ran back and forth across Tokyo trying as many high-end pastry shops as possible.
Well, this time, I finally made my way to a Freshness Burger. The branch I visited was in Fukuoka, but I’m pretty sure that the quality is standard across all of the company’s many outlets. Not wanting to get too creative, I had the Classic Cheese Burger. All I can say is, “YUM!” It was, hands-down, one of the best burgers I have ever had, in either a gourmet restaurant or a fast food outlet.
The staff, pictured here, were also really cool. The guy in the cap made my burger while the dude with the glasses took my order. The girl in black seemed to be in charge and the gal in the cap was, well, I don’t know what she does there, but I enjoyed watching her do it (yah, I know, I’m a dog).
I can’t wait for my next visit to Freshness Burger. I’d love to slowly work my way through their pretty extensive menu. Sadly, when I went to this branch in Fukuoka, I wasn’t too hungry — I had just filled up on the best tonkotsu ramen I had ever eaten (but that my friends is another post).
On a totally unrelated note, I just want to say that I LOVE Hokkaido. Even through I was there for just 2 days and really didn’t see that much, I am already a fan. I’m posting 3 pictures from my quick visit. The grilled scallop, topped with Hokkaido butter, was part of the breakfast set I was served at the gorgeous ryokan I stayed in.
This miso cod, plated with daikon and tamago, was also part of the same really huge breakfast. I can’t even begin to describe the Kaiseki dinner I had the night before. It was ridiculously good, but moron that I am, I didn’t take a single picture.
I did take this shot though, which is the private, outdoor hot spring tub attached to my room. I have to admit that visiting some of the country’s best ryokans these past 2 weeks in Japan has given me a new appreciation for the art of bathing. While I was really a shower-only person, I’m now sold on a good hot soak.