Thoughts on life after the PhD
These days I avoid red meat as much as possible–never cook it at home, avoid it when I eat out. But I’ve never managed to cut it out completely, probably because, every now and then, I get a craving for a really good burger.
Tokyo has a few decent burger options, one of the more famous being Homework’s, which serves a solid variety of slightly overpriced burgers (don’t know why their fries are so puny, though). They’ve recently introduced a heart attack on a plate known as the Sirloin Burger (a 12 oz. patty slathered in blue cheese for 3300 yen with onion rings, fries, and cole slaw), which proves that the U.S. isn’t alone in having a burger-related death wish.
For mere mortals who want about 10% of this level of decadence, I recommend MOS Burger classic. One of Japan’s largest fast food chains, MOS (which stands for Mountain / Ocean / Sea, who knows) won me over a while ago by offering rice burgers (rice ball patties with grilled vegetable filling). Supersize Me director Morgan Spurlock also rated MOS Burger one of the better fast food options for that reason. Which isn’t to say MOS Burger is health food–it’s junk food, for sure–but MOS Burger Classic at least takes a little more care with preparation and ingredients than your average fast food joint.
There happened to be a MOS Burger Classic branch next door to the Iwato Theater where I was volunteering this week. Thinking I’d just run in and grab a quick sandwich before the show, I was surprised to discover that the place was set up like a 1950s diner, with bar stools and red leather booths (your standard MOS Burger joints resemble McDonald’s, but MOS Burger Classic appears to be going for a slightly more high-end feel). Instead of ordering at the counter, the waiter took my order at the booth. I ordered a “standard” cheeseburger with fries, shying away from the more lethal-looking bacon-and-egg burger and tartar sauce burgers (?!!!).
And…wow, that was a good burger. The patty was full of flavor, grilled to perfection, and the cheese had also been grilled to the point where it was brown and crispy. The veggies were fresh. The fries were large and fluffy. I was thinking that I wouldn’t finish the whole thing, but of course I did.
Perhaps the most amusing part of this experience was the little poster on the wall near my table which contained instructions on how to properly eat a burger. There were the more standard “wrap it in paper and eat it” methods, but my favorite was the “Man Falling in Love” method, which was accompanied by illustrations and went something like this:
“Ladies, if you want to make a man fall in love with you, try this. Cut your burger neatly into bite-size pieces. Eat it delicately with a knife and fork while smiling at the man across from you. He will surely fall in love with you when he sees this cute behavior.”
I did eat my burger with a knife and fork. But the lone male waiter wasn’t seduced.
writing•translation•scholarship on Japan (and a few other things)
tales of travel, research, and life
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