Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sasebo Burger 佐世保バーガー 022-721-1575

Website:  The website written on their receipt doesn’t work, so here is another site that has some info on them: 

Address:  仙台市青葉区国分町2-14-25.   Located on Jozenji-dori about a two-minute walk from Kotodai-koen Subway Station.
Map:  Scroll down to the bottom.
Open everyday from 10 am.  Sundays and Holidays open till midnight.  Mondays to Thursdays open till 2 am.  Fridays and Saturdays open till 4 am.  Lunchtime special is from 11 am to 2 pm.
My friend, Ben, and a host of others that swear by these burgers, recommended this joint to me.  My wife had dined here by herself sometime ago but didn't think much of it at the time, so it took a while to convince her to give it another shot.
Last month we visited there for the first time together and tried their lunch set for 880 yen.  It came with a choice of sandwich, fries, salad, soft drink, and dessert.  It’s a very good deal and quite voluminous!

The Lunch Set for 880 円.

Being the picky eater that I am, I don’t like a lot of extra stuff (avocado, bacon, cheese, etc.) contaminating my burgers so I chose the plain hamburger, while my wife ordered the Avocado Burger for her selection.  When the burger arrived I remember thinking “What a thin meat patty.”  The dressing on the burger was really delicious, so delicious in fact that it helped curb my disappointment in the meat patty (due to the beef's thinness and lack of substantial seasoning).  I asked my better half how her Avocado Burger was and she said it was “average.”

Close-up of the Plain Hamburger

Close-up of the Avocado Burger

I wanted to test the waters with the onion rings for an additional 390 yen.  The onion rings looked gorgeous and on the first bite you could tell they were fried to perfection.  Yet despite being very crispy they didn’t have a whole lot of flavor to them, either.  The salad that came with the set also looked quite nice, but as with the meat patty and the onion rings, there was nothing savory about it.  The dessert was cold banana pound cake with Hershey’s chocolate syrup on it.  Again, not bad but nothing special.  The fries were the saving grace as they were very good, crispy and salty.  We walked out of there full, satisfied with the value but not so much so with the taste.  We agreed that maybe since we had the lunch special that we didn’t get the best they had to offer.

Onion Rings

So last week, I decided to give this place another try and ran into my old friend, Iain, and his lovely wife, Kyoko, at Sasebo Burger.  They invited me to sit with them and we discussed our thoughts about the food.  Iain and Kyoko, both normal eaters, gave me some insight to the attractiveness of the burgers.  Iain said it was the dressing that was the distinctive characteristic of this restaurant.  Actually, he said it much more eloquently but I forgot his exact words.  I agreed that the dressing is great, but that I think the patty should be just as good.
I had missed out on the lunch special by five minutes so I went with a double burger in order to be able to really evaluate the flavor of the meat.  The patty was a little thicker than the last time and had a little bit more seasoning, but still not enough.  The onion rings were left in the fryer just a touch too long but they also seemed to have a bit more flavor today.

Double Burger

I can understand why some people love this restaurant as there are many good points about Sasebo Burger:  the sauce, the value, the location, and the fries.  They also have quite the variety of burgers and sandwiches to choose from.  But I’m going to upset those friends, and others, as I’m not putting this in my Recommended list.  I’ll list in the You Should Give This A Try category as you may become one of the many who end up raving about Sasebo Burger.  But I still have to go back to the beef:  the thin, not-so-flavorful beef.

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Anonymous said...

An interesting dining place I visited on my last trip to Sendai with my wife is ‘Oji-no Curry-ya’. A good looking young chef owns this place near Katahira which used to be an ordinary Japanese style house in the Showa era. Really lovely place! We did not have curry, but the "course dinner" - classy modern European cooking.

Picky in Sendai said...

Is this next to a bar called One More Time? It looks very interesting and I'd love to try it. Thanks for the recommendation!