T.G.I Friday’s Yokohama

Tuesday, January 24, 2012
T.G.I Friday’s Yokohama – Yokohama Ekimae Bldg. 1F, 1-1-13 Kitasaiwai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan (神奈川県横浜市西区北幸1丁目1−13)
Burger:
Ultimate Jack Daniels Burger
Serviettes:
8
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
30 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
¥2090/$25.80 AUD/$27.04 USD
Summary

Wherever you visit T.G.I’s around the globe, whether its in Melbourne, Mumbai or Moscow, you know you’ll be getting a heluva generous meal. Since first opening in New York City in 1965, they’ve now expanded to over 700 restaurants in 54 countries and are ever growing – much like their regular’s waistlines. Two impressive feats inlcude serving over 19.8 million hamburgers worldwide and inventing the concept of “Happy Hour”. With all that in mind, after spending half the day checking out the city and then joining the Kirin Brewery tour, all that was fueling us for our fateful encounter with T.G.I’s Yokohama was no more than (FREE) beer and peanuts. As we stumbled out onto the street, drunk on hunger and amber liquid, all we knew was that we needed to eat – stat. A quick cab ride and we were staring at the famous red and white stripes of T.G.I’s ready to inhale anything on a plate. Best idea ever – the Ultimate Jack Daniel’s Burger – consisted of a hamburger bun with 2 beef patties glazed in Jack Daniel’s sauce, Monterey Jack cheese, bacon, red onion, lettuce, tomato, stacked onion rings and a side of fries with extra Jack Daniel’s sauce in case you feel like the burger’s million calories just aren’t enough.

Comments
“Wow. There’s nothing to say here but this monstrosity was a mission in itself. Because of the Jack Daniel’s sauce and onion rings it turned out to be a very, very sweet burger. Too sweet in fact for such a big burger. The whole thing became a huge mess really. I’m sure you could use a knife and fork to keep it together, but really… who uses a knife and fork!”
“I have never been so hungry in my life! After a full day of walking around (getting lost), not eating and drinking free beer, we naively thought that we would tackle the largest burger on TGI’s menu. I guess my stomach had shrunk in size as I really struggled to get through half of it! The beef was a little overcooked for my liking but the crunch of the onion rings contrasted well with the rest of the burger. Then the sweetness of what tasted like maple syrup covered bacon and Jack Daniel’s sauce caught up with me, and with a lot of reluctance I couldn’t finish the beast. I’d also like to note that drinking 3 litres of Pepsi (the novelty of free refills never wears off) didn’t benefit my chances of finishing this behemoth…”
“What were we thinking when we were ordering the most ridiculous, unnecessary burger on the menu? What was meant to be a nice dinner time filler, suddenly became an episode of Man V Food. The double pattie was a bit dry, but still tasty. I even added more Jack Daniel’s sauce which, as a consequence made the burger intensely sweet. Then add on top of that all of the maple syrup covered bacon – maybe I did go a bit overboard? The chips were good, but I didn’t get the chance to enjoy them due to the monster burger we ordered. Word of advice if you’re in Yokohama and you order this thing, “Be afraid”. Oh, and unlike B & D, yes I did eat all of the burger.”
“When this thing came out I wasn’t sure whether to laugh, cry or just walk out. This really was the biggest burger I’ve ever attempted to eat. It stood there smugly, all high and mighty and proud of itself, but that’s as far as it went. The beef and bacon were OK, but the overall taste was as if the Lollypop Gang and Oompa Loompa armies joined forces and were invading my tastebuds – diabetes much? I cleverly avoided liquids and picked strategically at the chips because there was no way I was letting this sucker take me down. At one point I lost the top bun somewhere and ended up having to grasp it all in both hands and mould it together as if it were a giant meatball. Did I succeed? You bet you’re ass I did, and I’ve never felt more ashamed.”


Pop Burger

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pop Burger – 14 E 58th St, Midtown East, New York, NY, USA
Burger:
Pop Burgers
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12 USD
Summary

Located in one of the most iconic locations in New York City, opposite the Apple flagship store, FAO Shwartz toy store and adjacent the Plaza hotel and Central Park, Pop Burger offers up 6,000 square feet of designer eating and drinking space split over 3 levels. On the ground level you’ll find the takeout counter and casual seating. Go one level up and there’s the lounge with table service. Then on the 3rd floor is another bar with a pool table. So all-in-all they are catering to practically everyone from holidaying families to the hungry/thirsty after work crowd. They’ve even got the capability to throw up-market large scale events with their very own full-time Event Director. Owner and famed New York restauranteur Roy Liebenthal talks about where the POP burger concept came from saying, “Warhol is my favorite artist. What I liked about him was, he was all about commercial consumption and the ordinary object. It wasn’t only for the intellectual financial elites. That’s what I find exciting about Pop Burger, is creating a product that everybody across cultures—depending on where their finances are – everybody likes Pop Burger.” So I ventured upstairs to the Lounge to see if I would love it as much as he does. I ordered the Pop Burgers that came with lettuce, tomato and American cheese, all on mini brioche buns with a side of onion rings.

Comments
“On a very rainy, wet and miserable day, Pop Burger came to the rescue. To escape the rain and to chill out for a while we decided to head past the Andy Warhol lined downstairs restaurant and venture upstairs to lounge about on one of their large couches. The only thing better than one burger is three burgers. Even though they were mini, they still packed a huge amount of flavour. The beef, being so small, was cooked a little more than I like and was a little charred, but the brioche style bun held it all together perfectly. I’d love to see these guys add a regular sized burger to their menu, as I think, with a bit of tender love throughout the cooking process, it could be simply amazing. The wait staff were also extremely friendly, constantly refilling my coke. And as many of you know, I’m a simple man and free refills are one of my favourite things in the world.”
Pop Burger on Urbanspoon


NSHRY

Monday, August 22, 2011

NSHRY – 129A Beaconsfield Pde, Albert Park, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Umami Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
16 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$22
Summary

Pronounced “Noshery”, this funky little beachside cafe/restaurant produces some enticing breakfast and lunch dishes, not to mention coffee that will convert even the most dedicated de-cafe drinkers. With exceptional service and an in depth knowledge about all of their selections, the staff are hard to fault. Inside the décor is comfortable and warm, perfect for a winters breakfast/lunch with a great big window view of the beach. However, when the sun is shining you’ll be fighting for a place outside. We grabbed our first ever Umami Burger – 200g Wagyu and Angus beef, Umami rub, brown mushroom sauce, gruyere, caramelised onions, oven roasted tomato and a parmesan crisp between a sweet brioche bun with a side of onion rings, slaw, cornichons, spicy chip dip and wasabi kewpie. And a heads up if you’re planning on a late night burger fix… its currently only available on the lunchtime menu – unless bribery is your thing of course.

Comments
“One of the thickest and juiciest patties I’ve had the pleasure of wrapping my hands around. It was so awesomely juicy that I was actually able to literally suck the salty, flavour packed juice from the pattie. Everything else about this burger was well planned and thought out. The crispy parmesan was something I haven’t seen before and worked perfectly. The individual ingredients in this burger may seem overwhelming, but together make it something special. You also can’t go past the selection of 3 amazing side sauces to add a unique taste. Some really great touches here that make this burger stand out from most others. This is one you really have to try!”
“I was instantly impressed when I walked in and noticed the portions and presentation of the fellow diners meals. The room was full, but being such a tough brave man I was happy to venture outside and face the elements of a Melbourne winter – the view is pretty spectacular aswell. As I was still drunk after only getting home a few hours earlier I eagerly awaited the burger… and once it arrived, I thought had a real challenge on my hands. The crispy cheese and grilled tomatoes all looked a bit complicated for me to navigate. However, much to my surprise when I squished everything together it created an awesome “mush” of gooey goodness that blended perfectly. The beef was a great size and the other ingredients didn’t take away from the main flavours. The service was very friendly and cute, and little extras like 3 sauces to choose from gave it that edge that turned a good experience great.”
“All I can remember is the juice of the pattie going down my hands and dripping onto the plate. This burger is so juicy! The pattie’s flavour was well-balanced (no dominating flavours, besides meat) and cooked evenly on both sides, with the perfect shade of pink in the middle. Be warned this pattie is not only juicy, but thick too. The bun was the second standout – sweet and soft. The caramelised onion jam was really nicely prepared and the double cheese of parmesan and gruyere was perfection. The 3 dips that came with the burger gave me a great choice of what flavour combos to add to each bite – loved it. No chips on this one, but the onion rings were great. I would recommend ending this meal with a Cold Drip Coffee, you’ll need it after this meal.”
“A burger with a concept… finally! Inspired by Umami (The”5th Taste”), this burger is quite unique to Melbourne. The gents have raved on enough about it all but I must emphasise how juicy and tasty this is. It only makes me regret not visiting Umami Burger whilst on my travels around the USA. What really made this for me though was the three dipping sauces: a kind of wasabi mayo, then a paprika-style mayo and a spicy tomato sauce. Each one worked deliciously with the burger (and onion rings), meaning they’ll have you coming back over and over again just try all of the possible combinations. Some serious awesomeness right here. Get on it. ”
Nshry on Urbanspoon


The Counter

Thursday, December 16, 2010
The Counter – 7919 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
Burger:
Counter Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
27 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$10.15 USD
Summary

1) Grab a clipboard. 2) Pick up a pencil. 3) Try and keep from drooling. This is the process you go through when you first sit down at The Counter. This “build your own burger” franchise prides itself on providing its guests with over 312, 120 possible burger combinations, using only the freshest and finest quality ingredients for you to personalise your own gourmet burger. With this kind of formula, friendly staff and ice cold beers, they’ll have you coming back week after week day after day.
If the idea of creating you’re own burger just seems like too much pressure and avoids you asking, “I wonder what pineapple, hardboiled egg and mustard taste like..?” then look a little further down the menu and grab yourself one of their tried and tested Signature Burgers. I decided to go for the Counter Burger that included a Hamburger bun, 1/3 pound beef pattie, Provolone cheese, crispy onion rings, lettuce blend, sautéed mushrooms and tomato, all finished with a side of sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. These guys also have a wicked fries menu including a “Fifty-Fifty” where you can get a mix of both regular fries and sweet potato fries! (Breaking News: Aussie Burger Fans! Don’t have time to get to the States? Check out their closer to home, Sydney location).

Comments
“In true LA style, I parked my electric scooter on the curb, removed my helmet and gave my hair an awesome Fabio flick. After almost knocking into an interracial gay couple walking a lactose intolerant Labradoodle, I made my way inside, then immediately asked to sit outside – God bless LA weather. There wasn’t much point building and reviewing my own burger (although I would’ve made a cracker) as everyone has their own taste and style. So I tackled their Signature Counter Burger; excited at the thought of my first experience of Porvolone and Vinaigrette together. After ordering from my cute, waitress/actress/dancer I only had to wait for about 3 minutes before my order of “Fifty-Fifty” fries came out. Just when I began to think “Wow that was quick!”, my burger was being presented before me. When things seem to be too good to be true, they usually are. You want to feel like they’re taking some time in the kitchen, singing as they cook and talking about how much they love their job. In contrast, it was a bit like, “Hey you wana burger? Here’s one. Let us know when you want to pay.” But maybe I’m just old fashioned? Even though it came our super-quick, it also came out looking super-awesome. I couldn’t wait to get the photoshoot over and done with and sink my teeth into those crunchy looking onion rings. I took a few bites and nothing really jumped out at me. The Italian cheese had a bit of a bite to it, but you only really tasted it if you ate it without any meat. The beef was ok: lightly seasoned, a little bit pink, but too perfectly shaped and not juicy enough for my liking. It wasn’t until after I poured on the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette that the burger took a turn for the positive. The mix of heavy flavours from the Provolone, mushrooms and beef were now getting a contrasting and delicious tang that you rarely taste in a burger. For some reason I ate rather quickly, but still managed to feel pretty good afterwards. Then the sleepiness from the Provolone crept up on me forcing me to stay put, and to order another beer. A fun place to take your friends and try all of your different creations, but as for the Signature Counter Burger, its only real highlight was the sweet sun-dried tomato vinaigrette.”


The Local Taphouse

Friday, October 15, 2010
The Local Taphouse – 184 Carlisle Street, St Kilda East,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
3 Beer Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$18
Summary

For years some of us at The Burger Adventure have enjoyed the relaxed, friendly and unpretentious environment that The Local has to offer. Since it first opened in 2001 it has undergone some really big changes (for the best) and is now offering some really good food choices (Bar and Restaurant Menus), comfy restaurant seating, more couches for the bar and a great rooftop area to sit and enjoy the balmy nights to come this summer. We went for the 3 Beer Beef Burger (Bar Menu) it had Shlenkerla Rauchbier (smoke beer) marinated beef, cheese with beer battered onion rings, Trumer Pils Aioli and beer battered fries. A good feed and a good time to share with some close friends..

Comments
“The idea to put these onion rings in the burger was genius. I just wish there was more of them on the plate aswell. Everything squished down into a juicy mess of aweseomenes. The only thing I would change is the bun; I just hate flour all over it.”
“Loved every bite of it. What I still remember was that char-grilled flavour the pattie had. In addition to a good, thick, well-seasoned pattie all the ingredients held their own. There was a ample amount of cheese, rocket and tomato. The onion rings were great and not too oily, and the chips, well…. they are beer battered and are awesome. To enjoy this burger even more try it with the Budvar Pilsener to wash down all that beefy goodness.”
“This was honestly pretty special. All of the ingredients were of the finest quality. In fact, looking at the photo again is making my mouth water. I can only describe it as elegantly creamy, like the flavours were all whispering secrets to my taste-buds. Don’t forget to grab a beer either mate!”


Squires Loft Steakhouse

Thursday, September 30, 2010
Squires Loft Steakhouse – 1 Queens Rd, Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$25.50
Summary

Formerly known as The Grill Room, the Squires Loft Steakhouses are synonmyous with excellent quality produce and mouth watering meats. Looking around the place it seemed like a bit of boys club; not too many women around apart from the service. However, the diners ranged from mates sharing some steaks over a pint, businessmen relaxing after a busy day and there was even a long table filled with jockeys talking track. We ordered the chargrilled Wagyu Burger, served on a toasted bun with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and honey mayo. You also get to choose from a range of complimentary side sauces which normally cost you $4.50. Along with the burger there were onion-rings and chips. Those looking for a light meal, beware, the portions are large and quite hefty, even for the hungriest of carnivores.

Comments
“Such a clash of big flavours made me feel sick by the end of it. Individually the ingredients were great: the beef, gooey cheese, 2 pieces of thick bacon and Honey Mayo, but combined they were overpowering. Chips were slightly overcooked and they didn’t have enough salt. The onion-rings were great.”
“A burger that was ok but nothing too special. What made it better for me was the side of mustard that was really the hero throughout. With a drink you end up paying a lot.. but you do get a lot, including ok chips, average onion-rings and a complimentary side sauce (stay away from the blue cheese sauce! way too strong.) Would I go again? Probably not for a burger.”
“I was expecting a more refined product from these guys. Most of the elements on their own were tasty, but together, they started a flavour riot that was out of control. Props on the Honey Mayo and beef.. but a big thumbs down on the lettuce (way too basic, the kind you’d find in a 7-11 sandwich).”


Manhattan’s

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Manhattan’s – Plaza Alta Vista, Junco de la Vega #411, Monterrey,
Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Burger:
Rockefeller BBQ Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$109 MXP
Summary

Some years ago whilst studying in Mexico, this was where I would order some quesedillas and ice tea, defeated after a long night/day out. Frequented mainly by University students from the UDEM, Manhattan’s is like TGI’s with a neon twist. I tackled the Rockefeller BBQ Burger, which came with a Subway-like “parmesan on top” bun, onion rings, bacon, BBQ sauce, Cheddar and Monterey Jack, and a side of jalapenos, all accompanied by thick-cut steak fries.

Comments
“My first thought was, “What is this on top of the bun!” Supposedly it was cheese. The first few bites were average and the beef wasn’t standing out from the ingredients the way I was hoping it would. All I could really taste was just BBQ sauce and a bit of crunch. The bacon and onion rings added a subtle saltiness, and as for the chips, I would have preferred shoestring fries. Then I decided to add the jalapenos! It was incredible. These spicy little bastards ran riot, and took what at first seemed an average burger, and turned it into something special.
I don’t know how, but they ended up cutting all of the flavours apart. I could finally taste the beef, (which wasn’t profoundly excellent), but it still somehow took a step up! My first “a la Mexico” burger, and it was pretty damn good.”