Arlington Heights, IL – Gabutto Burger & Santouka Ramen
Some great friends of mine here in Portland started a Japanese inspired hot dog cart, called Domo Dogs. It was great. But I had never heard of a Japanese burger (except in my trips to Japan, of course). I saw this place a couple trips ago in the Chicago area and resolved to try it next time I was through town.
As it happened, my favorite dining companion, BurgerDogDaughter and I happen to traverse the Windy City at the same time and hit up the food court at this massive Japanese grocery, which used to be a favorite haunt of ours when she was coming up.
She went for the fancy pants ramen, with miso and pork, and a side of salmon roe.
I checked out Gabutto Burger. They promise a “delicious experience”, with their special Gabutto patty, part beef, part pork, breaded with their special glaze. It’s not a teriyaki, and it’s not quite a savory. Somewhere in between but more towards the savory. While I generally don’t like sauces of most any ilk (except bernaise and bechamel), this was ok. The bun was ultra bakery soft, but not so much that it would fall apart with the weight of the burger, sauce, and moisture from the vegetables (tomato, lettuce, purple raw onion).
If your measure of perfect fries is McDonald’s, you’ll love these crispy shoestrings. On the counter are 8 shakers of ‘flavoring’, you choose what you like for your fries – garlic/butter, ranch, original spicy, curry, and so on. I went with the garlic butter, and tried some wasabi, too. Both were enjoyable.
The noodles and roe came in at about $14, the burger and fries at $7.
But the company? Priceless.