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Saturday, September 03, 2016

Freshness Burger Asakusabashi - Make Yourself at Home


 Avocado Burger at Freshness Burger, Asakusabashi Branch, Taito ward, Tokyo.
The food at Freshness Burger,
Freshness Burger is a burger chain in Japan that distinguishes itself not only by being homegrown but by being a bit on the homely side, too - in the best possible way, in the sense of actually feeling something like being home. Freshness Burger stores are not cookie cutter. The details of the decor and the atmosphere seem to depend more on the franchisee than any chain-wide manual.

Freshness Burger Asakusabashi Branch on Edo-dori Avenue.
Freshness Burger Asakusabashi Branch across from JR Asakusabashi Station.

Our local Freshness Burger store is the Asakusabashi branch, on Edo-dori Avenue on the other side of Asakusabashi Station, about a minute's walk away.

Walk into Freshness Burger Asakusabashi and the sliding doors open on something of a lounge scene, with a lantern on the table and a shelf full of magazines. The first section of the restaurant is actually the smoking section which you walk through to get to the counter. I hate smoky environments, but for some reason I've never found it smoky there - maybe just the good luck of being there at the right times, maybe because they have very good ventilation.

The entrance to Freshness Burger Asakusabashi Branch, Taito-ku, Tokyo.
Walking into Freshness Burger Asakusabashi Branch

The next thing you notice as you arrive at the counter and start looking at the menu is the music. It's not loud, but it's there, and at this branch, at least, it's all sort of American garage/proto-punk. I ordered my burger. No sets in the evening, it's all a la carte, but this was just something to keep me going till late dinner, so I skipped the fries and drink.

I take my number (the last two times it's been 25) and wait at my table. Right behind me is a cake mixer on a ledge. There's a big screen showing TV, but with the sound off - just the rock numbers playing on the sound system.

The counter at Freshness Burger Asakusabashi Branch, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
 Freshness Burger Asakusabashi Branch counter

The burger gets delivered to my table after 3 or 4 minutes together with a bottle of ketchup and mustard.

Freshness Burger's boast is its healthy, natural ingredients: buns made of pumpkin flour, the freshest vegetables, with all French fries potatoes grown domestically, too, by contracted growers in Hokkaido, specially ground coffee, and 100% Aussie beef patties cooked on a griddle.

Avocado Burger at Freshness Burger Asakusabashi branch, Taito-ku, Tokyo.
A Freshness Burger Avocado Burger - with actual avocado - in a decent quantity!

I'm sitting at my table eating my burger, and the word "freshness" sums up the experience pretty well. There's nothing stodgy about the buns, the lettuce is crisp, the patty tastes beefy and not offally, and there's a good dollop of avocado in there (unlike Burger King just across the road where the so-called avocado in their burgers is the palest smudge of a ghost of the stuff). The Freshness Burger hamburger that arrives on your table actually looks like the picture of it there above the counter!

Sunbeam cake mixer as a decoration at Freshness Burger, Asakusabashi, Taito, Tokyo.
Sunbeam cake mixer as decor, at the Asakusabashi Branch of Freshness Burger
Behind me there's the old Sunbeam cake mixer. Beside me is a couple of women chatting - it's not a fast food joint, it's a neighborhood burger cafe - just like it says on the sign!

Freshness Burger Asakusabashi Branch is open between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays, and from 8 a.m. on weekend and public holidays, 365 days a year.

"Ecology Pack" cotton towels for sale at Freshness Burger, Asakusabashi Branch, Tokyo.
"Ecology Pack" cotton towels on sale at Freshness Burger Asakusabashi Branch

Freshness Burger Asakusabashi Branch
1F, Vort Asakusabashi Ekimae Building, 1-23-3 Yanagibashi, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0052
Tel. 03 5823 1912

"Domestically produced vegetables, to put your mind at rest": tissues at Freshness Burger Asakusabashi Branch.
"Domestically produced vegetables, to put your mind at rest"

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