7025 Franklin Ave. - Hamburgers ***
Address - Tokyo-to, Shinagawa-ku, Higashi Gotanda 3-15-18
Opening hours - Open Mon to Sat from 11:30 am to 9:00 pm, and until 7:30 pm on Sundays
Telephone - 03-3441-5028
Menu - In Japanese and English
Credit Cards - OK
I had heard about this hamburger joint (and heard good things), but I had never gone because it's very far from Ogikubo, where I live. Some time ago I had some things to do in Gotanda, so I took the chance to go there with my only true love and have lunch.
7025 Franklin Ave. isn't easy to find, so I strongly recommend that you use the map and look at it very carefully. The place, small to begin with, that day was mobbed (and usually is, I am told). It does home deliveries too, so getting a seat took a while. Getting a burger even more. I hate waiting, and I always factor it in when I judge a restaurant. Doesn't matter how good the food is, if I have to wait I just won't go. We sat in the garden to enjoy the sun. That's small too, but cozy and definitely quieter than the restaurant itself (don't come here on a date).
Now for the food: the menu is long and contains both hamburgers (plain, teriyaki, cheese, avocado, turkey, fish fillet and more) and sandwiches (pastrami, roast beef, turkey ham, salami, smoked salmon, tuna salad and more) so I was looking forward to my meal. I ordered a turkey burger to keep cholesterol down, my better half a bacon burger (which I took a big bite of).
The hamburger comes with a salad and fries. And here we have the first problems. The fries are very obviously of the frozen kind, the salad looks, feels and tastes as if it had never been touched by human hands before and the onion over the burger is half a cm thick. Food preparation and arrangement isn't their forte. The burger? Meat is undoubtedly of good quality, but it tastes, and probably is, just plain beef: they aren't very good with spices either, and the patty was a little dry. The result was a mediocre meal. Not bad, but it takes more than meat to make a worthwhile burger. We both agreed the place was worth neither the wait nor the money (around 1500 per burger), which is a pity, because I like good burgers. I might have liked better their sandwiches, I don't know, but for the time being I will get my burgers at Kua'aina (which also has a shop in Gotanda). At least the fries there are superb.
Note: They also have a branch in Nishi Azabu:
2-24-9 Nishi Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo.
Tel. 03- 5466-1667
Cacciani - Italian ****
Address Crest - Crest Takanawa 1F, 3-11-3 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours - From 11 am to 10 pm, every day
Telephone - 03-3473-3939
Menu - In Japanese
Credit Cards - Yes
Cacciani is a fairly far away not only from where I live, but from any convenient station. Still, in the dismal Gotanda landscape it's a name that could come in handy.
Elegant enough and good enough, it leaves you however with the impression of having paid a little too much. I thought I was the only one to feel that way, but I found that this is not so. Other friends of mine feel the same way. Maybe it's a side effect of the inconvenience of its location. Pollo alla Diavola, risotto con funghi served from a hole in a Parmesan cheese drum, spaghetti, pizza, smiling Italian waiters, all is good but a little expensive. So you decide, I cannot give to it a bad rating, but it's not a restaurant I would go again either.