Something I should really have done a long time ago is start talking about places to see and eat in Sapporo. That would after all blend “blog”, “utility” and “benefit to humankind” on a scale heretofore unexplored by mortal man.
So I’m going to start now!
There’s a pretty solid argument that the Japanese do American-style burgers and fries really well, possibly second only to the Americans themselves. That’s what you get from a short period as an occupied country, and a continuing military presence on your soil I guess. There are some areas around American bases where some pretty well known burger chains have sprung up. Add to this the fact that I recently threw away my reservations and decided that the American Hamburger is my favourite food in the world, and I’m pretty happy to be here.
Demode Queen is an American style diner in the Sapporo suburbs, kind of in the shadow of the highway. Despite the anonymous, airless neighbourhood it occupies, the building is actually quite fun to look at, and the décor inside is a great example of vintage and retro guff put together to make the big interior pretty welcoming. I’m a big fan of their weird cosmic wall art, their deeply impractical light fittings, and their cool-as-fuck-and-not-as-uncomfortable-as-you-would-think fibreglass booth seats.
And the burgers are good! The avocado and egg burger… oh man, did that hit the spot. Nothing in there is too distracting, it’s a well balanced burger and satisfyingly messy. In this case, perhaps a picture is worth a thousand words…
And one for your "private time" later on...
Oh baby, yeah... with the avocado peekin' out like that... Oh you know how I like...
As for the rest of their menu, I’m not sure I’ve ever ordered anything other than burgers. I’ve been there with a lot of people though, and no-one’s ever seemed unsatisfied with anything. Their shakes kick some ass too.
And they played the Trashmen’s Surfin’ Bird, and that’s a great song.
So to get there by car is pretty easy, but by train you have to walk for about 10 minutes or so. Take the blue Toho line out from Sapporo to Shindo-Higashi station and when you get above ground head east following the towering highway, and keeping it on your left. Demode Queen is about 10 minutes walk away on your right. And their whole menu is in Japanese and English, which is always nice.
Edit! I was talking to several Americans tonight who were less than impressed by the burgers at this eatery! So it's possible that people's mileage does vary, but I'll stand by it as a pretty fucking great burger. Although not the very best in Sapporo, I'll get to those another time.