In this great nation of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
Eating at Katsu Burger requires forgetting whatever advice your mother gave you about not eating anything bigger than your head. The size of the Ninja Deluxe, like the other handful of sandwiches on the menu, dwarfs the noggin of almost everyone, while the flavor is busy blowing minds.
Somewhere in the deep recesses of his great culinary brain, Hajime Sato, respected chef of the sustainable sushi restaurant Mashiko, got the idea to open a burger hut serving up deep-fried meats in buns. (Brilliant, right?)
The Ninja Deluxe pairs the Japanese tonkatsu-style pork (brined, panko-coated and of course, deep-fried) with the Western sandwich-enhancing superstars cheddar cheese and bacon. Forget ketchup or mustard; here you're getting Japanese mayonnaise and tonkatsu sauce on your bun.
Surprisingly, the multitude of flavors cradled in the oversized burger bun is not as overwhelming as you might imagine. Somewhere in this mountain of Japanese and American excess, there is balance. And that balance is perhaps what allows nearly all eaters to get over the intimidation of the sheer size of the sandwich and finish their lunch. Or maybe it's because they're all washing it down with the equally mysteriously delicious kinako shake, an incredible milkshake made with toasted soy flour that tastes like ground up Reese's peanut butter cups.
About the author: Naomi Bishop is a Seattle based food writer and marketer. Find more of her musings on her food blog, TheGastroGnome, where she claims that being a GastroGnome is not about sitting idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages. You can also follow her explorations of cooking and culture around the world at @GastroGnome.