When I travel to a foreign country, I have a slightly perverse love of searching out “American” things. I enjoy seeing my home country through foreign eyes, seeing what stands out and what gets left behind.
Tokyo Disney Land is one of my favorite places on earth, and though I avoid it like the plague in the states, I’ll admit to loving the odd dinner at McDonald’s too. I’ve known people who have come to Japan and eaten nothing but Mac for weeks on end, which is a truly depressing thought, as this country has some of the most incredible cuisine in the world.
But every once in a while, it can be a fun treat, especially considering some of the insane things they come up with here! The regular menu is fairly small, but they are constantly rotating an ever-changing line up of creative and surprising new tastes and flavors.
Last year, we were here during the first run of the Big America series. We didn’t get a chance to try anything except the Texas burger, but it was quite tasty. A cheeseburger with fried onion pieces and the closest thing to Barbeque sauce you’ll find in this country, it did not disappoint.
Well, now, the Big America series is back, but it’s time for round two! And to start things off they have a re-invisioning of the extremely popular Texas burger, now the Texas2. But how does it stack up?
The bun is quite nice, with a sprinkling of cheese on top, though they insist on putting an extra piece of bun in the middle of the burger. Perhaps it’s supposed to emulate Texas toast, but it’s way too much bread for my tastes. My mouth was like, “Excuse me, are you lost? Did you wander over from another sandwich that is now running around without it’s bottoms?”
At the very bottom is a mustard relish sauce, which is nice enough, followed by the cheese, then the burger itself. Then there’s that weird third piece of bun, which Sean tells me is a staple of the Big Mac, then more toppings.
There’s bacon, always a joy, and not terribly common in this country. Bacon is fairly rare here, especially properly smoked & crispy bacon. Completely different from the recent American trend of cramming as much bacon as possible into every possible food source. (One of my friends makes amaaaazing bacon chocolate chip cookies, which I am seriously craving as I write this!)
The onions are fresh, not fried this time, which is a disappointment. The fried onions were a shining star of the original Texas burger, and are sorely missed in this incarnation. The lack of Barbeque sauce is also disappointing, but it has been replaced with…
American-style, meaty, beany, chili. With whole kidney beans and a thick sauce, it really feels just like a proper American chili.
Too bad the taste is completely and totally wrong.
Oh, it looks like chili. It feels like chili in your mouth. But as we were happily munching away, I couldn’t help but think it tasted familiar in a strange, inappropriate sort of way. And why is that?
There is a distinct hint of curry. And not Indian curry, which I love, but Japanese curry, which I detest. I’m rarely a picky eater, but it’s one of the few foods on this planet that I can’t stand.
Maybe they thought the familiar taste of Japanese curry would make it more appealing to the Japanese audience? Maybe they confused “chili” with “curry”? They’re both little c-words, right?
Apparently the Texas2 hasn’t been as big a hit as it’s predecessor, the original Texas burger, and I can certainly understand why. This burger is definitely not on my list to eat again!
Next up on the roster for the Big America 2 series is the Idaho, which I’m pretty excited about. Guys, they put hashbrowns on a burger. Brilliant! See what I mean about seeing America through foreign eyes? Endlessly amusing.