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This weekend, I grabbed my umbrella and walked around town in the rain, which is becoming a weekly tradition for me. I decided to hit MOS Burgers for dinner. Before I went, I did some research and discovered that MOS is an acronym that stands for Mountain Ocean Sun, and this chain, the second largest in Japan, was founded in 1972. They have about 1,300 restaurants in Japan, as well as locations in Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Korea and China.
I wandered down to my neighborhood MOS Burger, despite the downpour. I entered the quiet restaurant and went to the counter and proudly ordered a "MOS Burger," since my wife told me that was the name of their basic burger. The guy at the counter looked at me funny, then handed me the English menu. The first item on the menu was the MOS Burger, so I pointed and again said, "MOS Burger." He said, "Ahhhhh, mossu baga!"
I pad my 320 Yen ($4) and took a seat. The restaurant has a fast-food feel, but isn't cartoonish like American McDonalds used to be (no red plastic chairs, no cardboard cutouts of Grimace). It is more like a modern McDonalds, a bit utilitarian, but some features like brick and stone give it character and perhaps the tiniest touch of class.
They brought my food out to the table in 5 minutes or less. The sandwich consisted of a small piece of ground beef, a tomato, and a toasted bun around a concoction of cheese, onions and a chili-style sauce. I really couldn't taste the burger due to the chili sauce, but the sauce was flavorful enough that I licked the paper after I was done. Maybe that was because the burger was so small... I'm not sure. About the time that I finished eating, the chick behind the counter brought a glass of ice water to my table, bowing profusely as she backed away. Not a regular experience at McDonalds in the US.
I'm sure by now you're...
I'm sure by now you're panicking over the prices of food here in Tokyo huh? Don't worry. There is still SOME hope for lesser mortals like us.
To survive, my buddy and I frequent the MOS Burger joints (it's the Japanese version of good old McDonald's).
But be warned: Japanese food looks good but comes in PETITE portions!
I had to consume TWO burgers in order to satisfy my hunger pangs :-(( i.e. I ordered their Spicy MOS Cheeseburger (350 Yen) AND a hotdog (310 Yen). Throw in a soft drink (200 Yen), a soup (200 Yen) and a packet of french fries (240 Yen) and this meal of mine (for ONE person) came up to US$11! Sigh. I know, I know... It's expensive. Again, look at this on the bright side... At least it's MUCH cheaper than feasting on sashimi. Duh.
They come in cute PETITE portions. Guys, you may need to buy TWO portions in order to be filled!!
Favorite Dish: Spicy Mos Cheeseburger AND their hotdogs. VERY delicious. I personally think it tastes BETTER than Burger King and McDonald's! Don't believe me? Check them out yourself. ;-)
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