International interpretations of American culture can lead to popular new forms, such as Italy's spaghetti-Western films, as well as terrible failures, such as Holland's cumbersome wooden cowboy boots. Savor a successful spin on U.S. culture with today's Groupon: for $7, you get $15 worth of Japanese-style hamburgers and fries at Gabutto Burger in Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights.
Gabutto Burger's sandwich whizzes create an exotic range of quarter-pound patties, which they blend from beef and pork and nestle between made-to-order buns. Teriyaki-wasabi burgers ($6.95 for a combo) resuscitate the stale burger genre, and the teriyaki-egg burger's fusion of patty and organic sunny-side-up egg ($3.95) is the most thrilling example of breakfast-lunch fusion since lunkfast. Sip one of 16 yogurt shakes ($2.95), or sink fangs into a phalanx of shrimp ($4.50) or organic-tofu ($3.95) patties, bedecked in house-made sauces. Fortify meals with fries in one of eight flavors, including wasabi and curry ($2.35 for a regular serving), or a moat made of gravy.
Though burgers might seem out of place at a Japanese supermarket, you'd be best served to throw those preconceptions aside and seek out Gabutto Burger's yellow façade in the food court at Mitsuwa Marketplace. These burgers are made from a blend of pork and beef for a juicier patty. To dress these sandwiches, the staff crafts sauces such as a Japanese-style teriyaki and a slowly simmered demi-glace. The burgers are made to order and arranged on bakery-fresh buns, then garnished with Asian-style toppings such as korean pepper paste and wasabi. French fries, too, are nothing ordinary, in flavors such as curry and cheese and garlic and butter.