Ebisu Shake Shack – ShackMeister
Shake Shack, New York City’s great burger chain, is in Tokyo at two locations, Aoyama and Ebisu. The Ebisu location is next to the station. I’ve passed by many times and the line was always too long. I was lucky today when I passed as the line, while still long, it was nothing like I had seen before and I jumped in.
The current special is the ShackMeister of fried shallots on a cheeseburger. It is a great burger with the crispy shallots over the meaty burger. The crinkle fries with a cheddar and American cheese sauce were a nice touch of NYC.
The seating area is big and there were two staff helping diners bus their trays and assisting diners to find seats.
My fingers are crossed that the next Shake Shack will be on the Chuo line, maybe in Kichijoji? Tachikawa? Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
Ebisu Shake Shack
Shibuya-ku, Ebisu-Minami 1-6 渋谷区恵比寿南1-6
The other location is at
Minato-ku, Kita-Aoyama 2-1-15 港区北青山2-1-15
Ruby Jack’s Tomato Salad
Ruby and Jack are chef Matthew Crabbe’s grandparents name. Ruby Jack’s Steakhouse is a great spot in the Ark Hills South Tower building. High ceilings, outdoor seating if you want on a spacious terrace. The interior feels very upscale with the white tablecloths, but it’s very friendly and without any attitude. Here is a tomato and blue cheese salad.
Ruby Jack’s Caesar Salad
The Caesar salad is covered with a generous amount of cheese, which is a treat in Japan.
Ruby Jack’s Pork
While it is a steakhouse, I couldn’t resist the Japanese pork. A meaty portion that was just right for lunch.
Ruby Jack’s Burger
I had such a great meal that I went back right away as I wanted to try the burger and fries. It’s a messy burger, as they should be, and with a barbecue sauce. All of the lunch sets come with an appetizer and coffee or tea. Here is my review of Ruby Jack’s for Metropolis magazine.
The wine list is rich and there are several selections under 10,000 JPY. At lunchtime the restaurant is kid-friendly and there is even a kid’s menu. Don’t bother coming if you are a vegetarian, or you may leave hungry.
My only advice is to allow yourself some time to get lost in this area. There are many buildings in the Ark Hills complex and I have been lost here several times.
Ruby Jack’s Steakhouse
Minato-ku, Roppongi 1-4-5, Ark Hills South Tower 2F
Village Vanguard Double Cheeseburger
Walking into Village Voice in Kichijoji I felt like I was up North in Minnesota. The beer signs lining the wood-paneled walls, the beer on tap, and the smell of burgers and fries. It’s a popular spot and we came right after they opened for lunch. Within about fifteen minutes it was packed and then a line started out the front door.
Small bites like chips and avocado or onion rings come out very quickly. The burger follows right after. The burgers are more like one will find at a diner, thin and cooked through. Toppings are generous and it’s a satisfying meal. The cheese are gooey slices, Velveeta perhaps? And even the bun has sesame seeds on it. Small things, but something one would appreciate if they spent anytime eating burgers in the USA. The only downside would be making a special trip here to find a long line. So time your visit wisely, either come early or late, but not at prime meal times.
Village Vanguard Interior
The red bar stools facing the kitchen are a nod to Americana. The other diners this day were all Japanese, many of them girls digging into big burgers with glee. There are many burger shops in Tokyo that are trying to feel like America, this is one spot that has nailed the interior, music, and cuisine.
Musashino-shi, Kichijoji Honcho 2-10-1 TY Bldg. 2F