Like so many other holidays, both religious and national, July 4th tends to be just another work day here in Tokyo. The solution? Postpone the celebrations for a few days – no one back home will know the difference anyway – and then party (like it's 1776) at the weekend.
And I can't think of a better looking, better tasting American restaurant to do it than Martiniburger, over on the far side of Kagurazaka.
I wrote up Martiniburger on my blog and in my column in the spring of last year. Since then there have been plenty of changes and evolution — as owner Eliot Bergman explained when I dropped in the other day.
He now has a new head chef, Aki Asami, and she seems to be doing a great job. There are some good additions on her menu, such as these sliders, cutely called 'Tini Burgers on the menu. They're far from "teeny" though: three of them add up to quite a substantial snack.
Absolutely worth a close-up or two...
RIght now, Eliot's got a special drinks promotion going on, tied in with an exhibition of photography of New York (by Fumiaki Yamazaki). There are some great images, and they help add an extra NYC dimension to the dining room decor.
But I was there for beer as well as burgers. Up to now Eliot has only offered just the one kind: Brooklyn Lager on tap. Now for the duration he's offering a couple of limited-edition bottled beers from the same brewery. Local 1 is a strong golden ale; Local 2 is a full-flavored Belgian-type ale. Robust and dark. Just right for the rainy season.
He's also offering a special cocktail — a shiso-yuzu mojito made with Absolut Citron which he's pairing with vodka-infused cured salmon served on excellent open-faced sandwiches.
That's assistant chef Maik getting his mojito mojo on...
Anyway anyhow, tomorrow (July 7th), Eliot will be marking the big annual holiday (albeit three days late) by handing out free hot dogs and sandwiches during the afternoon from 3 pm.
Best of all, that great offer is not just limited to Americans. So I may see you there!
More info on his Facebook page.
And check out the Martiniburger web site for more info on the promotion..