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'Trump' Hamburger Popular in Tokyo


A photo showing U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, at a lunch of hamburgers from Munch's Burger Shack is on display at the restaurant in Tokyo Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)


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The line of people stretches out the door at Munch’s Burger Shack in Tokyo. The tiny eatery serves American-style hamburgers, among other things.

Many of the people who line up have come from far away to try the food. Haruyuki Sano traveled 1.5 hours for a hamburger.

Not just any hamburger.

Sano and others are eager to try the same hamburger that United States President Donald Trump ate here last week: the 100 percent U.S. Angus beef Colby Jack Cheeseburger. Trump ate a Munch’s burger with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his visit to Japan.

“It tasted great, like steak,” Sano said after tasting the burger.

Trump’s tough talk on trade and security does not always get positive responses in Japan, which sees the U.S. as its most important partner. But his love for the Japanese version of the American hamburger is popular with many here.

“I like Trump,” said Sano. He adds that putting one’s country first makes sense. He thinks Japan should do that, too.

While better known for foods like sushi and ramen, Japan has long enjoyed American food. So-called “premium burgers” are growing especially popular.

Munch’s Burger Shack now offers the “President Trump Set” on its menu. It includes the burger along with coleslaw and french fries. It sells for 1,400 Japanese yen, or $12.

Munch’s co-owner, Yutaka Yanagisawa, shook Trump’s hand last week after the president finished eating his burger. The president said the food was “very good.”

“I felt so honored,” Yanagisawa said, adding that all he could say in reply was “thank you.”

He says the “President Trump Set” is now one of the most popular options on the menu.

The experience of eating at restaurants in Tokyo is increasingly about fun storytelling, says Jotaro Fujii. He is a Tokyo-based food expert. This storytelling usually includes sharing photos of meals on Instagram.

He expects the “Trump effect” for Munch’s Burger Shack to be huge.

“Talk of lines brings more lines,” said Fujii. “Rather than mere taste, the value and joy come from being able to say: I had the same burger as Trump.”

I'm Pete Musto.

The Associated Press reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.

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Words in This Story

hamburger - n. a flat, usually round cake of finely chopped beef that is cooked and served usually in a roll or bun

steak - n. a thick, flat piece of meat and especially beef

premium- adj . of high or higher than normal quality

mere - adj. used to say that something or someone is small, unimportant, etc.

joy - n. a feeling of great happiness

sushi - n. a Japanese dish of cold cooked rice shaped in small cakes and topped or wrapped with other ingredients (such as pieces of raw fish)

ramen - n. very thin, long noodles used in Asian cooking

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