I was originally going to call this post “Battle of the Sushi Burgers” but there really is no clear winner so there isn’t much of a battle. Each burger has one thing that makes it stand out over the others, so read on to see which one you might prefer. Most of these pictures were taken with my iPhone, except the sushi burger from Bubblefish. I don’t mind taking pictures of my food when I’m outside but I feel like a bit of a dick taking out an actual camera, standing over my food trying to get the best angle, and then snapping pictures from different angles.
It’s no secret that I love sushi so it was only a matter of time before I got around to trying the sushi burger. I’d already tried the sushi burrito so naturally I’d have to try the sushi burger next. I’d been dying to try the sushi burger at the Redeye Grill because I’d heard so much about it from the news, blogs, Instagram, etc. I was scrolling through Instagram one day when I saw a sushi burger and the place happened to be in Philadelphia. I love taking day trips to Philadelphia every now and again so I started looking around to see which places in Philly had sushi burgers and I put them on my list of things to try. On to the comparisons:
Bubblefish – Philadelphia, PA
This was the first sushi burger I ever tried anywhere. Bubblefish is a short walk from the Greyhound bus station on Filbert St. The menu has the ingredients as “Pepper tuna, spicy tuna, spicy crab, lettuce, avocado, fried onion, and sushi rice.” This thing was huge. You usually have to eat sushi burgers with a knife and a fork because they do get a bit messy but this was enormous. It was the size of an actual burger. I wasn’t able to finish it all. The taste was delicious but it did have a bit of sweetness to it that I couldn’t quite place and the menu didn’t really give me any clues as to what that might be. I looked into what goes into spicy sauce and from what I could find it’s a mix of sriracha with Japanese mayonnaise (which is supposed to be sweeter than regular mayonnaise) so maybe they used more mayonnaise than sriracha because it wasn’t really spicy. I happen to like that since I have an extremely low tolerance for spice but for those of you who like your spicy tuna to be scorching, be prepared that your mouth won’t be on fire with this burger. The rice was a nice texture (not mushy and not hard) and the avocado was nice and fresh.
1225Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge – Philadelphia, PA
I first saw these sushi burgers when I was on Instagram. They looked amazing, so I was really excited when I saw that they were in Philadelphia, a short walk from the Greyhound bus station. I like to do most of my exploring on foot. Partly because I get to see more and discover more than I would than if I was on a speeding bus or underground on the train, and partly because I hate public transportation, being packed in with complete strangers, and trying to figure out how to properly use the card or whatever people use to take public transport in other cities.
This is the sushi burger sampler at 1225 Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge. Each burger has a different type of fish (spicy tuna, spicy salmon, and spicy yellowtail). Being a sampler, these burgers are small, but don’t let the small size fool you. They are pretty dense so you get full quickly. If you’re by yourself you’ll most likely be good with just the sampler. If you want to try other things, bring a friend so you don’t feel like a sack of wet cement before the main course arrives. 😆 These were delicious from the first bite to the last. Not really spicy but had a nice flavor to them. As you can see, they don’t skimp on seafood. Something different that they do is that they dip the “buns” in tempura batter which helps to keep the buns intact and it also gives them a nice flavor and texture. I like that unlike the other sushi burgers I’ve tried, it’s just straight up fish and rice. It helps you to focus more on the flavors of the fish.
Red Eye Grill – New York, NY
When I think of sushi burgers I automatically think of Red Eye Grill. I’m not sure where sushi burgers started but I first heard about Red Eye Grill having these sushi burgers that everyone was flipping over, so naturally I had to go there to try it one day. I made reservations for lunch a few months ago but the sushi chef wasn’t going to be there until 6:00. I wasn’t sure if that was everyday or just that particular day so when I went back a week ago I made sure to make my reservation for dinner. The whole experience was great from beginning to end. As it was dinner, there were a few people waiting for tables so the maître d’ gave us complimentary champagne. I felt like Goldie Hawn in Overboard. “I’ve never tasted anything quite like this.” 😆 However, I’m sure that the champagne that I was drinking was a lot better quality than the kind she was drinking.
This is exactly what a sushi burger should be. The flavors all meshed together perfectly and the size was just right. Some people have said that it’s tiny. It is smaller than an actual burger but sushi burger is just a descriptive title. I never expected it to be the size of a burger that you’d get at a diner. Besides, it’s piled high, so your hunger will be satisfied. I ordered the truffle macaroni and cheese with it and I had to get it wrapped up to take with me because I was so full from the sushi burger. I love the furikake on top. Other places do that as well but the flavor and amount was on point. The only thing about Red Eye Grill is that it is really pricey, especially compared to the sushi burgers in Philadelphia, although I imagine that’s partly due to the location. (It’s right near Carnegie Hall.) The sushi burger sampler at 1225Raw was $12 (and the burgers were only a little smaller than the burger at Red Eye Grill). The sushi burger at Red Eye Grill was a whopping $22! However, I think the food made it worth the price. It’s not like you’ll be eating like that everyday, so for a once in a while thing or a special occasion, it’s okay.
So that’s the review and I hope it was enjoyable to read. I love trying new things and taking day trips to places, so if you know of any other places not far from NY that have sushi burgers, just let me know. Hopefully my review will have been of some use to those of you who either have been wanting to try a sushi burger for the first time or that want to try different versions so that you can do your own comparison.