Food & Dining

Unique burgers leave Newnan skeptical

by Bradley Hartsell

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Keizo Shimamoto’s California creation, the ramen burger. The buns are made of cooked ramen noodles rounded to hold the patty. 


Over the past couple of months, food-lovers have gotten something controversial to debate: the ramen burger.

Ramen noodles were everybody’s college dinner because they cost next to nothing, but nobody confuses ramen with fine dining. However, the cheap packages of ramen aren’t exactly what’s used in a professional-style ramen burger, which was created by a Japanese-American chef in California named Keizo Shimamoto.

The burger consists of a beef patty with typical burger toppings, only the patty is flanked by two cooked, rounded buns made out of seasoned ramen noodles. Shimamoto, who makes only 500 burgers at a time when his food troupe set up, has stated the noodle bun making process is 17 hours for 500 burgers. That kind of an effort may not be enough to get people thinking its gourmet, but it’s not as if a ramen burger, done correctly, is right off the grocery store shelf, either.

Then, last week brought another imaginative burger to the public consciousness. Debuting in Philadelphia at a place called PYT, the deep-fried Twinkie burger turned heads with its outrageously sugary treats serving as buns. The owners of PYT told the “LA Times” their friend left Twinkies at the restaurant and they played around with them until they came up with a new burger concept.

Social media has taken to the burgers with intrigue and mockery, with some thinking the burgers sound delicious, others think they’re crazy.

“To me, the deep-fried Twinkie burger is too weird of a savory/sweet combination,” said Newnan resident and noted foodie, Gina Bruce.

Which burger would Bruce rather try? “Neither,” she said. “If I’m going to eat a hamburger, I’m going to do it the correct way.”

Mitch Cleaver, a philosophy student at West Georgia, seems to be in the demographic of the burger’s target audience: college student stringing late night meals together out of whatever is around. How does Cleaver feel about the burgers? “They both sound like things I’d rather not eat.”

There was someone willing to take a hard line on these mind-melting creations. Nashville by way of Newnan, Chris St. Louis, had a clear preference. “I’d rather have the ramen burger,” said St. Louis, who claims Taco Bell as his favorite restaurant. “I am all about texture and the idea of the crunchy bun is something that sounds good.”

“Also,” he added. “I like to keep my desserts and main courses separated.”

The craze hasn’t infiltrated to any establishments in Coweta and there’s a good possibility no one in Coweta has had a chance to taste a ramen or fried Twinkie burger. The conversation, however, has seeped into many local foodies’ consciousness and there is a sufficient amount of scorn for these out-of-the-box burgers, laughing them off as jokes.

Still, these burgers are so creative it’s hard to think people like Bruce and Cleaver wouldn’t take a curious taste if the opportunity presented itself. Haven’t we all had our fill of conventional hamburgers?



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