CONTRIBUTED BY MEGAN PARKER
Our family loves exploring all of the amazing and delectable Japanese cuisine available on this island paradise. But every now and then, we get a craving for the familiar and begin to yearn for the comfort food of the good ol’ U.S. of A. Enter Romano’s Macaroni Grill on Camp Foster, and we are immediately soothed!
If you stay at the Westpac Inn while transitioning to Okinawa, you will quite likely become intimately familiar with the rustic décor of the Macaroni Grill, which is located just a hop, skip and a jump away from the temporary lodging facility. The Italian surroundings help you to feel instantly at home and is a familiar escape from the unknown of Okinawa.
Some friends and I recently met up at Macaroni Grill for a special celebration while our husbands were TAD. While we waited longer than usual for our food, the kids didn’t seem to mind as they colored away on the paper tablecloth and sipped their drinks, which were free with the kids’ meal. My son ordered a cheese pizza while my 12-month old noshed on grilled chicken and broccoli, and they both devoured the free ice cream that accompanied their meal for only $6.95.
For my part, I opted for the Shrimp Portofino ($16.95), which was a delicious departure from my usual go-to, the Penne Rustica ($15.95). The portions are typically plentiful, and entrees at Romano’s always come accompanied with their signature bread served with dipping oil on the side – delish! And for dessert you absolutely can’t beat the Smothered Chocolate Cake ($6.95 and easily large enough for multiple people). The homemade ganache is so out-of-this world to die for that my husband and I had the local Macaroni Grill make it for us in bulk for our wedding cake many years ago!
The Macaroni Grill is perfect for a quick on-base lunch or a nice dinner reminiscent of life in the States. However, it can also easily accommodate large groups in its banquet room and has a special banquet menu available. I’ve eaten there for a unit function and was impressed with the service and food. They accept reservations, and it also has a sneaky side entrance for quick “to go” orders and pick-ups. Bon apetite!
Payment: Romano’s Macaroni Grill accepts credit cards and American dollars.
Hours: Monday – Friday: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (Breakfast: Saturday & Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)
Phone: Host Line (reservations): 645-1246, To Go Line: 645-1242
Directions: From KAB/Camp Lester: Drive south on 58 past Camp Lester. Turn Left on Hwy. 130. Turn Right onto Hwy. 330. Pass the Camp Foster PX Gate on the Right and turn LEFT into Foster Gate #1. Go through the gate and Romano’s Macaroni Grill will be straight ahead on your left.