Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Camp Foster

CONTRIBUTED BY MEGAN PARKER

Macaroni Front

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.

Macaroni Gang

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.)

Website: rmgokinawa.com

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.


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19 Comments
  • March 5, 2014

    We came here over a year ago but were not very impressed. Looks like they’ve made some improvements because the food was very delicious, service was great and we’ll definitely put this place back on our list for dinning out again. They have also recently added new menu items. Good place to go when you’re wanted a taste of home :)

    Steve
    Reply
  • October 7, 2013

    Holy crap, what happened to you, Macaroni Grill?? My husband and I were here last night for dinner and everything was not how we remembered it. Our appetizers came out within 3 minutes, (I kid you not) of us ordering it…HOW is this possible? Granted they were just fried mozzarella wedges but it was very obvious to us that it had been sitting in the back on a warmer because it wasn’t even hot! Both of our pasta dishes came out about 5 minutes after the server had taken away our appetizer dishes. We are all about fast service, but this was just a little too fast that it was sketchy. Nothing was hot, our bread was stale and not fresh like how it typically is. We aren’t the type of people to send back food or “talk to a manager” but last night was a real disappointment.

    Van
    Reply
  • November 28, 2012

    My family ate there a couple times when we first arrived on island while we were stranded at the Westpac. We found the food to be average and overpriced. Seaside Ristorante at Kadena Marina is much better if you’re craving Italian.

    Bruce
    Reply
  • September 24, 2012

    Was disappointed in the food and service. We went here since we had no vehicle yet and were staying at the west pac next to it. The food was not very tasty and they could not even make a decent mixed drink. This place is much better in the states.

    Robbie
    Reply
  • August 7, 2012

    I had lunch with my girlfriends here last month and the service was the worst. We were one of three parties in the entire place, yet it took forever to get our food. The server did not refill our drinks while we waited, despite asking him for refills (which you should never have to do at a restaurant if the waiter would like a decent tip…). He messed up two orders at our table, but we kept the food anyway because we were afraid we’d have to wait another hour to get the fixed order. It took over two hours from the time we walked in to get our food, pay, and leave. Ridiculous, and definitely not worth it.

    Your Name
    Reply
  • August 6, 2012

    I’ve never been disappointed at this restaurant – no horror stories of long waits for food or food that was not tasty, so not sure why others had trouble. I do miss the singing waiters and the “honor” wine that’s available at the stateside MGs, and I have had a few times where the wait staff didn’t speak enough English to get the info across to the table. For the price, especially, this is by far one of the best restaurants on island.

    Stephanie
    Reply
  • July 9, 2012

    Go in and fill out an app.

    C
    Reply
  • July 9, 2012

    Does anyone know how to apply for a serving position here? I was a server back home and I believe the only server positions on island would be here and Chilis or are there some other restaurants on other bases?

    Melissa
    Reply
  • June 14, 2012

    As authentic as Olive Garden. Good food. Would try something else if I have the chance. Marino’s is a great restaurant to try.

    Reply
  • May 11, 2012

    This place is on a Marine Corps base and thus the thermostat is under the control of the A/C shop and not the manager.

    Jared
    Reply
  • February 3, 2012

    i agree about the wait- almost every time it takes almost an hour for my family to finally get our food! fortunately I love their endless bread, but it’s always a longer experience than what seems normal/reasonable. and I always get chilled, which they have no control over (thermostat is in another building, or something like that).
    I enjoy the rich food, but if you do try to order healthy, you run the risk of dry and bland food- I’ve been with multiple people that were quite put off by their order for the price. the yummy desserts were mentioned, but they also have some very tasty drinks!
    I always enjoy my leftovers from here, but sometimes the dining in experience can leave me sour.

    Lauren
    Reply
    • May 11, 2012

      I’m not accusing your server/manager of lying, but I used to work in an Olive Garden.. We were always directed to tell customers we couldn’t control the temperature so we wouldn’t have to adjust it. The thermostats were in the office.

      Paige
      Reply
  • December 2, 2011

    My husband, son, and I ate there last night and I have to say that their food is pretty awful. I ordered the lasagna, it had a “meat” sauce that looked more like dog food and it tasted like chef boyardee (sp). My son got the chicken fingers and did not like them either, they just tasted greasy and were overcooked. I’m not too sure what my husband got, but he said it was ok. The only thing that we enjoyed was the bread! It’s too bad because I was really looking forward to some good food.

    Kerry
    Reply
  • August 27, 2011

    The Macaroni Grill is perfect for a quick on-base lunch or a nice dinner reminiscent of life in the States.
    ____________
    Roland

    Reply
  • May 20, 2011

    Ahhh, no! This is the first place featured on Okinawahai that I *didn’t* like. We ate there when we were staying in the Westpac, and I’d never been to one so I was excited. But… The paper table cloth and crayons for the kiddo were the best part! The food was just kind of… Eh, I guess. Average. We weren’t very impressed at all. Plus it was so, so pricey! I didn’t finish my meal, and I didn’t even think about taking it home. Our server was nice, but everything took a really long time, and there weren’t even many other diners. It was a letdown. Every place has a bad day, though, so I could see us going back to give it another try… But only if, like Rachel said, we were burnt out on *everything* else.

    Roxanne
    Reply
  • May 17, 2011

    Macaroni Grill was not my favorite place in the states, nor is it my favorite place here. It’s not that the food is bad- it’s fine. However, it definitely overpriced and it’s just another example of the typical “Italian” chain restaurant. We eat there every once in awhile if we’ve exhausted every other resource for dining out. Every time we’ve been to Macaroni Grill, they inform us that two random menu items are not actually available.

    Rachel
    Reply
  • May 16, 2011

    We live off base and eat off base A LOT, but I agree with the contributor that Mac Grill is a yummy on base choice. We have personally never had a bad experience there and I always enjoy whatever dish I choose. It’s too bad that I am usually stuffed from my meal and have not tried those desserts! I think those that choose to complain about places like Mac Grill, Chili’s, Jack’s Place, etc. are going there expecting everything to be PERFECT and feel let down when it isn’t. I don’t go into restaurants with those kind of expectations and I usually leave with a full belly and a good attitude. I am grateful that in a far way land, we are given the option of places like Mac Grill and Chili’s (they were not an option when we were here years ago) and I appreciate those that work there and try to make our experience as close to home as possible.

    LaLa
    Reply
  • May 16, 2011

    Ummm, yeah that should be “gasp” not “gaso” :-/ LOL

    Elizabeth
    Reply
  • May 16, 2011

    Funny enough, we had never been to a Macaroni Grill until moving here, haha. Olive Garden was just way too much of a draw for us I guess. ;) Even though the food is good, my favorite part about the Mac Grill is the paper tablecloths for coloring; what a great idea, it sure keeps my kids entertained! :) Great write-up, and I love the way you talk about trying Japanese cuisine; hopefully that will keep the haters from commenting about how we who occasionally eat on base (*gaso*) have no life and should be shot. ;) Hehe.

    Elizabeth
    Reply