(Shoji Kudaka)

If you take a walk around the south side of the Sunabe Seawall area, a quaint white house with the mood of an old stateside residence may catch your attention.

American American is a local chain of eateries known for serving up various pies and hefty 400-gram (0.9 lb) steaks.

On Okinawa, there are many steakhouses, but the vintage exterior of American American stands out. It might not be a place you’d think to go to for a meal, but after years of passing it, I recently decided to give it a try while walking around the Sunabe area around lunchtime.

One step inside and I felt like I was in a diner from the 1960s or even before. The wooden interior is warmly lit and has a cozy mood. The old American flags draped against the window and colorful boxes give the place a blend of American and Okinawan feel.

American American has a full dining room, but though I didn’t see any American customers, the waitress said the regulars to the restaurant work on base.

Just like me, many of the base employees were there for lunch. I sat in the corner and opened the menu. All the items on the menu featured steak with a variety of sides, ranging from tacos and teriyaki rice to fish meuniere. It was difficult to choose, but I settled on “American a la carte” for 1,500 yen (about $11). American a la carte includes Japanese-style chopped steak, doria (rice gratin), teriyaki chicken, cream soup, rice (or bread), a slice of pie of the day, and coffee.

When my meal arrived, the generous servings were impressive. From the menu, I knew there would be a lot of food on my plate but seeing it in person was surprising. The plate full of food reminded me a bit of my school lunch and of going to steakhouses as a kid with my parents.

I dug in and found the chopped steak and teriyaki chicken to be tender with a homecooked feel, which I liked a lot. By the time I savored the last bite of the cheese pie with coffee, I was pleasantly full. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t visited American American sooner.

If you’ve seen this place before and hesitated to visit, give it a try next time. You’ll love their delicious meals and quaint interior.

American American (honten/central branch)

GPS Coordinates: N 26.32213, E 127.74951

Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (last order at 8 p.m. closed on Thu.) *Subject to change

American American (Branch No. 2)

GPS Coordinates: N 26.34784, E 127.84420

Hours: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Closed Thursdays) *Subject to change

American American (Branch No. 3)

GPS Coordinates: N 26.32512, E 127.75481

Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Closed Tuesdays)

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