50’s Café still mixing gourmet burgers, taco rice, nostalgia

By Bill Charles

A burger does not come much better than this; 50’s Cafe Bacon Cheese Burger.

A burger does not come much better than this; 50’s Cafe Bacon Cheese Burger.

Anyone can make the claim they’ve got the best burgers on Okinawa, but Hayashi Oshiro knows the difference and wants to spread the word that the ONLY place for a juicy, old fashioned hamburger is his. He has run his 50’s Café in various locations across the island, and now thinks he’s found the easy-to-reach mecca for Americans to enjoy his creations.

Hayashi Oshiro making one of his master pieces in his 50’s Cafe.

Hayashi Oshiro making one of his master pieces in his 50’s Cafe.

In its latest incarnation, Hayashi’s 50’s Café is in a new home inside the Uruma City Don Quijote Mall, a location great for Americans because it’s conveniently located and has plenty of free parking right outside. Oshiro points out, “My burgers are made to order, fresh, every time.”

It is that Bacon Cheeseburger, chock full of beef and bacon, plus the trimmings that make it stand more than 3” tall. Add the fries and a drink, all for ¥1,100, and you’ve got a deal. Asked by a customer this week how he ranks his burgers, Hayashi chuckled and bluntly said “No matter what they say, there’s nobody on this island that can match my burgers. Try for yourself and see!”

The 50’s Café is a flashback into 50’s Americana, right down to the finest décor detail. Oshiro used to mingle with stars and celebrities as he worked in California, and has decorated his 50’s Cafes with authentic memorabilia, signs, bottles and license plates he brought with him as he returned to his native Okinawa. He has plenty of posters, photographs – autographed, of course — by the likes of Pat Boone, Dustin Hoffman and Kirk Douglas.

Walls are filled with 50’s Americana.

Walls are filled with 50’s Americana.

But let’s get back to the cornerstone: the American burgers. He’s mastered the burger, so to speak, offering four different American classics. Prices are reasonable, too, with the original burger only ¥400 and the hefty bacon cheeseburger ¥800. He prides himself on using only “100% pure, fresh beef that has never been frozen, and has no fillers. The perfect burger,” he says, “is grilled to order, covered with melted cheese, then put on a butter-flavored oil toasted bun, piled high with hand leafed lettuce, fresh sliced onion, pickles and tomato, and served up piping hot.” The burger is Oshiro’s most popular, with 2/3 pound of meat and some savory bacon filling the bun.

The cafe is is located in Don Quijote store.

The cafe is is located in Don Quijote store.

The 50’s Café has a trademarked dish Oshiro developed. Burrito rice is a specialty with a taste simply out of this Okinawan world. Pure minced ground beef, onion, tomato and chili cooked up into a spicy, full-bodied burrito rice dish, accented by a combination of cheeses. “If you like curried rice,” says Oshiro, “you’ll fall in love with our Burrito Rice”.

To get to the 50’s Café, from Camp Foster Legion Gate, drive all the way past Awase Fishing Port, AEON Gushikawa on the left and Yamada Denki on the right. Don Quijote Uruma store is on the left about 500 meters after passing Yamada Denki store. Free parking is in front of the store. To get to 50’s Café, enter the store through the entrance on the right.

23:06 18 Jan , 2017

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