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TK’s: Open Earlier and Better Quality than Fast Food Chains

By: Dinner Gong

Date Posted: 2000-07-31

A new place, TK’s opened last month on the Sunabe seawall, the only one of its type, serving an American breakfast early in the morning. There are many eateries in this area but most of them have Japanese menus, there is a French place and the nearest McDonald’s opens at 8 am.

TK’s opens at 7 am and it is not a fast food joint. The management says the ingredients it uses, vegetables and meat are the freshest. They are cooked over a grill behind a bar and can either be eaten at the bar counter or at the restaurant’s one table with tatami seating.

The atmosphere here is convivial and the day DG went the place was full. Many of the customers are divers, some students of the proprietor, a professional dive instructor. The place opened to fill a need, there being nowhere in the locality that served simple, hearty fare that people wanted after coming in ravenous from their ocean dives.

Various dishes were tried on friends to see what it was they most wanted and a menu evolved according to popular demand.

The breakfast menu offers an Egg Muffin Set which consists of an egg muffin with cheese, hash browns and a drink. There is also a Meat Muffin Set, Sausage and Eggs, Bacon and Eggs, Ham and Eggs and TK’s Special which comprises sausage, onions, peppers, eggs, hash browns, toast and a drink.

The management says one of the attractions of the new restaurant is that you do not have to park half a mile down the road to come to the restaurant. There is usually plenty of space to park by the seawall, making the ten to 15 minutes on average it takes to process an order, not a problem. The restaurant also does orders to take out.

The lunch menu has an extensive selection of sets, which are served with fries and a drink. These sets are: Cheeseburger, Hamburger, Jumbo Hot Dog, Philly Cheese Steak, Meatball Sandwich, Cold Sandwich, Roast Beef Sandwich, Fish Sandwich, Tuna Sandwich, BLT Sandwich, Vegetable Salad and Isoginchaku. There is Macaroni or Potato Salad too.

There is a choice of beers and soft drinks available are OJ, Coke, Ginger Ale, Ice Tea and a sports drink. TK’s also has ice cream.

DG tried the Cheeseburger Set and thought it was much better than the equivalent served at fast food chains. The hamburger tasted as though it had had some individual care put into its preparation and the beef was better quality too. TK’s manager says his beef is 100% US imported. The fries too were chunkier and tastier than their fast food cousins. There is also a dinner menu which is a selection of steak, chicken, fish and rice dishes.

The aim of this restaurant is to give its customers a little taste of home which they cannot find in the impersonal surroundings of a Taco Bell or a McDonald’s. It has not advertised, except for a notice in the announcement section of Japan Update. It is relying on word of mouth to spread the news about this homely place where you can go for a couple of coffees and something to eat before anywhere else is open.

The restaurant says it is already getting lots of repeat customers. But it plans to keep elvolving with “an ever expanding menu”. A different menu will be designed for winter, including soups, pancakes, French toast, fried chicken pieces and gyozo.

For the moment however, it is concentrating on what has so far proved to be a hit with its customers. This is the place to come if you want a cozy atmosphere, simple but good quality food and reasonable prices.

TK’s open at 7 am and closes on weekdays at 9 pm to 10 pm. It is open later on weekends. TK’s accepts dollars as well as yen and for simplicity’s sake, fixes the exchange rate at ¥100 to the dollar.

Directions: Go along Hwy 58 in the direction of Naha. Opposite Kadena Gate 1 is a US Auto dealer. Take a right here, where there is also a traffic light. Follow the road all the way down to the ocean and take another right at the seawall. TK’s is a couple of hundred yards down the seawall road, on the right.

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