After Hours: Appetite size matters at the Yokosuka’s Hungry Boy
Stars and Stripes October 5, 2006
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — “It’s so big,” I said — I couldn’t help myself. Neither could my boyfriend.
The folks at the Hungry Boy hear it all the time. What else would you expect from a place that uses scale in its menu pictures?
Size matters at Hungry Boy, a diner nestled upstairs next to Shioiri Station near Yokosuka Naval Base. The name is no misnomer: Come with an appetite.
I brought my boyfriend there for one the biggest items the place has to offer: the “Dynamite Sandwich,” for 1,600 yen. It’s of proportions that would set Paul Bunyan’s lips to smacking. The ingredients: baked French bread loaded with sausages, eggs, tuna, lettuce and tomatoes. Admittedly intimidated at first, the boyfriend finished it all. But he did take a smoke break at halftime.
The most popular “Biggest Series” item, according to the owner, is a meat mountain with all the trimmings known as the Jumbo Double Teriyaki Burger and fries (1,280 yen). The menu also has a 2-pound hamburger steak (2,880 yen) that comes with seven sauces. I’ve never ordered it, but I envision Fred Flintstone’s brontosaurus burger.
So how did this buy-in-bulk restaurant come to be in the Land of Tiny Plates? An American lesson in portion size did the trick, says owner Ritsuko Sato.
“My father traveled around America years ago,” Sato said. “He liked how big everything was.” And so an idea was born.
Not everything on Hungry Boy’s menu is gigantic. There are 80 items on the English menu that span from pan-Asian curries to jambalaya rice, burgers, salads, pasta and pizza. I like the thin-crust anchovy or chorizo pizzas, but I can never get anyone to split one with me. There also are dishes for sharing, like “potatoes and eggplant,” that feed two to three people at once.
Big or small, there’s lots of libation to wash the meal down. There is wine, and Miller beer (580 yen) and Guinness beer (900 yen) are on tap. During happy hour — 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday — beer is half price. There also are nonalcoholic beverages, including fresh-squeezed hot lemonade that was so delicious that I wanted to crawl in it on a winter’s night.
The atmosphere is Americana, but there are surprisingly few Americans in there.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Troy Titus thinks it’s because sailors aren’t all that adventurous when it comes to food, he said. He walked by Hungry Boy every day on his way from base to Shioiri Station, but never ventured upstairs until a friend took him there, he said. His verdict:
“It’s a little expensive, but it’s good,” Titus said. “And the food is really big.”
See the After Hours index for more restaurant and nightclub reviews.
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. every day except Tuesday, when it’s open only during lunch.
Prices: Food runs from 500 yen to 2,880 yen, draft beer is 580 yen.
Specialties: Behemoth portions — order from the “Biggest Series”
English menu: Yes
Dress: Come as you are and come hungry
Clientele: Mostly Japanese. Hungry Boy is an all-ages, working class joint where you can nosh by yourself or among friends.
Location: Turn right outside Yokosuka’s main gate and head to Shioiri Station. Hungry Boy is located next to the convenience store at the intersection of Dobuita Dori — the beginning of the Honch. The address is: Yokosuka City Honcho Bay Square No.2.
Web site: None