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Peanuts Diner in Yokohama recalls spirit, drawings of Charles Schulz’s beloved comic strip

All menu items at the Peanuts Diner are named after characters from the comic strip, "Peanuts," like Spike's chili con carne casserole, shown here July 3.

HANA KUSUMOTO/STARS AND STRIPES

By HANA KUSUMOTO | Stars and Stripes | Published: August 8, 2019

Lucy’s homemade lemonade, Marcie’s waffle chicken and chocolate brownies named after Charlie Brown: Every menu item, every decoration and even the paper napkins at the Peanuts Diner adhere to the “Peanuts” theme.

The restaurant, at the waterfront shopping area in Yokohama, opened two years ago and was inspired by the comic strip made famous by Charles Schulz.

At the entrance, a drawing of Snoopy standing on his doghouse wearing his feeding bowl on his head welcomes customers. Next to the entrance is a souvenir shop that sells such items as cookies with various Peanuts characters printed on them, or plates and bowls bearing Snoopy’s image.

The restaurant has large windows that allow in lots of sunlight. Its decor was modeled after a beachside diner in California, where Schulz the cartoonist lived and worked.

When I went there on a weekday for lunch, the restaurant was half-full of young couples, mothers and their small children. The kids were posing in front of large paper panels that had figures of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and Snoopy’s red doghouse.

“Peanuts” comic strips are drawn on the restaurant walls and shelves are filled with old “Peanuts” toys.

That theme is repeated throughout the restaurant. You can find the “Peanuts” characters under the glass tabletops on the buffet table or on coasters and forks. Even the light cover hanging from the ceiling had a zigzag line drawn just like the one on Charlie Brown’s shirt.

The lunch menu consisted of a handful of dishes, including several types of hamburg steak (a Japanese dish of a ground beef patty covered with a demi-glace sauce), pasta and soup.

The meals are named after the “Peanuts” characters. Marcie’s waffle chicken is fried chicken served over a waffle with maple syrup sauce.

Joe Preppy’s bread bowl clam chowder was named after Snoopy, who took on various personas in the comic strip, including the Red Baron, Joe Cool and Joe Prep. The classic soup dish suits Joe Prep, who dressed in a classic jacket.

For an additional fee, diners who order a main dish may add a trip to the Peanuts Gang’s Slider Bar, which is a buffet that includes salad, small burgers, appetizers, fries, drinks and dessert.

Children can order just the buffet for 800 yen (about $7.40), and children 3 and under younger can get the buffet free. Adults may order just the buffet 5-9 p.m. for 1,500 yen (about $13.80).

My children and I ordered the Suppertime tomato and cheese hamburg steak (1,550 yen and 2,550 yen with slider bar) and Spike’s chili con carne casserole (1,450 yen and 2,450 yen with slider bar).

The hamburg steak was tasty and came with rice and french fries served in a warm miniature frying pan.

The chili con carne casserole was what I imagined, chili served over penne and then baked with cheese on top. But the chili in the casserole had chickpeas with kidney beans and a strong, fresh tomato taste rather than a chili taste. The crispy cheese with breadcrumbs on top of the casserole was very good.

The slider bar consisted of various dishes, such as miniature burgers, french fries, corn dogs, corn with Cajun sauce and coleslaw. The burgers had mashed pumpkin and pulled pork sandwiched between buns. I enjoyed the dessert-like burgers with peanut butter and jelly or chocolate and banana. The buffet also had fresh fruits and a white chocolate fountain, in which you may dip marshmallows or pretzels.

The lunch menu also had various desserts and drinks. Desserts included a chocolate brownie sundae and apple pie served with vanilla ice cream. Milkshakes and homemade lemonade are also available. We were way too full to try any of the desserts or drinks, but all of the pictures on the menu looked delicious.

We arrived in the later hours of lunch time, so the restaurant staff was slow to refill some of the plates at the buffet table and the servers did not come to pick up empty plates from our table.

It seemed like you could be seated for lunch without a reservation, but the restaurant staff recommended that customers make reservations for weekend lunch and dinner. You can make a reservation through the restaurant website.

The Peanuts Diner had very relaxing atmosphere and my children enjoyed looking for the “Peanuts” characters throughout the restaurant. If you like the comic strip, it is definitely an enjoyable place to go.

kusumoto.hana@stripes.com

 

Location: Second floor of Marine and Walk Yokohama, 1-3-1Shinkou, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Japan

Hours: Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (last order at 10 p.m.)

Prices: Peanuts Gang’s baseball hamburg is 1,500 yen and 2,500 yen with the slider bar set. Marcie’s waffle chicken is 1,300 yen and 2,300 yen with the slider bar set. Joe Preppy’s bread bowl clam chowder is 1,400 yen and 2,400 yen with the slider bar set. Brownie Charles’ chocolate sundae is 1,600 yen. Peanuts butter milkshake is 880 yen. Peanuts Gang’s slider bar can be added to a main dish for an additional 1,000 yen. It can be ordered alone 5-9 p.m. for 1,500 yen. It is 800 yen for children.

Dress: Casual

Directions: About a 9-minute walk from Nihon Odori station or Bashamichi station’s exit 6 on the Minatomirai line. Also about a 12-minute walk from Minatomirai station on Minatomirai line. About a 15-minute walk from Sakuragicho station on JR Negishi line.

Information: 045-323-9555; Online: peanutsdiner.jp (partially in English)

A drawing of Snoopy welcomes customers to the Peanuts Diner, a restaurant inspired by the comic strip "Peanuts,' in Yokohama, Japan.
HANA KUSUMOTO/STARS AND STRIPES

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