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Friday, May 27, 2016

HAWAII HAMBURGERS AND HOT DOGS

You can have a hamburger for close to a dollar at various spots in the state.  For $4 or so, you must try W and M Bar-B-Q Burgers on Waialae Avenue near St. Louis High School.  Founded by William and May Kawamura in 1940, the same year as McDonald's, W&M teriyaki burgers are famous.  While modest in size, the taste is special.

I felt like having hamburger for lunch yesterday, so went to Teddy's Bigger Burgers.  I thought this was one of a mainland chain, but, no, TBB was started by Ted Tsakris and Rich Stula in 1998 in Honolulu.  They now have eleven stands on Oahu, with one each on Maui, California, Iowa, Texas, Tokyo (near Shibuya), Bangkok and the Philippines, plus three in Washington.  Expansion will include Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


The restaurant is evocative of the '50's.  Yesterday, the staff wore red noses to raise funds to fight kid's poverty.  While service is usually slow, this is probably my fast food burger favorite.

I had their standard small size, plus some garlic butter fries for a bit over ten bucks.  I brought my own beer and went to the parking area on the ocean side of Hilton Hawaiian Village, and, miraculously, found a parking spot with this view of surfers:


The burger was great, but the fries lacked garlic and were mushy.  Next, Teddy and partner will open a slate of BYO Bowls, where you build your own ingredients, which are tossed on a Mongolian style BBQ grill, and placed on rice in a bowl.  Watch for the opening at the Hawaii Kai Towne Center.  They have a hiring fare this weekend.

Today in the Star Advertiser was an article by Bob Sigall on Hank's Haute Dogs.  Hank, it turns out, is Hank Adaniya (to the right), who founded Trio restaurants in Chicago.  In 2004, Trio was one of the 13 eating establishments in North America to receive a Mobil Five-Star rating.  But he gave all that up to return to Hawaii to open Hank's Haute Dogs in 2007 on Coral Street, close by where I once lived in Kakaako.    There is a second Hank's at the Sheraton Maui Resort, where I've stayed on several occasions.  

Why hot dogs?  His parents from 1941 to 1953 ran a hot dog stand at Kapiolani Park and sold 2,000 dogs/day.  Americans alone consume 20 billion of them/year...about 70/person/year.  Hank has, though, upgraded with truffled macaroni and cheese, and occasionally, Kobe beef and duck foie gras burgers.  Me?  I've never been there, so this is a must stop in the near future.
Who would have thought that Hawaii could lead the world in hamburgers and hot dogs.  Hank's was featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in 2010.  Here, Guy Fieri with Hank.  

The Sun Times Network picks Hank's as #1 in hot dogs.  There is no Hale Aina award for hamburgers, and those special listings tend to be obviously esoteric.  So, Teddy's could well be near the top in the state.


Me, I wonder why I'm paying $27 for a hamburger lunch, when I get free breakfasts, lunches and dinners.  That is, to Teddy's burger I need to add $17 for the meal I missed at 15 Craigside.  Thus, I'll be laying out more than $25 for my next hot dog.

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