Oahu’s Best Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Earlier this month, three of Oahu’s most popular eateries were recently featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” in a special program called “Triple D Goes Hawaiian. ” The episode featured Hank’s Haute Dogs, Highway Inn, Nico’s at Pier 38, and a luau catered by Marian’s Catering.
On “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” funny, energetic and charismatic host, Chef Guy Fieri, travels the country in search of the best hometown favorites. He doesn’t just pick restaurants based on popularity as much as the restaurant’s willingness to share most of its ingredients and recipes with viewers, offer food made from scratch with fresh, not frozen ingredients, and share its history.
Here’s a bit more information on the three restaurants that were featured on the program:
2330 Kalakaua Ave [map]
Nationally known restaurateur Hank Adaniya opened Hank’s Haute Dogs in the Kakaako area of Honolulu in 2007 before expanding into a second location in Waikiki in 2009. Hank’s offers gourmet hot dogs, including the classic Chicago Vienna all-beef hot dog or Polish dog with all the trimmings, as well as other regional and specialty dogs. Try the house-made Lobster Sausage, made up of lobster sausage seared in butter, then dressed in garlic aioli, relish and pickled takuan radish; the Fat Boy, a hotdog wrapped in bacon, deep-fried and served with lettuce, mayonnaise and tomato; Chicago Dog, a genuine Vienna all-beef hot dog with all the fixings; or the Hawaiian dog served with pineapple relish, passion fruit mustard and grilled sweet Maui onions. Don’t forget to try the hand battered onion rings with homemade dipping sauces, including wasabi tobiko crème, curry ketchup and chipotle mayonnaise.
Highway Inn, located in the town of Waipahu, has been serving local favorites and Hawaiian classics for more than 62 years. The restaurant was established in 1947 by Seiichi and Sachiko Taguchi, who after returning to Hawaii following World War II, wanted to open a restaurant that served fresh, quality, simple Hawaiian and American foods. Since it opened, Highway Inn has been a popular eatery for Oahu residents. The award winning restaurant and caterer is best known for its beef stew, butterfish ‘n stew with gravy, dried pipikaula, lau lau, and squid luau. Also, try the pork and butterfish lau lau and pipikaula.
Located at Pier 38 in Honolulu, Nico’s is best known for serving fresh fish direct from the Honolulu Fish Auction next door where ahi, mahimahi, swordfish, opah, and other deep-sea fish are brought in and auctioned off every morning. French born owner and chef Nicolas “Nico” Chaize opened Nico’s in 2004, bringing his fine dining experience to a casual eatery to offer classic local favorites with a French twist.
Visit the Honolulu Fish Auction, then head to Nico’s for breakfast or lunch and taste the freshly caught marlin fish burger, pan-seared opah, or one of Nico’s signature dishes, fried ahi belly topped with a lomi tomato salsa, and served with two scoops of rice and a side salad.
Photos courtesy of VirtualErn (Flickr)