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Posted on Friday, May 6th, 2011


Today was mostly a work day, but I did get some time to goof off in Honolulu and do some of the things that made me not mind dragging my ass across the Pacific to be here. This pretty much boils down to three things...

#1 PUKA DOG!! Originating on Kauai, Puka Dog eventually opened up a shop in Waikiki (UPDATE: Puka Dog is now Hula Dog in Oahu, still Puka Dog in Kauai. UPDATE 2: Hula Dog in Waikiki was CLOSED when they tore down the International Marketplace! SUCKS!! Check Hula Dog's website for their locations). I can say without reservation that this is my favorite meal in all of Oahu. Just like Chicago, which has a hot dog to call their own, Puka Dog is a hot dog done Hawaiian-style, and they are amazing...

Puka Dog!
Don't let the line scare you... Puka Dog is worth the wait!

They are also very different and uniquely Hawaiian in oh so many ways...

  • THE DOG! You can either get Polish Sausage or a Veggie Dog. I must say, the vegetarian option is among the best veggie dog I have ever tasted. Not even a little bit rubbery!
  • THE BUN! Well... it's not really a bun. It's a tiny loaf of bread that has a hole drilled in the end. They place them on heated spikes, so you get a toasted interior and a soft exterior that tastes like magic. Your choice of white or wheat.
  • THE CONDIMENTS! And here is where an already unique hot dog goes completely off he rails. Condiments are injected into the hole in the "bun" and the dog is poked down into it...
    • Secret Lemon-Garlic Sauce! Choose from Mild, Spicy, Hot, or Hot-Hot. Do NOT be scared off because you think it will taste too lemony! It is an AMAZING mayo-based sauce, and the lemon is just a hint. I always go with "hot" which is not too hot for me at all.
    • Specialty Relish! There's Mango, Pineapple, Coconut, Banana, Papaya, and Star Fruit. The Mango is my favorite (and their most popular) but sometimes they have a "special" flavor. This time it was MAUI SWEET ONION AND I LOVED IT!
    • Mustard! They have "regular" mustard... or even ketchup if you're insane... but what you really want is the Hawaiian Mustard in your choice of Lilikoi (tangy) or Guava (sweet). Both are good, but the Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Mustard IS TO FUCKING DIE FOR!

The way you order is kind of "Soup-Naziesque" but they don't treat you too badly if you goof it up. But it's pretty hard to goof up if you follow the steps on their menu board. For example, I order like this: "I'll take a Veggie, Hot, Mango, Lilikoi on White, please!" But, no matter how you order, you're getting an amazing meal that's unlike anything else on earth... in a very good way...

Puka Dog!
Left is a dog in the hole. Right is down a few bites so you can see all the condiment goodness within!

#2 KISSES!! Everybody loves Hershey's Kisses. Those little foil-wrapped pieces of deliciousness are truly a treat to behold. And then Hershey's took it to The Next Level and introduced Kisses with almonds, caramel, and peanut butter in the middle (among other things). BUT... only here in Hawaii can you get Hershey Kisses with Macadamias in the middle! They are everything you'd dream they'd be. And at $5 a bag, they'd better be...

Hershey Macadamia Kisses

#3 NEW HARD ROCK!! As anybody who follows this blog already knows, I am incredibly disappointed with the "new-style" Hard Rock Cafe properties. Instead of the old-school method of cramming every available surface with awesome Rock-n-Roll memorabilia, they instead put a few meager pieces in glass cases and scatter them on a few walls. So when they moved Honolulu's Hard Rock from the old location to the new one in Waikiki, I was horrified at the idea of it being a shitty "new-style" cafe. And it is. Kind of. Because while there isn't a tremendous amount of memorabilia, it is more than usual. And they DO have this awesome ribbon of guitars running up the wall and across the ceiling of this beautiful, beautiful restaurant...

Hard Rock Cafe Outside!
Approaching the all-new dual-level Hard Rock Cafe at Waikiki!

Hard Rock Cafe Outside!

Hard Rock Cafe Outside!

Pretty sweet, eh? And, on that note, I am about ready to pass out, so I'm off to a night of (hopefully) sweet slumber.


I ran across proof positive that President Obama was BORN AMERICAN, BABY! Because if it's in a children's book, it must be true, right?

Obama American Proof!

Good night!

Tags: ,
Categories: Hard Rock 2011, Travel 2011Click To It: Permalink


  1. whitenoise says:

    Someday I will get to see Hawaii…

  2. Karl says:

    Man that hot dog looks amazing. I’m not a mustard person, but I’d definitely try the relishes.

  3. Sybil Law says:

    SO JEALOUS! But glad you got some downtime. 🙂
    That book oughta shut up the birthers! Well, except they can’t read…

  4. Oh man! Those photos of the hot dogs makes me want to be bad and order one even though I’m not supposed to eat gluten! AMAZING!!!

  5. Lisa says:

    Oh man, now I want a Puka Dog! That looks delicious! I’ve never been to Hawaii, but someday I hope to get there.

  6. claire says:

    That’s quite a hot dog. I’d try a veggie dog with a fruit relish and one of their fancy mustards. Don’t care for garlic or mayo, so I’d skip that.

  7. Christopher Stogdill says:

    In case you didn’t know….I thought you might like this link for getting some of your Puka Dog supplies.

  8. A. Lewis says:

    Seriously? The President is from Hawaii? Are you buying into that crap? He is from KENYA!

  9. How have I never had a Puka Dog? I do miss Lucy’s in Kailua, and, of course, Matsumoto’s!

  10. Göran says:

    LOVE the hall of guitars! I really like to visit Hawaii. Can’t for the life of me understand why you don’t hire me as a 6ft5 moveable flash holder that can talk too ;-D

  11. the muskrat says:

    I’ve never heard of this thing! Must. Try. Soon.

  12. martymankins says:

    Next time I venture ti Oahu, I’m going ti try a Puka Dog. And those macadamia nut Kisses are very good.

  13. Gary says:

    At some point we will have to have a hot dog taste-off. I’ve been reading up for a trip to Iceland in September, and have learned:
    1. Icelanders are utterly addicted to hot dogs, and they swear the best are from Baejarins Beztu, a van situated near the harbor that’s been patronized by Bill Clinton! Use the vital sentence “Eina med ollu” (one with everything) to get one with mustard, tomato sauce, remoulade and crunchy onions.
    [-Lonely Planet]
    2. Icelanders are well aware that their pylsur (hot dogs) are among the best on the planet, and they consume them in enormous quantities — usually ein med ollu, or “one with everything” … as you dispense mayo, ketchup, and a tangy remoulade with finely chopped pickle from enormous squeezy tubes, Toppings also include raw and crispy onions. However, the key ingredient is the hot dog itself: the addition of lamb to the usual pork and beef mellows and deepens the taste experience. …
    Britain’s Guardian newspaper, voting (Baejarins Bestu) the best hot dog stand in Europe, credited the remoulade sauce, but locals believe it’s the secret cooking fluid (most think beer is involved).

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