HONOLULU’S BEST BURG­ERS

Ham­burg­ers in Hawaii aren’t quite your av­er­age patty and bun

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - DESTINATION UNITED STATES - ASH­LEE GALEA

Thoughts of Hawaii usu­ally con­jure up im­ages of bikini bod­ies, rather than beau­ti­fully built burg­ers, but rest as­sured the is­lands are home to both. Scratch the food sur­face of Hawaii’s cap­i­tal city, Honolulu, and a tasty burger scene ap­pears. With ac­cess to fresh in­gre­di­ents pro­cured lo­cally from cat­tle ranches, fam­ily-run farms and es­teemed bak­eries, the Hawai­ian Is­lands pro­duce top-qual­ity pat­ties, fill­ings and buns.

Honolulu’s best burg­ers come with a huge help­ing of cre­ativ­ity, from ’50s-style in­spi­ra­tion and 1980s pop cul­ture, to comic-book decor and beer-in­fused in­gre­di­ents. This is not your av­er­age list of burger joints.

PINT + JIGGER

Pint + Jigger is a “hip­ster” gas­tropub in Honolulu spe­cial­is­ing in high­qual­ity cui­sine, craft beers on tap and classy cock­tails. The gourmet menu show­cases food in­tended to be paired with spe­cific bev­er­ages. Burger choices are lim­ited; it’s about qual­ity, not quan­tity. The Stout Burger is a must-try ex­pe­ri­ence for all burger con­nois­seurs. The high­light is a tossup be­tween the thick and juicy patty and a slice of beer cheese. Eat it with the stan­dard trim­mings of let­tuce, pick­les and gar­lic ai­oli, or el­e­vate the in­dul­gence with caramelised onions, av­o­cado or ba­con. PINTANDJIGGER.COM

BURG­ERS & THINGS

Burg­ers & Things is a small burger joint filled with comics, ac­tion­fig­ures and anime para­pher­na­lia. The meat pat­ties are braised in dif­fer­ent house-made jus de­pend­ing on the burger type, giv­ing them com­plex flavours that pack a punch. The orig­i­nal Juicy Burger is a fin­ger­lick­ing good time. The patty is soaked overnight in a “se­cret-recipe” sig­na­ture jus and housed in a ba­sic bun with tomato, let­tuce and bal­samic ai­oli. Up­grade your eat with a pret­zel bun or by adding one of 10 cheese op­tions. BURGERSANDTHINGS.COM

TEDDY’S BIG­GER BURG­ERS

With 11 lo­ca­tions on Oahu, Teddy’s Big­ger Burg­ers is Hawaii’s largest burger chain. The first retro-themed restau­rant opened in 1998 at the foot of Di­a­mond Head, and it’s be­come an in­ter­na­tional fran­chise. Its fo­cus is on fresh burg­ers, shakes and fries. Teddy’s Orig­i­nal Big, Big­ger or Big­gest Burg­ers are the main at­trac­tion, with patty weights of 150g, 225g or 450g. Each burger is served on a potato or wheat bun (or let­tuce wrap for the carb-con­scious) and stacked with a flame-grilled patty, toma­toes, sweet white onion, pick­les, let­tuce, and teriyaki and “spe­cial” sauce. En­hance­ments are en­cour­aged – choose the Vol­cano Burger for a fiery kick of jalapenos, pep­per jack cheese and Ki­lauea Fire bar­be­cue sauce. TEDDYSBB.COM

CHUBBIES BURG­ERS

Founded in 2016, Chubbies Burg­ers is a 1950s-style food truck of­fer­ing Oahu’s first “smash burg­ers”. Smash refers to a method of cook­ing where the patty is pressed hard on a hot grid­dle; it forms a crust and locks in all the flavour. Chubbies uses su­pe­rior grass-fed Kauai beef, lo­cally sourced pro­duce and cloud­like buns. The menu is kept sim­ple; choose from only three burg­ers and three fries. The crowd favourite is the ’50s Burger, a clas­sic cheese­burger with Amer­i­can cheese, tomato, let­tuce and ’50s sauce (“spe­cial” burger sauce). Com­plete the meal with home­made pick­les and a box of old-school crin­kle-cut fries. CHUBBIESBURGERS.COM

HONOLULU BURGER CO

The Honolulu Burger Co brand is built on the premise of nat­u­ral pro­duce “grown, bred and fed” in Hawaii. With a se­lec­tion of 15 burg­ers and eight styles of fries, plus the op­tion to “cre­ate your own”, it caters for every taste. The Blue Hawaii Burger is the top seller with blue cheese, ba­con, tomato and let­tuce. An­other house favourite is the Mush­room Mush­room Burger – jam-packed with gar­lic-herb but­ter mush­rooms and Amer­i­canSwiss cheese. For some­thing spe­cial, opt for a soft taro roll. Taro is sim­i­lar to sweet potato but with pur­ple flesh. HONOLULUBURGERCO.COM

FRANKY FRESH

The burg­ers at Franky Fresh come with a unique twist – the op­por­tu­nity to step back in time to the 1980s. This “rad” restau­rant hon­ours all things ’80s pop cul­ture with boom box adorned walls, posters of artists such as Prince, menus made from vinyl records, TV screens loop­ing hip-hop mu­sic videos and a Su­per Nin­tendo that’s ready to play. It serves a de­cent burger too, us­ing nat­u­rally raised and hu­manely han­dled Big Is­land beef. With cool names like Marky Mark, Fresh Prince and No­to­ri­ous P.I.G, it’s hard to pick. The MC Ham­mer, while more roast beef sand­wich than burger, gar­ners rave re­views. The Shakes are a meal in them­selves, they’re a mix of vanilla thick­shake and a bowl of sug­ary ce­real. FACE­BOOK.COM/ITSFRANKYFRESH

MAHALOHA BURGER

Found only-in-Hawaii at two Oahu lo­ca­tions, Mahaloha Burger is fa­mous for fresh­ness. Burger pat­ties are made daily from free-range, grass-fed Big Is­land beef with no preser­va­tives, an­tibi­otics or growth hor­mones. Vegetable fill­ings are is­land-grown, bread baked fresh and sauces made from scratch. Try the Loco Moco Burger; a pop­u­lar lo­cal dish mor­phed into burger form. It’s a seared but­ter bun and de­li­cious patty cov­ered in gravy, melted cheese, crispy onions and ba­con, and topped with a fried egg. Grab ex­tra nap­kins, it’s a lit­tle messy, but it’s worth it. MAHALOHABURGER.COM

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