Thursday, August 21, 2014

Salty Spam Fries & More at Hawaiian Grindz

by Guest Blogger Sarah Eberwein Hawthorne

Hawaiian Grindz features a cozy and inviting atmosphere, reminding one of a Hawaiian hut with relaxing music in the background. I was greeted by a friendly cashier and noticed the lunch specials. For a mere $6.99, I could choose two meat entrees along with a scoop of white rice, macaroni salad, and a drink. I opted for the Kalua Pig and the Mochiko Chicken. 

Of course, I needed to try the Spam Fries, one of Hawaiian Grindz's specialties. I mean, who has heard of Spam Fries?! Since i am a spam virgin, I went into this experience with open taste buds. The presentation is cute: the Spam Fries are displayed in an empty Spam can and are accompanied by four sauce options.

At first bite, they tasted like cheap fish sticks, but I think that's because they were so salty. I tried the sauces and that helped bring out the flavor. The options were spicy mayo, sweet 'n sour sauce, ranch, and soy sauce. I found myself slightly repulsed by the fact that I was eating spam fries, but the breading was so good that I dipped in and ate a few more while waiting for my entree. After a few, the salt was getting to me. And my tea, which tasted more like water, wasn't helping. 

The entree came quickly, though, and she brought me two bottles of sauces along with them. They looked similar but one was labeled sweet and the other spicy. I put a little of the sweet on my plain white rice and it tasted like the soy sauce and sweet 'n sour sauce had been mixed together. It was actually quite tasty. 

I delved into the Kalua Pig first and my mouth was filled with a salty, greasy mush. You could not taste the pork behind the massive amount of salt...even saltier than the spam. Moving on to the Mochiko Chicken, I was happy to find that they used the same light but
crunchy breading as on the spam fries, even though this breading was obviously mixed with a very sweet add-on. It tasted like a breaded bourbon chicken. It was just a little too sweet for my taste (and I have a major sweet tooth), but it was a nice contrast to the salt. 

The highlight of my meal was the macaroni salad. I will be probably be back just to buy this tasty little side. It was perfectly creamy, with carrots adding a nice crunch and lightly seasoned with pepper. After I put the last macaroni in my mouth, I wanted to lick the plate. 

As I was leaving, I noticed a large white board that had 12 Chef Special dishes. I wish I had seen that or been offered those options prior to ordering, as there were several dishes that looked quite interesting. I also noticed the Spam Fries clearly advertised on the board for $4, despite not being on the menu. 

While the food was not my cup of tea, I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, the good service, and the speed in which I could eat and be back on my way.

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