It may not be fancy. But it is GOOOOOD!
The first time I tried these hot dogs (vege version of course for me), was on a trip to Oahu in 2009 with my girlfriend and partner in crime Priscilla.
She by the way is also a big ol' foodie, just like I me!
Well, during this trip there would be days that we went our own separate ways to do the activities that suit us best, and then we'd always meet up again to EAT!
We usually went out to experience the wonderful fine dining that Oahu has to offer. But this one afternoon, upon my return from wind surfing, Priscilla was super excited to tell me all about a hot dog!
While I know that Priscilla has great taste in food, I had to wonder...a hot dog?
Maybe the island air was getting to her?! She explained to me that she was walking around sightseeing, was offered and tried a sample that just rocked her world! Anyhow, I followed her along into the International Marketplace and we found this small little place with a line out the door and several very interesting choices...
*First, they bake our own version of Hawaiian sweet bread, which may very well be the finest bread you ever sink your teeth into; next we impale it on a hot rod.
As the bun toasts, the Polish sausage or veggie dog slow roasts to perfection on the grill.
Now, how do you want your Garlic lemon secret sauce: Mild, spicy, hot, or lava?
Then choose your favorite Hawaiian fruit relish: Mango, Pineapple, Papaya, Coconut, Banana, or Star fruit. All are incredibly fine, you cannot make a mistake, just choose.
If you like mustard, try Auntie Lilikoi’s Hawaiian mustard; people have been seen eating it straight out of a bottle with a spoon… That speaks for itself.
If you’re still undecided, the world favorite is a tossup between Mango and Pineapple, but just go with the fruit you love, and prepare yourself for an explosion of flavor.
A must have is the local favorite freshly squeezed, ice-cold lemonade. Made fresh in front of your very eyes…
But the ride doesn’t stop here; we extend our Aloha with Puka shave ice. Our heavenly version of a local treat, with all 15 home-made flavors utilizing pure cane sugar.
When I returned from the trip, I raved about this place. So of course on the next visit to Hawaii 2010 (this time with Dave) - I craved Puka Dogs! But we weren't going to Oahu, we were going to Kauai...and guess what yours truly found out?
Wait for it. Wait for it.
That they have a Puka Dog on Kauai (only Oahu and Kauai). Wow, was I stoked!
Again returning to the mainland and raving about hot dogs! I think my poor kiddos were getting quite jealous, because as you should know by now - they LOVE food too! So of course the very next time and the first time the kiddies traveled to Hawaii in 2011, we make Puka Dog our very first stop!
Of course during the remainer of this trip and all others that followed we returned back to the very yummy Puka Dog.
So take it from me, when you're in Oahu or Kauai, go try Puka Dog. You'll find yourself coming back home and raving about these hot dogs to friends and family and then......you'll be returning too!
Just so you know: the couple that started Puka Dog, have since went their own ways and each took one location, one had to change their name and in Oahu it's now called Hula Dog!
Also at time of publication, Hula Dog had to close it doors at their Waikiki location that was based in The International Marketplace, which since December 2013 and after 56 years of being an icon in Waikiki has closed forever to open a new 3 story retail complex. Sad to see a piece of the local history gone forever.
The market was the only thing that would draw locals to Waikiki and that’s gone.