Hawaiian Cuisine

Three Typical Hawaiian Plate Lunches

There is more to Hawaiian cuisine than the simple “plate lunch,” but it is as typical for Honolulu as Hamburgers and French Fries are on the mainland. Typically it consists of:

  • A meat serving, such as kalua pork in the meal on the right
  • One or two scoops of plain white rice
  • Macaroni salad

What you don’t see is a salad. You get meat and a ton of carbs. Usually it tastes pretty good, but it drives haolies (mainlanders) nuts not to see their favorite grindz (food) on the menu. So many of them stick to hotel restaurants that cater to their expectations.

Oh, yes, there’s also poi, made from taro leaves.

Actually, poi is supposed to be very nutritious—even if it resembles slimy purple goop. I’ve never had any, but promise to sample some when Martine and I go to Honolulu later this year.

There are several other Asian cuisines that are part of Hawaiian food, especially Japanese and Chinese, with a hint of Portuguese in the form of their excellent linguica sausage.

Since Martine flat out doesn’t like Chinese food, and will only eat one or two Japanese dishes, I suspect we will eat mostly plate lunches (but no poi for her) or whatever mainland American chow she can find, even hamburgers and fries.