Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Waikikie Hawaiian BBQ

The first time I tried Hawaiian BBQ was at a little spot in a Los Angeles strip mall a couple of years ago.  I enjoyed it quite a bit, so when I recently learned that there was a Hawaiian-style BBQ restaurant here in the ATL (and not far from home at that), I was excited about giving it a try.

Waikikie Hawaiian BBQ is nestled in its little spot on Briarcliff Road, not far from the Emory University campus.  The decor and vibe is about what you'd expect in a Hawaiian BBQ joint: bright colors, surfboards on the wall, videos of hula dancers or surf scenes playing on one of the TVs.  As I walked up to the entrance I was greeted with "Bruddah Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole's signature rendition of Over The Rainbow.

Now I already had a gameplan regarding what to order, but when faced with the huge menu board I spaced out for a minute.  After recovering, I decided to take advantage of the $6.99 "Lunch Special" combo: a choice of two of the main items, one scoop each of steamed rice and macaroni salad plus a small green salad.  In my opinion, this is a really good deal.  I decided to go with the bbq beef, chicken katsu (a chicken cutlet breaded in panko and deep-fried), a small green side salad and the stuffed shrimp appetizer.  I passed on the steamed rice and macaroni salad.

Oh, how I loved the stuffed shrimp-so much so that I ended up ordering a second helping to go (yeah, I'm a greedy butt, I know).  The shrimp are stuffed with pepper-jack cheese, deep-fried until golden and served with a side of cocktail sauce. 

I had no complaints with my chicken katsu & bbq beef combo.  In fact, it was one of the better lunches I've had in quite a while.  I've read a few complaints about Waikikie's portion sizes online, but I thought this was more than enough for me (even if I hadn't ordered an appetizer).  The green salad was fresh, crisp and delicious with the sesame ginger dressing. The katsu was decent, and the beef was tender and flavorful. 

I ordered a pineapple shave ice for the road.  I'm not the biggest snow cone fan in the world (and this is basically a snow cone in a large plastic cup), but this wasn't bad at all. I will definitely make a return visit to Waikikie Hawaiian BBQ in the not too distant future.  A couple of my Twitter foodie friends have told me that I must try Spam Musubi, so I think I will do that next time.  Oh yeah, and more of those stuffed shrimp!  I recommend taking advantage of their $6.99 lunch special.

Waikikie Hawaiian BBQ
2160 Briarcliff Road NE
Atlanta, GA  30329
Closed on Mondays 
Waikikie Hawaiian BBQ on Urbanspoon

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