I’ve read quite a few mediocre reviews of Waikikie Hawaiian BBQ and had always wondered if the food really wasn’t that good or if people were just going in with the wrong expectations.
After a few hours of mountain biking, HX and I had worked up an appetite and I decided to finally give it a try. My expectation was to find Hawaiian plate lunch food – the kind you would find in local beach spot, a combination of Polynesian, Asian, American and leftover MRE’s from WWII. On the drive, I told HX one of my criteria would be if they had SPAM musubi. Lo and behold, there on the menu – SPAM musubi – essentially huge makizushi filled with teriyaki SPAM. Very tasty – salty, seaweedy, SPAMmy – and filling.
BBQ Beef, BBQ Short Ribs, BBQ Chicken, Macaroni Salad, Rice
We shared the Waikikie Combo, a plate of rice, macaroni salad, BBQ beef (similar in taste to bulgogi), BBQ beef short ribs (essentially kalbi) and BBQ chicken (teriyaki glazed chicken breast). Definitely not “barbecue” (that’s another discussion), but well executed and satisfying.
The menu is extensive, featuring “barbecue”, burgers, curry, ramen, fried rice and even a few vegetarian selections. Shaved ice is on hand for dessert. They also currently have a few Hawaiian beers on hand (Longboard Ale and Pipeline Porter – made with Kona coffee).
So overall, maybe not the most spectacular food in town, but I think I had my expectations set correctly. This is actually the kind of place Atlanta could use more of – a restaurant that seems comfortable in it’s own skin – a place to relax and just let it be what it wants to be.