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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hawaii - McDonald's Regional Food

Hawaii McDonald's Menu
About a month ago, I went on a grand adventure with my good friend to the beautiful island of Oahu. As much as we wanted to eat to our heart's content (hey! we were on vacation after all!), we realized that our desire to retain our "beach bodies" prevented us from eating anything too extravagant. However, that desire didn't stop us from dining at the local MickyD's. With Hawaii's ample array of local and regional cuisine, you may be wondering why I would waste my time and tummy on something as mundane as McDonald's. BUT it turns out, the McDonald's in Hawaii have a special regional menu that features items that can only be found in Hawaii! (Did you notice anything different on the menu?) When I learned this, I knew I had to check it out!
Hawaii McDonald's Saimin
Saimin is a popular local dish in Hawaii and story has it that the owner of the first McDonald's in Hawaii convinced McDonald's execs to add the item to the menu after taking them to some local saimin places.

While on the island, I did not get a chance to try authentic saimin (something I get to save for next time!) but I would bet big money that it isn't anything like this bland cup of noodle McDonald's gave me. The noodles faintly reminded me of soba noodles and I had to add the soy sauce to get any hint of flavor. The poor excuses for naruto (the swirled fish cake) and chasiu (bbq pork) along with the soggy seaweed made for a disappointing dish. I wasn't expecting anything extraordinary from McDonald's but I wasn't really expecting this either. Haha, at least I get to say I tried it.
Hawaii McDonald's Taro Pie and Local Breakfast Platters

Hawaii McDonald's Taro Pie
Taro Pie
I had read that McDonald's had Haupia (coconut) Pie, which many people enjoyed and I was hoping to try, but at the time we went, they only had fried taro pie. I'm not a big fan of McDonald's fried pies, but I wanted to give this a try since you can't find it on the mainland. The ad in the window showed a pale purple filling (quite typical of taro-filled pastries), but it actually came in a strange, slightly off-putting pink color. The pie itself did not have much taro-flavor. When taken in small bites, it just tasted like sweetness.
Hawaii McDonald's Local Deluxe Breakfast Platter
Hawaii McDonald's Local Deluxe Breakfast Platter
Local Deluxe Breakfast Platter
One morning on the island, we ordered the deluxe breakfast platter, which came with spam AND Portuguese sausage. (You can order the platter with either the spam or Portuguese sausage too.) The rice was surprisingly good for a fast food place. I was expecting it to taste like Minute Rice, but it actually tasted like it came from a rice cooker. The Portuguese sausage reminded me of those long, reddish Chinese sausages because of the tough texture, but the Portuguese sausage wasn't sweet. The platter came with a small packet of soy sauce, but adding it to the eggs or rice would've been a sodium overload. (The spam was salty enough.)
Hawaii McDonald's Fresh Cut Pineapple
Hawaii McDonald's Fresh Cut Pineapple
Fresh Cut Pineapple
In Hawaii, when you order an Extra Value Meal, you receive a small cup of fresh cut pineapple. Something that I noticed while eating at Hawaii McDonald's is that their prices were slightly more expensive than the prices at locations on the mainland. I imagine the pineapple may be playing a role in this. I didn't order a value meal so I can't really comment on the pineapple, but I thought it was just something interesting to note.


Calvin T. said...

very VERY interesting!

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