Hank's Haute Dogs Honolulu
Any 'Hounds tried Hank's Haute Dogs (Coral St. / Ala Moana Blvd.)? I'll be going there next week during my vacation, but am eager to hear the early reports. I know the proprietor from his many years in Chicago fine dining (his legendary restaurant, Trio, was the springboard for a bunch of famous chefs). The Chicago style dogs will be the real deal, because he is shipping Vienna beef dogs from the WIndy City. I'm more interested in finding out about the more exotic dogs.
A friend and I went to Hanks for lunch today. We arrived just after 1pm. The place was busy, but not packed, when we left a half hour later it was just about empty. The staff was friendly, the place was clean, and it smelled good. No tables, just a counter and stools along one wall and under the windows on a second wall. There was no tip jar.
I ordered the chili dog, fries (with curry/ketchup dipping sauce), and a hibiscus ice tea. Friend had bratwurst, fries, and the hibiscus ice tea.
The hibiscus tea was sweeter than I might have wanted, but it was nicely flavored and very refreshing.
The french fries were fresh, you could taste that, and advertised as twice cooked. Maybe, but mine, while not soggy, were more limp than crisp. On the other hand they were not oily or cold, and they had a good flavor. Still in all, less than awesome as labeled on the menu board.
The dogs were served on a nice fluffy bun, very soft, i thought it was good. Friend thought that the bun should have been more substantial, more bite to it. I don't have any idea what a chicago style bun is supposed to be like.
My chili was nicely seasoned, not runny, meat and beans, and there was a decent amount of it. It came with onions and cheese on top. The hot dog itself was very good. It had a casing for those of you who are traditionalists, but more importantly I thought it was one of the best tasting hot dogs I have ever had. Not bland, but not overwhelmingly salty or spicy. Just a good rich flavor, nice and moist, but not soggy, and definitely not a lot of filler like cheap hot dogs have.
Friend was less pleased with his bratwurst than I was by my dog. He didn't find anything particularly wrong with it, but unlike my hot dog, there was nothing exceptional about it. He said he expected more from a gourmet hot-dogerie.
And in spite of the fact that my dog was excellent, I think I agree. My meal was $11.00. Friend's was about the same. I realize that last week I spent that much for a Quizno's sandwich (which also left me disappointed), and the other evening spent that much for a spinach salad - it was a good salad. Still eleven dollars for a hot dog and fries seems pretty steep to me. I certainly won't avoid the place, but it is not likely to be somewhere I drag all my friends to. I just want MORE for $11. More flavor, more food, more something.
Just read the Star-Bulletin article today:
It's on my list for my Labor Day visit. Can't wait to try the haute dogs. The duck and foie gras and seafood sound good.
Should make a nice counterpoint to the andadogs I'll be having at the Okinawa Festival!