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Oct 27, 2011 11:34 AM

Papa's Burgers - any info?

anyone notice "Papa's Burgers" coming soon to market city (next to gina's)? can find their facebook page, but no info at all regarding their style, who they are etc etc.....Anyone know anything? i hope this isnt just a same ol' same ol' joint...

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    1. wondering the same thing as i drive past almost daily. between burgers on the edge, teddy's, and w&m in Kaimuki/Kapahulu/Moiliili, not to mention the counter and kua aina not too far away one would think the area would be saturated. Let's hope for the best (but do i really want/need another good burger place close enough to walk to???)

      10 Replies
      1. re: KaimukiMan

        I got info! Ran over to foodland after work and it was open - 1st day today....I usually like to give a place its footing for a few weeks, but I was there...and its a put it in me. Pleasant space, nice people (the ohana was all hanging around today and it seemed like several family friends came by in the 20 min or so i was in there - was cute - everyone was happy), and a good burger that has definitely given me reason to go back and try more.

        Their burgers are grass-fed, big island beef...all burgers are half-pounders (!) and are priced as such. most of their signature burger combos are $8.99-10.99 if i remember correctly, or you can build your own starting at $6.50 and add any of their ingredients for fitty cent to a dollar fitty. Should have just got a bacon cheeseburger as a starting point (which would have come to $8.00 i think - not bad for a half pounder of local beef) but I went against my usual inclination and got their baja burger (chipotle sauce, sour cream, guac, pico de gallo, cheddar, lettuce). Also ordered their fries which were $3.50 and were served in a small metal bucket...i guess fairly priced for the size fries though i wouldn't mind paying $2.00 for a smaller side order -- too many fries to accompany a half pound burger for 1 person. the fries came out first and i had to send them back - way too soggy. they obliged and returned them crisp enough....but not really great in my opinion. As the fries were fresh cut, classic pomme frite-sized fries, i inquired whether they double fry them (classic french technique to achieve the perfect crisp doneness) and in fact they do....chatted with them a bit as they were very open to collecting constructive criticism . Not sure what the problem was but they'll have to work out the kinks on those fries (for me, anyway). However, they serve the fries with a bangin' aoli style sauce that tasted to me like mayo + garlic + korean koo jang sauce + lemon(totally guessing but had a korean backnote) -- this was nice and tangy, and cut through the fry of the fries fantastically. good stuff. I know i'm totally off on a fry tangent right now, but when she returned my fries she mentioned that some customers raved about their fries like they initially served them to me - kind of soggy. These customers are wrong. right? anyway, the flavors were there, the texture was off.

        Anyway, burger time. This was a monster! They pressed the patty thinner than expected (liitle over a half inch thick or so) for a halfpounder giving it more surface area for sear and topping-holding capability. The burger totally hung out of the bun...and i kind of liked it that way. But i also found myself wishing it was just thicker instead of wider. conundrum. I ordered the burger medium rare, and it was cooked perfectly (not too shabby for 1st day of operation). This burger had a lot of toppings, yet it was nicely balanced. Super juicy, dripping down my fingers. not a super high fat patty, but it was sufficently moist (of course, i had a lot of moist toppings in it). The chipotle sauce almost looked like a mustard, was sorta grainy and i think may have had some chunky salt in it - i hit some pockets that were a bit too salty (and i love salt)....despite all the toppings, the beefiness of the well-seasoned burger held up (nice part of the extra wide patty is I could get some unadorned burger bites that were hanging off the outside). The bun, as usual around honolulu, was sorta nondescript...a white bread sesame seed bun lightly toasted on the inside. nothing to get excited about but it did its job in that it didnt disintegrate into the juices (the Momo Burger truck does the best job with the bun i've encountered in town so far). Burger was served with a dill pickle (seemingly from a jar, but hey, i love me pickle). All in all, this was a VERY flavorful burger that i'd say was a success. Still not as transcendent of a burger as i'd like, but a pretty darn good one and I will 100% go back to try some other offerings (its dangerously close to work).....some of those other signature offerings include a pineapple burger, korean style burger, a bacon cheeseburger (had bbq sauce on it so i passed) and some other interesting patties: a thai curried pork and shrimp patty as well as a honey/miso glazed pork patty. also have a portobello and a black bean burger. also have shakes....

        as an aside, and maybe should start another thread for this discussion, but do any burger shops/restaurants around here select a specific blend of meats to use for patties? like combining some parts brisket, some parts chuck, some parts short rib etc etc? I'm totally guessing at this, but I feel like most shops around here, even ones that use local big island beef, just get a somewhat generic ground beef that may not be at an optimal fat content to really get to a transcendent burger experience. I'm talking like absolutely minimum 15% fat....upward of 20-25% for the really amazing ones. and i know that using a blend of specific cuts of meat can be critical to achieve desirable flavors and textures. just wondering if anyone has taken these sorts of steps yet to really deliver something special. and the buns around here, the damn buns. someone step it up!

        1. re: fatstern

          thanks fatstern, very comprehensive.

          1. re: KaimukiMan

            I walked by last night after they closed. Interesting menu, will have to give it a try soon. choices included a shrimp and pork burger, a black bean burger, a portebello burger, and a kalbi burger.

            (humm... spellcheck keep trying to turn the portebello into a portable burger... LOL)

          2. re: fatstern

            I got full just read your review!

            1. re: UES Mayor

              ok so for a burger vote papa burger? Momo burger or Heeia Pier for a burger??

              Want one big juicy unique condiiment slop creation where would one go out of the three above?

              1. re: palmtree38

                Wolfgang's is better than all three mentioned. $10-

                1. re: russkar

                  yeah, i feel like the premier burgers around here may wind up being restaurant burgers (not burger shop burgers). i'll def check out wolfgang's sometime soon (i'm on a major roll right now - was just recently in LA and had 2 double double animal styles at In N' Out and its sent me on a bit of a bender). if you want a nice big fat condimenty burger, check the one out at "SALT" in kaimuki. the caveat there is i've actually not had one fresh out the kitchen. my gal was sweet enough to show up at the airport with burger in hand when i came back from LA (burger for dinner after In N' Out for lunch!). is that love or what? and it was damn tasty, covered in quality ingredients, and a big sucker to boot. i've had several other friends rave about that burger as well, been meaining to go back and have it again.

                  Momo is not a big fat mess, its a nicely constructed balanced burger. Can double up the patties to achieve a half pounder and that may do the trick. they are generous with condiments. He'eia Pier is also not a big fatty, but it had a desirable sloppiness to it when i had it. The Papa's Burger was def a half pound slopper, so that may fit the bill for you. Not sure who i'd pick to eat again if i had to pick one. only had each of them once so far...sort of most interested in trying momo again...i just wish momo was a bigger beefier burger,but as i mentioned in my review, their burgers are more the sum of its parts to achieve a big flavor.

                  1. re: fatstern

                    we missed out on the in/out burger as was on my list but hubby was obessesed after DDD he was going to have a Hodad's..Got the shirt to boot and makes them at home sporting it with his flip flops :O)//// Im not going to complain. So he got his fix and I ran after a mexican taco truck on university. Palates were satisfied at both!!

                  2. re: russkar

                    went and checked out wolfgang's steakhouse for lunch a couple days ago and got the $10 lunch special burger, and i totally agree with russkar - a damn good burger and one of the best in town. 1/2 pound, cooked perfectly medium rare...great texture (yielding with some chew - def not overworked as many burgers in town seem to be)....classic fixins - sesame seed bun, iceberg, onions, tomato, pickles. got American cheese (i'm a sucker for kraft on a burger). really really tasty and juicy. came with awesome steak fries and onion rings. 10 bucks is a hell of a deal for this one (only at lunch).

                    i've since tried papa's again, as well as momo burger again. curious what other think of papa's. I had a couple friends go the other day and they actually hated papa's burgers...not sure why, i think they thought it was a big mess and a chewy burger. wasnt my experience...

                    i'm also a little more lukewarm on momo than i was initially....stil, not bad,not amazing.

          3. wherefore art thou Fatburger? the west coast is so far...