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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Getting to Know Hawaii: Eat the Street

April 2015 - It looks like ETS has officially moved locations from South Street to Kaka'ako Gateway Park.  Click here for the Google Maps location!

The Need to Knows:
  • The main location for Eat the Street events is in downtown Honolulu at 555 South Street.  The exact location can be found here:
  • Eat the Street (ETS for short) is held every month on the last Friday of the month in the downtown Honolulu location.
  • ETS can also be held in other cities like Mililani or Kapolei during other parts of the month, but I'm not exactly sure how often this happens.  You can always check out ETS's website, www.eatthestreethawaii.com, and see what events are coming up!
  • ETS in Honolulu lasts from 4 PM to 9 PM each time.
  • There is no fee for ETS, but you do have to pay for food of course :)
  • Parking is available in the same lot ETS is held in for free or there is metered street parking available around the lot -- Halekauwila Street normally has a good bit if you don't get there too late.  ETS put out a nice blog post recently describing the best ways to get good parking at the event over on their blog.
  • I highly recommend arriving early.  The later you come, the less likely you'll be able to find any close parking (a lesson I've learned all too well).  You also run the risk of stands running out of food (especially their speciality themed dishes for the month) if you come late!
  • There is a covered eating area and some tall tables you can stand at and eat, but you can also bring your own chairs since they all fill up fast!

When we first moved here to Oahu and got settled in, I began to hear about a once-a-month food truck gathering that took place in town.  Having never really experienced the food truck culture back in Alabama, the thought of having so many different kinds of food in one place really intrigued me.  It took us awhile, but Mr. L and I finally attended one of these events last year and we totally fell in love!

Food trucks of all different varieties gather in a large parking lot in downtown Honolulu to sell their goodies to anyone and everyone with patrons numbering in the thousands.  There are all kinds of food, from Korean, Japanese, and Thai to Hawaiian and local-style foods, and even some down-home Southern cooking thrown in for good measure!  Between all the savory dishes and fantastic desserts, you'll definitely leave with a happy and satisfied tummy.

Now, you'll have to bear with me picture-wise, but I wanted to give notable shout-outs to some of our favorite food trucks that make frequent appearances at Eat the Street.  First up is a truck we first tried at the last Eat the Street -- Five-O Ribs, a down-home BBQ truck.

Pictured below  is a pulled pork plate with green salad and corn on a bed of fried rice (upcharge for the fried rice).  It was really delicious!  I was surprised at how yummy the pulled pork/BBQ/fried rice combo actually was!  At the bottom is, oh yes, chocolate dipped bacon (bacon was the theme of this ETS).  It was a pretty incredible combo of super salty and richly sweet.  It was a great way to kick off this ETS!

Next up is an old favorite of mine -- Soul Patrol.  They create "Southern Pacific Fusion" food and it is so delicious!  On this trip I got a chicken and waffle slider which was completely awesome, and on a trip before I tried a bacon and feta mac and cheese -- yum!  They also serve sweet tea which I can never pass up!

Another big favorite truck of mine is Local Stop.  They offer a variety of local cuisine, but one of their most popular dishes is something crazy awesome -- a malasada burger (!!).  Malasadas are a very popular dessert here on Oahu and I've always enjoyed grabbing a box from Leonard's Bakery.  So when I heard a malasada burger actually existed, I knew I would eventually get my hands on one.  It was fantastic -- a great every-now-and-then treat that I highly recommend trying at least once.

Local Stop also offers another kind of malasada dish -- red velvet cheesecake malasadas!  Holy yum!  These unique malasadas are decadent and delicious and a great dessert to top off your Local Stop meal.

Every time we come to Eat the Street, we make it a priority to hit up Paul's Poppers.  They specialize in creating delicious little golden brown wonton treats with a nice selection of savory and sweet fillings, including spinach and artichoke, pepperoni pizza, crab rangoon, and peanut butter and chocolate to name a few.  I'm always a fan of the savory poppers, but the peanut butter and chocolate blew me away with how completely delicious it was.  I can't wait to get my hands on more!

For some more dessert at this ETS, we tried out a new truck -- Hawaiian Fresh Farms.  We were intrigued by the Kona cheesecake (made with goat cheese!) and had to give it a try.  It was great!  I really enjoyed what few bites Mr. L allowed me to have, haha.  The coffee flavor wasn't too strong and it was nice and creamy.  I'd definitely get a piece again!

And, of course, whenever a shave ice truck is nearby that has Mr. L's favorite flavor, green apple, he absolutely has to order some, no questions asked.  We've actually had shave ice from this truck, Kona Ice, a couple of times (down at Waikiki and on Hickam) and we're always happy with our shave ice choices, especially since you can pour your own choice of flavors from the side of the truck!

A dessert that's growing in popularity here on Oahu seems to be these delectable little pastries -- macarons!  Macarons are definitely among my favorite treats when we find a place that sells them, so when we pass by Life is Sweet at ETS, I normally always go home with at least one (or, you know, a box...).  The flavor pictured up top is chocolate-dipped Reese's and the bottom picture of the collage has a few different kinds like red velvet, salted caramel, and a couple of Halloween flavors (from back in October), one being Boo Berry!

We have had some other amazing treats not listed above, so I decided to throw them in their own collage.  I can't remember the name of the place that sold the corn, but you can't miss the giant "Roasted Corn" sign on the stand, I promise! [UPDATE: The stand's name is Na 'Ono!]  I got the garlic herb seasoning and it was awesome.  It tasted like a mixture of garlic and Old Bay and I really enjoyed it.  

The pulled pork grilled cheese is from an awesome food truck called Tin Hut BBQ, a veteran-owned truck specializing in all things BBQ.  We loved this unique spin on a comfort classic and have since enjoyed other dishes from their truck, including the BBQ chicken.  

The waffle dog is from Hawaiian Waffledog Company which, as the name implies, specializes in waffle dogs haha.  They're a pretty unique concept and definitely very yummy!  

Last but not least is this fantastic pineapple li hing lemonade from Wow Wow Waffle, another stand specializing in awesome waffle treats.  I completely fell in love with the lemonade and never wanted it to end!  I'll definitely be getting more the next time I run into them on the island.

Honolulu's Eat the Street is an awesome way to spend one Friday evening every month here on Oahu.  The atmosphere is fun, inviting, and also smells pretty darn amazing!  It can get a bit pricey, especially if you love to sample a lot of things like I do, but I think it's worth it.  We'll be heading here as much as we can before we leave Oahu for good!

Does your town have any food truck gatherings like this one?



  1. Hi! I just discovered your blog today and I've really been enjoying it. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your adventures!

    1. Aww, thank you, Jess! I know I have a great time writing about my experiences so it's nice to hear that somebody out there enjoys reading it! Haha :)



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