Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hank's Haute Dogs

Hank's Haute Dogs, with two locations in Honolulu, Hawaii, is a food establishment selling unique special hot dogs. People may also remember this place being featured on the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives."

Coral St. location


Autographed large photo of the Food Network's Guy Fieri
My family and I got three different hot dogs on Saturday. We got the Saturday special hot dog (Duck and Foie Gras), the chili dog, and a plain keiki dog.

Cool boxes there.
The hot dogs are put in here, whether you dine in or take out.
Chili dog on the back left, Duck/Foie Gras dog on the right
Keiki dog
The duck/foie gras dog was good, but not great. The seasoning did not leave me screaming "wow." I felt the lettuce on the top was more for a fresh product and a color contrast to what could be a heavy feeling with the wiener itself. The seasoning on the wiener itself was average. I liked the honey mustard and the fruit confiture because it gave the product some sweetness (but not overly sweet) and some tang. In terms of flavor, it was a pretty balanced hot dog.

I think Hank's duck and foie gras hot dog is a good way to introduce people to foie gras. Foie gras is an acquired taste, and can have an overpowering musky flavor. I definitely got the muskiness from the foie gras, but I found it quite mild. However, if you didn't tell me there was duck in there, I likely would not have guessed duck meat was in the wiener.

The chili dog was largely a disappointment. I like bold-flavor chili, and in my opinion, Hank's homemade chili fell short. It had OK flavor, but could have gone further on the flavors. The wiener was a 100 percent all-beef with natural casing, and my father and I found the casing tough to bite through.

On a positive note, my grandmother had the plain keiki hot dog and she enjoyed it. She may not eat a lot, but she ate the entire hot dog here. A very positive sign, if there ever was one.

I liked that our hot dogs were made to order. The service was good and we received our order in a reasonable time.

However, in the end, the only thing that would make me come back to Hank's is to try their various unique special hot dogs. For example, Hank's goes with an "alligator dog" on Tuesdays and a "rabbit and veal sausage dog" on Wednesdays. The hot dogs -- especially the special hot dogs -- are pricey (it was about $20 for the three hot dogs, and it was about $9.50 for the duck/foie gras one), and chances are you could get a pretty decent hot dog at a cheaper price elsewhere. In other words, if you just want a regular hot dog, Hank's may not be the place to go.

Hank's scores points for their unique made-to-order hot dogs, their friendly staff, and their appearance on the Food Network. But other than that, the high prices will probably prevent me from coming back after I try all the special concoctions. 4.5/10

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