Monday, June 6, 2011

Hawaiian Time

Hawaiian Time (Beaverton, OR) serves up their take on Hawaiian plate lunches.

Cool, a surfboard hanging from the ceiling....lovely
Hawaiian Time has some traditional plate lunch menu items, such as kalua pig, but they also have their take on food items (look at their Mauna Loa chicken, using sweet chili sauce). I decided to try their regular mixed plate of kalua pig and Mauna Loa chicken. The plate also comes with one scoop of white rice and one scoop of macaroni salad ($8.95). Unfortunately, it doesn't look like there's brown rice here (menu says white rice, with the word "white" underlined).

Kalua pig on the bottom left, Mauna Loa chicken on the bottom right
I waited about 10 minutes for my food. There were a few customers who had ordered before me, so I felt that was a reasonable wait for fresh food.

When I received my plate lunch, I could immediately tell the meats had just been freshly prepared. I could also tell where the mac salad was -- it was the only area of the container that was cool to the touch.

Very good sticky rice here. Enough said on that because I expect rice to be cooked well.

The mac salad gets mixed reviews. While I again got the nice peppery bite (woohoo, that's three Hawaiian food places in a row with proper mac salad), the macaroni was a bit underdone for me. The pasta was still a bit chewy.

Now for the meats. The kalua pig was very good here as well, moist and flavorful with a good smoky flavor. Ohana Hawaiian Cafe is still my top pick because they added the cooked cabbage on top.

The Mauna Loa chicken was flavorful. I enjoyed the sweet chili sauce on the grilled boneless, skinless chicken. However, I did not detect any heat; the sweetness just took over here.

One gripe: I saw that the kalua pig and the Mauna Loa chicken were sitting on another bed of white rice. While I like the rice on the bottom (so I can eat flavorful rice), I feel like I got tricked a bit here. I thought the only rice on the plate was the scoop on the top left portion of my plate. Maybe to a lot of Hawaii locals, this is welcome, but I am a huge protein person all the way and limit my carbohydrates. Rice can be made for mere cents compared to the meat, so it's the food establishment's ploy to make the customer believe he/she is getting a good deal on quantity. Yeah, a boy from Hawaii complaining about too much rice seems too good to be believed, but that's just me. Give me the proteins, not more carbs.

After snapping the picture of the food, I immediately added a ton of sriracha on everything. Sriracha makes all my savory meals better.

Hawaiian Time has a warm, inviting feel to the place with bright colors. However, I'm not sure if I like the light yellow color inside. And fun, the chairs match the walls! Lots of windows here, folks. This allows the sunshine -- if Oregon happens to get any -- to get in and really liven the place up. And really? A surfboard hanging from the ceiling? Sure....

I felt bad for their senior citizen employee. He was going solo taking orders from people coming into the restaurant -- and also taking orders from Hawaiian Time's drive-thru window. Yes, Hawaiian Time also has a drive-thru. I wish one employee would take the drive-thru and another employee take in-house orders. Were they short-staffed that day or something? The senior citizen employee did a fine job, in my opinion.

I wish Hawaiian Time had a brown rice option and I also wish they had more menu items. The Loco Moco is missing from the menu, and they do not have as many options as the other places I've been to. Still, the quality of the food is undeniable, and I applaud them for that.

Will I return to Hawaiian Time? If I'm in Beaverton and really want a plate lunch, I'll certainly consider it, but it's not a must-stop on the list. I know I could easily find another place to go to (perhaps in Portland) for more Hawaiian food options. 6.75/10

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