Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Patrick's Hawaiian Cafe

Patrick's Hawaiian Cafe is a Hawaiian restaurant located on SE 123rd Ave. in Vancouver, Washington. Owner Patrick Chang lived in Honolulu for many years before moving to Vancouver. I had heard a few positive reviews about this spot, and I felt like I should put Patrick's home cooking to the test.

Hawaii is a melting pot of different cuisines, each sharing their aloha with home-cooked meals. It was only fitting that Patrick decided to share his home-cooked meals -- the "Spirit of Aloha" -- with everyone.

Walking inside, I'm instantly hit with the little things that remind me of home. For starters, surfboards (one is even "shark bitten") and stickers that just seem to speak Hawaii in words and pictures. Oh, even some of the beer choices are from Hawaii. And you can't forget about the Hawaiian-brand cookies and Kona coffee. If that wasn't enough, a fake palm tree rests in the middle of the dining area.

I love being on Hawaiian time myself!

When I arrived, it looked like there was a mini Hawaiian-themed party in one section of the restaurant (not a full-blown luau, mind you). People were having a great time, and they seemed to love their food.

The expansive menu includes just about everything I'd want to see, right down to the desserts like haupia, Kona coffee ice cream, and "Maui Wowie" sherbet.

Two for $20 meals (dine-in dinner only)
But the panda craved a loco moco. In fact, this one's a "loco loco moco." Hell yes. For $10.75 (that's including tax), I got one handmade beef patty, cooked on the flattop. Top that with some grilled onions, homemade brown gravy, and two sunny side up eggs. Two scoops rice, a scoop of mac, and a pineapple wedge. The panda got brown rice this time to look like he cares about his health!

Loco Loco Moco
(Patrick's Hawaiian Cafe)

Everything was great. Two things stood out, the beef patty and the mac salad. That hamburger patty was perfectly cooked, staying moist but having that ideal slight charred taste from the grill. Nothing like a good grilled burger.

As us local boys know, mac salad is key. This right here was good stuff. Macaroni cooked perfectly, nice ratio of mayo to mac, with a bit of black pepper bite. Personally, I could go for a little more black pepper and perhaps a bit of grated carrot for color and sweetness, but this works just fine.

The only thing for me: just felt it was still a small portion. Perhaps I'm spoiled by the food carts in Portland that could afford to dish out a nice portion for a cheaper price. In any event, I'd still pay a couple bucks more at Patrick's for a second hamburger patty. Or  maybe I could just get a real large combo plate (or two) and experience a real kanak attack.

The menu is very large, and I covered what, maybe 1/40th of it? Guess that means I gotta head back. Patrick is a real nice guy and really knows how to spread that aloha spirit.

I always knew that if I found some real good plate lunches in the Pacific Northwest, the trips back home to Hawaii would get fewer and farther between. Patrick's has earned a fairly solid rating for a short first visit. Check his place out! 7.5/10

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