Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kauai - Bubba Burger or Duane's Ono Char Burger?

When you are on vacation you tend to eat a lot of those things you generally wouldn't eat on a regular basis or at home. So goes the quest for a good burger - we never do this at home but on Kauai lack of reasonably priced cuisine forced this into our meal repertoire.

One of the two spots we tried was Bubba Burger which has at least two locations on Kauai - one in Kapa'a and another in Hanalei near Princeville on the north shore of the island where we were staying. The travel book Kauai Revealed couldn't have described the service any more accurately. Move slowly to make it appear you are busier than you are and to create the appearance of popularity.  People will then come in droves to see what is drawing the crowds.

In all fairness the burgers were good - but of course they would never have been worth that same price back on the mainland. Over $5 for a single patty (maybe 1/6 of pound raw weight) and over $6 for a double with few additions - cheese, pineapple and bacon were all extra. A small dish of fries was $4.50 and although tasty quite steep a price to pay for fries poured unceremoniously out of a freezer bag into the fryer basket.

A kalua pork sandwich with sweet chili sauce was amazingly tender and flavorful and a better deal than the burgers for the amount of meat served.

South of Kilauea Lighhouse heading toward Kapa'a is Duane's Ono Char Burger. We'd read about it's legendary burgers in the travel books so we had to go. Upon arrival the place looks very quaint. A word of warning - Duane's is literally on the side of the highway. One errant turn by a driver and you could have a car land on top of you and your burger at the picnic tables.

The menu gives one hope that the burgers will be tasty with choices including different types of cheese, avocado, mushrooms and several sauces.

The burgers were cut in half and nicely wrapped - the Local Girl had teriyaki sauce (a bit too much), Swiss cheese and a pineapple slice - all in all tasty components but they really overpowered the single beef patty.  The Nui-Nui or double beef patty burger was much more satisfying as far as beef flavor was concerned. Fries were much hotter and flavorful than at Bubba Burger and a convenience store next door that sold beer satisfied our craving for a libation.

Unfortunately the incessant buzzing of very hungry flies at the outdoor tables proved to be so annoying that only the colorful chickens and roosters running around the grounds helped to distract us from the insect onslaught.  Bottom line - skip Duane's and cook yourself a burger on your resort's BBQ grill. If you don't have that option then Bubba Burger is a much tastier choice.