Destination: Zippy’s is an Oahu institution. They’ve been serving up typical Hawaiian plate lunches since their drive-in opened in 1966, two years before the first McDonald’s appeared on the island. It’s one of the only family run local restaurants to survive the onslaught of the fast food giants. In fact it has continued to expand and succeed. Consider this – the entirety of Oahu consists of 597 square miles, which is just slightly larger than the city of Houston, and there are 25 Zippy’s. They’ve also recently opened their first location on Maui.
One of the brothers/owners describes their menu this way: “We have local food, mostly for the local people. With other stuff.”
Focus: Food – Local
Soundtrack for the drive: As, Songs in the Key of Life, on repeat
Quote of the Day: Did you know that true love asks for nothing? ~ Stevie Wonder
So what is local Hawaiian food? I’m not sure. No one really is, they just know it when they see it. Typical plates here do not accommodate vegetarian diets so I haven’t spent much time exploring the cuisine. There’s a lot of fried food to be had and the part of the Zippy’s menu called “Experience the Classics” contains chili nachos, oxtail soup and katsu curry saimin.
I’m pleasantly surprised to see they have vegetarian chili but I’m here for breakfast and really in the mood for eggs and hot cakes (also known as pancakes where I come from).
I think local food could be described in a way similar to Hawaiian Pidgin. It’s a mix of many cultures coming together to form something that works for everybody. In what other city could you get fast food mahi mahi sandwiches, Korean fried chicken and a Teriyaki New York steak with Lilikoi juice? Or how about the Chinatown Steamed Okapakapa and some Portuguese bean soup? Oh and there’s burgers and sushi too.
They actually have a lot more vegetarian options than I would have imagined including mushroom burgers, vegi-tofu patties and grilled cheese sandwiches. I’m thrilled with my “hot pancakes” as I like to call them because that cracks me up. (Gosh I’m funny!) And the scrambled eggs are just fine too.
Lesson remembered: Don’t write things off before you try them.