While my friend was visiting from jolly olde England, we finally decided to check out Puka Dog, the wrongest dog you can legally obtain in Hawaii, possibly America (I hear Sweden still has us beat with their mashed potato sauerkraut gravy dog, but the jury’s out).
It’s a charming food eden set back in the depths of the otherwise garish and fakey International Marketplace. It’s small and cramped and hot, as some of the best food joints on this island are, and the dogs themselves are just insane. But, like, in a good way. You choose different bun types — I chose taro bacon (visitors to Hawaii: get taro things, please, they are tasty and also purple which is the main point) — and you also get different crazy crap to put on the dog. They have a secret lemon sauce, which ranges from normal to super spicy jalapeño, and different mustards and relishes that are not your normal fare.
I am one of those pedestrians so hated in the weiner-loving-hipster-foodie community who likes her dog with ketchup and makes no apologies. I’m learning to appreciate a little mustard, but don’t push it. I like a simple dog and no one gets to give me a dirty look for it. But at Puka Dog, the options are completely different. Lilikoi mustard, guava relish, mango, pineapple — it’s a tropical carnival in a bun. I went with pineapple relish and lilikoi (passion fruit to people who still talk normal talk) mustard, and the non-spicy lemon sauce.
What makes Puka Dog unique is not just the insane combinations of flavors they offer for your dog experience. It’s the process they go through to prepare said dog that is so deliciously and wonderfully wrong. It’s almost sexual — okay, it’s quite sexual — the way the whole thing goes down.
Puka is, of course, the Hawaiian word for “hole”. Their buns are not sliced, like a normal hot dog bun. Instead, they have a row of Inquisition-style spikes set up behind the counter on which they penetrate your buns, after which they squirt in their lemon sauce and use that lubrication to slide your wiener into the bun hole, filling it with sweet toppings all the way in.
If you are not aroused, you’re probably hungry.
They squeeze lemons for their fresh lemonade right in front of your face, and can also make it with li hing mui, the Hawaiian style plum powder that can go on anything from pineapple to gummi bears. It’s fucking good.
My dog was also fucking good. Weird and wrong and unnatural, but delicious and unique. Puka Dog is pretty awesome, folks. I’d check it out next time you’re on O’ahu.
- rocketorca said: i want to go to there
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- itzjustmo said: Ok…I am going to make lemonade that way now!!!
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- duamuteffe said: I am aroused *and* hungry. ^_^
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