Even if you’re not into fast food, here are 5 reasons why the Hawaii McDonalds is far better than the one you have back home. (This post is an expansion of a short paragraph that I previously wrote about McDonald’s Hawaii that kinda blew up.)
The Deep-Fried Apple Pie
If you’re old enough, close your eyes and think back to the early nineties when they first brought out the baked apple pie at McDonald’s. Do you have fond memories of that first time you bit into it? Of course not! You either thought that they seriously messed this up or “at least it’s healthier”. Now every state in the nation said ok, I’ll stick with this subpar pie except one. Hawaii as a whole took one taste, grabbed Ronald McDonald by his scruff, and told him that baked pie belongs in the trash. Now that’s not what actually happened, but deep down in your gut, it feels right. And deep down in my gut, (since I live in Hawaii) is a deep-fried apple pie that gives a nice satisfying crunch when I bite into it.
The “Other Pies” That Are Even Better
Going past the apple pie, there are two other deep-fried pies on rotation here that put apple into the second tier. Atop deep-fried pie mountain stand the Haupia pie and the Taro pie. Haupia is a sweet coconut milk-based dessert, typically served in gelatin-like blocks at Hawaiian restaurants. These are put into crusts deep-fried until the insides are at an almost pudding-like consistency. This sweet coconut pudding, combined with the crunchy deep-fried crust with a hint of salt, makes for an awesome sweet-savory combination.
Now taro is a Hawaiian root vegetable typically pounded and served as poi at Hawaiian restaurants. It has a unique flavor, but most similar to a starchy sweet potato for those unfamiliar. The starchy light sweetness, mixed with the crust make this a killer combination as well. In the also-ran pie department, you may be able to find the peach/mango pie, guava pie, and pineapple pie on rotation. They’re not for me, but it might be something you would enjoy, and also something you can’t get back home.
Turn up Your Breakfast, From Snore to Soar
McDonald’s Big Breakfast is available here but is a bit of a bore. The Continental Breakfast Guy would approve of you choosing one of Hawaii’s breakfast platters instead. It all starts with sticky medium-grain rice, probably of the calrose varietal, a staple for the many Asian immigrants living in Hawaii. Add some farm fresh eggs scrambled from the happiest of chickens, soaring through the skies. The Portuguese sausage is next, the linguiça, traveling to Hawaii from the Azores of Portugal. Or perhaps you would prefer spam, the forbidden meat, sliced thin and griddled to perfection. To top it off they grace you with a packet of shoyu (soy sauce) made with so much love, they’ve branded it ‘Aloha’.
To be truthful, their breakfast is just okay, but I definitely prefer this over the standard breakfast platter while dosing it with a healthy portion of ketchup or hot sauce (from home).
Unique Regional Menu Items
The first menu item that you can’t find elsewhere would be Saimin. A local ramen forebearer with a Hawaii history over a century old, this noodles-in-soup dish is nice to have in the dead of winter when the temperature dips into the lower 70s. (BRR!) Make sure to ask for chopsticks for your saimin, another thing you can’t get at other McDonalds.
Next up, the McTeri Deluxe is a special burger that’s released for a limited time like the McRib. It’s essentially a quarter pounder covered with a teriyaki sauce (soy sauce, sugar, with a hint of ginger and garlic). If you’re a teriyaki fan, this may be the burger for you.
The last regional thing I can think of is the soda fountain flavor: Fruit Punch. If you were alive in the 60s-90s and remember those Hawaiian Punch TV commercials, have some while in Hawaii for nostalgic purposes. It’s actually a drink that can be found at most places that have a soda machine here.
And the last reason why Hawaii’s McDonalds is better than yours is that when you’re in a Hawaii McDonalds, you’re in Hawaii. 😜
All cheesiness put aside, your McDonalds probably have some great unique features. Let me know about them in the comments below. I personally love Japan’s McDonalds, and have too many photos of the unique items you can get there. Ahh, perhaps a topic for a later date.