Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Good Eats: Kua Aina Sandwich Shop

If you drive through the surf town of Haleiwa during your trip to the North Shore, you might stop by Kua Aina Sandwich Shop.  This place has been voted one of the best burger joints on the North Shore.  The burgers are big, the prices are modest, your fellow diners can be competitive surfers, (the service can be slow) but the meal is tasty.  

Located at 66-160 Kamehameha Highway #1A, the Haleiwa location is the original store.  Kua Aina Sandwiches was founded over 30 years ago by Terry Thompson.  He has since expanded to several other locations in Japan and the Ward Warehouse.  Hours at this location are 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.  

The big draw here are the big burgers on a kaiser roll.  How big are these burgers?  You can get a third pound or half-pound burger made from Nebraskan beef.  You can also order your burgers with extra cheese or even pineapple.  

Check the daily specials by the counter.  Besides the big burgers, the mahi-mahi sandwich with house tartar sauce are the big attraction.  However on this day, the mahi-mahi was so popular it sold out.  Fortunately, the other daily special was the ahi.  

I'd ordinarily try the burger, but the fresh ahi caught my eye.  It's a thick slab of fresh fish, grilled to perfection.  Along with that I tried the cole slaw, pickles, grilled onions, and french fries.  The fries are on the thin side, almost like shoe-string potatoes, but tasty.

The sandwich looks bigger in the hand, than on the plate.  The ahi was cooked well and was warm through out the fillet while the lettuce and tomato were fresh and crunchy.  I especially liked the sweet grilled onions to go with the everything.  All in all, a good meal with a tasty sandwich.