Friday, April 8, 2011
Just as you can't journey to New York and not sample a hot dog from a street vendor, you can't possibly visit Kauai and not eat a Puka Dog. It's a requirement. A Puka Dog is a Hawaiian style hot dog and trust me, it doesn't look or taste like any hot dog you've had before. It's a grilled Polish sausage or a veggie dog cradled in a loaf of toasted Hawaiian bread with a hole or "puka" punched into it. The bread is filled with a series of sauces that can make the experience alarmingly messy if you don't know how to handle it. Fortunately, I was given detailed instructions on how to order and eat a Puka Dog.
First of all, just because they suggest a slew of sauces, doesn't mean you have to order them. The first sauce offered is a garlic lemon sauce that I was cautioned to skip to avoid sauce overload. So I did. Next you choose from a series of seven tropical relishes, which is my favorite part. You can choose from an overwhelming selection of mango, pineapple, papaya, coconut, banana, guava or star fruit relish. I went with star fruit because it was the most unusual to me. Then, you pick plain, Dijon or lilikoi mustard. Lilikoi is passion fruit so you know what I went with. Finally, you grab a cup of fresh squeezed lemonade and savor the flavors.
With sea breezes wafting through my hair, I gripped the dog with both hands and took a small bite. Both hands and small bites are essential when eating a Puka Dog if you don't want the sauces squirting everywhere. It's also easier if you wear skimpy clothes because lilikoi mustard wipes off your leg much faster than off your jeans. Overall, the sensation of the sweet star fruit relish mingled with the veggie dog and sharp mustard was delectable. I loved the fresh fruit flavors and the laid back atmosphere.My only problem with Puka Dogs is that they don't supply mainland delivery.