A Hawaiian Plate Lunch from Poi Dog

A year ago, my roommate and partner in crime returned to her homeland of Hawaii. I miss that tiny girl a whole lot. While we lived together she would sometimes bring home vacuum sealed Hawaiian delicacies, which I had previously only known about to the extent of what I learned on the finale of Top Chef Season 2. Now I am on my own in seeking out poi, which I actually enjoy, and kalua pork. Thus, I was excited when the Poi Dog cart opened. Its a tiny, roaming cart, bringing big Hawiaan plates to Philly.

Tacos and smaller wrapped snacked are available, but for the most serious lunch option, the 2 meat plate lunch option is it. I picked the pork and the chicken. Plate lunches come with rice (white or brown) and a macaroni salad that is kind of negligible, which according to my Hawaiian, is very authentic.

The kalua pork, with its bits of cabbage, was smokey as promised, and shredded nicely without being overcooked and mushy. It could have used a little more salt, spice, or acid.

But this haole really enjoyed the fried chicken. Small pieces were breaded, karage style, except with seaweed in the batter. It was crispy and unexpected and the chicken inside was tender.

The two portions of meat along with the 2 scoops of rice that come with the plate will surely give you enough energy for a powerful haka session.

For dessert, I enjoyed a pair of coconut mochi, just barely sweet and pleasantly squishy.

Catch the Poi Dog truck at their Temple or South Philly locations, or at this year’s Vendy Awards.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Hawaiian food in Philly
  • Amazing fried chicken

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Pork could use a touch more flavor

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1 Comment

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    Temple location? Finally, something on here I can walk to!

    I’ve never had a Hawaiian plate lunch, though places (sit-down and trucks) offering same were common to come across back during my wayward West Coast wandering days in Oakland and Portland.

    Forget haka, this would seem to even be powerful enough to get me through a train trip up into the barren wastelands of my native New Jersey! Heh.

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