Hawaii is packed with Asian food. If you like sushi, yakitori, Korean barbecue, pho, or dim sum, this is the place to be. None of those things are my favorite. If you want some good Southern barbecue, you’re going to have to look a little harder. May I suggest you make your way just past Waikiki, down Hobron Lane to Da Smokehouse? You’re going to love it.
This is a tiny little place on a side street surrounded by high rise condo buildings. It has a local joint kind of feel and the service is friendly, if a bit eccentric. There’s not a bunch of fancy craft beers or weird organic dishes. This is barbecue people. It’s down and dirty. The bar and the menu are simple and straight forward, and it’s exactly what you want.
I ordered the bbq pork sandwich and devoured it in a most embarrassing fashion. The meat is tender and juicy and slathered in spicy, smoky barbecue sauce. I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t want to talk. I just wanted to eat. I also got a side of baked beans, and those were heavenly, too. Smoky and just a bit sweet. Why don’t I eat baked beans every day?
Geoff ordered the hot link sandwich with a side of fries. He’s ridiculously terrible at describing food, so it’s a good thing I tried a bite. The hot links were spicy, but not too hot. What I really noticed was the smoky flavor, which is what makes barbecue so awesome. The fries have the skins on, and they’re perfectly crispy. You can tell they put a lot of love into their food.
Even though Hawaii is very American in many ways, it can also seem completely foreign sometimes, particularly when you’re looking for somewhere to eat. It’s such a treat to find a little barbecue joint tucked away somewhere you wouldn’t expect. With such great food and such reasonable prices, I think I’ll be talking myself out of eating at Da Smokehouse nearly every week. Or I could just eat pulled pork every day forever. That could work, too.