Above, Hawaiian Bros Island Grill's classic huli huli chicken plate — the eatery's signature dish. The plate came with marinated teriyaki chicken grilled fresh and served on a bed of white rice served with macaroni salad and steamed veggies substituted for the classic rice ball. Daily Record photo by Nick Castillo
Foodie Friday: Hawaiian Bros Island Grill
Since beginning Foodie Friday more than a year ago, it’s been the mission of the Daily Record to help restaurants navigate their way through the COVID-19 pandemic letting patrons know not only their dining status, but that these restaurants were still working hard, and serving up great food.
It’s also been our mission to focus on family and locally owned restaurants, but this week we changed it up a little traveling to a relative newcomer on the block — Hawaiian Bros Island Grill.
The small chain operates restaurants in five states with the largest concentration in Texas.
The restaurant's story centers around the flavors of Hawaii.
“In the 1880s, as Hawaii’s pineapple and sugar plantations grew, so too did their workforce. Most of these laborers came from Asian nations with diverse culinary traditions. The workers’ lunches usually consisted of leftover meat from the night before alongside rice,” their website reads.
“By the 1950s, the plate lunch had grown in popularity and was popping up at roadside stands all throughout the island. Today, the classic plate lunch consists of meat, two scoops of white rice and one scoop of macaroni salad.”
The menu is simple and because of that their food is perfect.
On our visit I chose the Molokai Chicken — a sweet and spicy, perfectly grilled chicken, with a little heat.
The chicken came with a Teriyaki glaze and in perfect bite sized chunks. It was nestled in a bed of white rice. Alongside it was a helping of macaroni salad. Truthfully, I’ve never been a fan of that carb classic — but all that changed. Their secret blend of spices will keep you asking for more. The meal came with another helping of white rice — when I go back, I will probably opt for the steamed vegetables to avoid the redundancy.
My partner, a frequent customer at Hawaiian Bros, chose the classic Huli Huli Chicken, their signature dish. It was marinated teriyaki chicken grilled fresh and served on a bed of white rice. He too kept the Macaroni salad but subbed in the steamed vegetables for an extra $1 in the place of the extra scoop of rice.
All total the entrees were an affordable $9.95 each and worth every penny.
Other favorites include the Honolulu Chicken. Savory chicken infused with fresh garlic, green onions, and sesame. Or try the Luau Pig — Slow roasted Kalua pulled pork seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt.
Hawaiian Bros has several other food options, but no meal is complete with trying their Dole Soft Serve. It’s tropical soft serve. Fat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and low in calories. It’s also delicious.
IF YOU GO:
Hawaiian Bro Island Grill
Address: 1439 N Interstate 35, San Marcos, TX.
Phone: (737) 204-2628
Tuesday: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Thursday: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. (Black Friday hours may differ)
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. 12 a.m.
Monday: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.