PICS: A tale of two burgers (and a sandwich) on Beretania
Photos by Jason Genegabus / email@example.com
By Jason Genegabus
Honolulu residents should consider themselves pretty lucky to have a number of new options for hamburgers made with quality ingredients in recent years.
Gourmet burger shops like Burgers on the Edge and The Counter have joined longtime favorites like Kua Aina, W&M Burger and even The Pineapple Room (Alan Wong makes a pretty mean burger, you know). If you’re true carnivores like us, then you’ve probably tasted the offerings at Kailua Town Pub, The Shack, Gordon Biersch and 12th Avenue Grill, too.
At the end of July, the Honolulu Burger Co. tossed its buns into the ring and entered the burger fray, setting up shop in Makiki on South Beretania Street. It shares the same building as Beretania Florist, but a better way to describe where this place is located is to say it’s across the street from Grace’s Inn and Times Supermarket on Beretania.
Head inside and you’ll find a remodeled space with room for a half-dozen tables (another two tables are available outside on the sidewalk) and a couple of flat screen televisions that display HBC’s full menu. Burgers here are formed into 1/3-pound patties made with “100 percent Island range-fed beef,” and the owners also promise to “use as much local produce as possible.”
Three different bread options are available, and customers can elect to pay $1 extra for one of seven different types of cheese or toppings like kim chee, bacon, Black Forest ham, Spam and fresh avocado.
Need inspiration? HBC offers a list of favorites that will help make choosing what to eat a bit easier.
We elected to try the Blue Hawaii Burger ($8.59), which was served with bacon, gorgonzola, lettuce, tomatoes and Maui onions.
Along with the burgers, HBC also offers a full complement of sandwiches. A local version of the classic Philly cheesesteak sandwich, the Philly Sandwich ($7.29), is served on a French roll with horseradish cream and sauteed onions, while the Hot Rod Breakfast Sandwich ($8.29) comes with Portuguese-style hot dogs from Hilo along with Spam, eggs, sauteed onions and brown gravy. The Buta Kau Kau ($8.29) is described as “not for the faint of heart,” with Black Forest ham, kalua pig and bacon all on the same sandwich. A classic pastrami ($7.49) is also on the menu.
We decided to try The Bull ($9.29), a huge pile of top sirloin, corned beef and pastrami on a French roll with fresh tomatoes, lettuce and Maui onions.
It’s hard to pick a favorite, since both the burger and sandwich were cooked well and topped with plenty of fresh produce. The gorgonzola melted luxuriously into the Big Island beef, which had plenty of flavor. And while top sirloin, corned beef and pastrami sounds like overkill, the mixture of flavors along with the Maui onion is definitely worth trying — even if it means saving half the sandwich to eat later!
Also on the menu at HBC are a variety of fries, including sweet potato ($3.29/$4.99), blue cheese ($4.49), truffle ($4.99) and garlic ($3.99). Old-fashioned milk shakes and malts are another option to help create a true diner experience.
WHILE THEY are the new kid on the block, another well-established local burger chain beat Honolulu Burger Co. to South Beretania in 2010. Teddy’s Bigger Burgers opened a new location at the corner of Beretania and Isenberg at the end of May.
While HBC appears to go for an updated plate lunch window/okazu-ya feel, the vibe at the new Teddy’s University is decidedly ’50s diner-ish, keeping with the theme at the chain’s other locations on Oahu.
Customers have more choices than ever at Teddy’s, with a bunch of different burger and sandwich combinations listed on various signs for those needing a bit of help deciding on what to order.
The good thing about Teddy’s? It’s exactly the same burger you remember ordering from the original location on Monsarrat that has long since closed. The hamburger buns they use are soft and chewy, offering lots of real estate for the special Teddy’s sauce to seep into before it starts dripping down your fingers. You’ll also have no problem getting enough beef (or chicken) with the different sizes of patties available.
Honolulu Burger Company
1295 S. Beretania St.
Open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Teddy’s Bigger Burgers University
2424 S. Beretania Ave #101
Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily