We were vacationing in glorious Kauai, and while strolling in the Poipu Shopping Village we stumbled upon a Puka Dog location (next to Poipu Tropical Burgers and Papalani Gelato). We were pretty excited to discover this little joint since we’d seen it on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations (where we also saw Japadog in Vancouver).
It was a cute little shop, with bamboo scaffolding, sprawling green plans and surfboard menus. Look! You can even buy a Puka Dog t-shirt.
Eager to taste these famous Hawaiian style hot dogs, we perused the menu…First, choose either a Polish Sausage, or a Veggie Dog. Next, pick the level of heat you’d like for the Garlic Lemon Secret Sauce: mild/spicy/hot/hot-hot. Then choose your Tropical Relish: mango/coconut/pineapple/banana/papaya/star fruit. Their relishes are not what I would call relish; they were somewhat thick, processed sauces. To me, a relish is more like a salsa, with pieces of fruit or veggies.
The buns were extremely sweet, as were the sauces, and on top of that, there was way too much sauce. Think, the consistency of a jelly doughnut. And I’m someone who loves sweet meat products, and sweet baked goods, but altogether they were overwhelming, sickeningly sweet hot dogs. I couldn’t finish mine. Winners, these wieners are not.