Move over, hot-dog-and-bun smorgasBORE. If you haven’t already heard, Hawaii’s giving a new meaning to what’s really “hot” in the realm of sausages. Juicer and plumper than your typical dog, this wiener wins approval with every first bite. But its fluffy waffle outer coat is what really steals the show in edible avant-garde.
The KC Waffle Dog made an appearance at the Iolani Fair.
For the past 75 years, KC Waffle Dog has turned the simple idea of a waffle batter covered hot dog into a successful family business and even more impressive, a beacon in Hawaii’s history. Longtime residents, like my parents, recall the early days of this innovative dog – at KC Drive-Inn on Kapahulu, where waitresses delivered fries and dogs to customers’ cars.
Although the drive-in is a thing of the past, the legacy of the waffle dog continues. Visitors can sample them throughout Oahu and now on the Big Island. You might even see them pop up at fundraising events and festivals. I remember eating them as a kid, but only recently reignited my craving for them at the Iolani Fair. Honestly, I’m not usually a hot dog kind of person (whatever kind of person that is), but somehow, the waffle dog makes me forget that.
It’s likely that no waffle dog will be the same; some are the perfect rectangular shape while others have extra waffle trimmings that give each dog a coat of character. Customers usually enjoy watching them being made in the special waffle dog iron, as cooks pour the batter on top of the dogs and slowly press down the iron mold with extreme precision.
You can eat them plain or with the classic mustard/relish/ketchup condiment combo. You’d be surprise at some of the authentic hot dog artistry that comes out on these waffle canvases. Hmm, that makes me wonder if anyone’s ever tried dipping their waffle dog into maple syrup? Or coconut syrup? Or both? That’d be amazing!
Find the KC Waffle Dog at these locations:
Panini Grill • Kahala Mall 4211 Waialae Ave., #33, Honolulu, HI 96816
Petals & Beans • 1288 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96814
Da Snack Shop • 94-370 Pupupani St., #101, Waipahu, HI 96797(Map)
Poke to Your Taste • 790 Leilani St., Hilo, HI 96720