After a cancelled dive, a few too many drinks, and an otherwise lazy day spent by the crowded hotel pool, Eric and I were eager for a quick and easy dinner. The island of Kauai had been reasonable when we first arrived, but it was now July 4th, a Saturday, and the place was packed. We weren’t eager to go to any of the nearby sit-down restaurants because we knew we’d be in for a serious wait.
Enter Puka Dog. Situated in a small shopping center a short walk away from the Sheraton Kauai, it was the perfect solution to my 4th of July hot dog craving.
We wandered over just after 7 PM — passing several crowded eateries with dozens of people waiting outside — to the relatively empty Puka Dog. I had read good reviews online, so I wasn’t troubled by the lack of people. Rather, we assumed that most people were visiting with friends and family and wanted a more substantial dinner, or were out celebrating at one of Kauai’s several 4th of July bashes.
Two: pick your garlic lemon secret sauce. There are three options here: mild, spicy, or hot lava. Get hot lava! We were going to go with spicy, but our waitress gave us samples of the hot lava, which wasn’t spicy at all!
Three: pick your relish. There are many choices — mango, pineapple, papaya, coconut, banana, star fruit, or traditional sweet relish. Here’s a tip: don’t do the traditional sweet relish. You are in Hawaii, so what are you doing getting the relish you can get anywhere? I went with pineapple relish and Eric got mango. We swapped halfway through our dogs so we could each try the others’.
Four: select your mustards or ketchup. We each added a helping of Lilikoi’s Hawaiian mustard. So good.
The combination of flavors was splendidly sweet and enjoyable. Their buns are made from scratch. Unlike normal buns, which are sliced open on one edge, these had a hole down the center, so the entire dog was surrounded by bun. The pineapple and mango relishes were both sweet, zesty, and delicious, but I think I preferred the pineapple.
After enjoying our dogs, we walked back to the hotel to enjoy our evening. We ordered our free bottle of honeymoon champagne from room service and drank it out on our Lanai while watching neighboring hotel visitors fire off fireworks into the night sky over the coast. A beautiful ending to a relaxing day.