Spring Break Cheeseburgers in Waikiki

I’ve always wondered why that spot at the corner of Ala Moana Boulevard and Kalakaua Avenue doesn’t just explode with activity. Perhaps Sizzler just wasn’t something to get excited about–not even a 24-hour Sizzler. The new joint there, Cheeseburger Waikiki, was long in coming and long on promise, so on my first day of spring break, I gave it a shot.

This isn’t it–this is the one in the heart of Waikiki, but I couldn’t find a picture of the new one.

My biggest mistake was going alone, since the burgers don’t come with sides, and the side-portions are rather huge. I had the standard Cheeseburger Waikiki (about seven bucks), a side of chili-cheese fries (another six bucks), and a glass of hefeweizen on tap (another five bucks). The beer was quite good. The cheeseburger was a bit on the dry side, and not especially tasty, but not bad, either. The cheese-fries were nice, but the chili tasted a LOT like the canned chili you get at Costco–I’m certain that the chili came out of a can. This is not a bad thing, but for six bucks, I could have made a lot better at home. I ate about a third of the fries, leaving the rest for what should have been two other friends. The dessert menu looked promising, but as usual, I left no room for after-dinner sweets.

Before placing my order, I took a little tour of the place and noticed that this was one of those joints that serves your burger in a basket. I hate eating out of baskets like that! I asked my waiter to serve everything on plates, and he happily obliged. I recommend you do the same.

The service was attentive and friendly; the prices were reasonable for Waikiki. The ambience was pretty good, but to be honest, it was typical of outdoor-seating, open-air kinds of places in Hawaii, with the now-standard decor made up of “old” streetsigns, mannequins, aloha shirts, fishing nets, and watering cans. Still, live music makes up for a lot, and the live music was entertaining and not too distracting.

Worth a try? Yes. Worth a re-visit? I’m not so sure. I’d like to try it again on another night with different items (‘though I’m having that hefeweizen again, for sure) to give it another go, but if I never go back, I don’t think I’ll miss much.

6 Comments so far

  1. Linkmeister (unregistered) on March 28th, 2005 @ 7:44 pm

    I drove past there about three times yesterday while circling Waikiki to avoid being 45 minutes early for Easter brunch at the Oceanarium at the Pacific Beach. Where was Canlis? Cattycorner from this place, right? Or was it down a block further?

  2. mitchell (unregistered) on March 28th, 2005 @ 10:13 pm

    Oh. Canlis. That may be before my Waikiki-roaming days. Anyone?

    Wait. You drove past the place in the picture, or you drove past the place I’m talking about?

  3. dick (unregistered) on March 29th, 2005 @ 2:45 pm

    I have reason to believe Canlis was in the neighborhood of Niketown (or was it Banana Republic?). Of course, Waikiki has changed so much I have a hard time recalling what the area looked like there.

  4. Linkmeister (unregistered) on March 30th, 2005 @ 10:57 am

    Mitchell, probably both. ;) I went down Kalakaua and along the Ala Wai canal three times, so I passed the corner location on each occasion.

  5. Glen Miyashiro (unregistered) on March 30th, 2005 @ 11:22 am

    Canlis was next door to what is now the Niketown property, at Kalākaua and Kalaimoku. I believe it’s now occupied by the Chanel store.

  6. Duerma (unregistered) on November 28th, 2005 @ 6:08 pm

    What you said. Dry burger, great service, typical ambiance, EXPENSIVE.

    Didn’t bother going backm didn’t live up to the hype at all.

    BEER was good though!

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