Maui Food and Dining

Bubba’s Gourmet Dog Shack – Beach Snacking

July 27, 2012, 5:22 PM HST
* Updated July 27, 5:36 PM
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By Vanessa Wolf

Bubba’s Gourmet Dog Shack. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

It would have been so nice if the hype were true.

There is a certain distinctive pleasure to introducing the world to a hidden gem. Mostly – let’s get real – the thought of biting into a pork and pineapple corn dog was equally, if not more, irresistible.

Driven by visions of tropical corn doggy goodness, Bubba’s Gourmet Dog Shack, an allegedly magical food cart regularly parked in the general vicinity of Big Beach, became the dining destination. Blame it all on Yelp: with the unanimously positive reviews online, Bubba’s Gourmet Dog Shack promised to be a real treat. The affable owner has been running it for two and a half years, and the bright red shiny truck beckoned from a distance like a siren’s song.

Sadly, the pork and pineapple corndog referenced online no longer exists or maybe never did. This is a particular shame

A Bubba’s chicken pineapple hot dog. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

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as the cook has a real way with the deep fryer. Bubba’s nailed the fries in the Belgian “pommes frites” fashion: thin, crispy, and a warm golden color. The onion rings and fried zucchini that came in the combo basket ($7) were lovely as well.

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The gourmet dogs, however, were less of a thrill. There was nothing wrong with them, per se. The owner cheerfully explained that he uses only the finest Costco products. The bun was soft and fresh. Everything was as it should be.

Both the chicken pineapple ($7) and the atomic hot link ($7) were sampled. The vast condiment offerings hiding under a metal tray were begging to be used before the intense rays of the sun got to them. The chicken pineapple sausage was quickly slathered with more pineapple, fresh tomatoes, and jalapenos. The meat itself was quite sweet, much like Aidell’s more common chicken apple sausage, and vaguely pineapple-y. The sausage fell short of the bun on both sides, but had been cut in half – most likely – in an attempt to bridge the gap. With the unusual toppings in play, the flavor combo was fun in a “isn’t that strange” kind of way.

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Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

The atomic hot link enjoyed a blanket of sauerkraut, mustard, and raw onions. The sausage itself was just as expected: slightly spicy and quite peppery with a slow burn: the definite favorite. The bun, again, was perfectly steamed and complimented the overall taste.

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So what’s the problem? Say what you will, but $7 for a hot dog is, um, bulls**t. Granted, Maui is an expensive place, but New York City is an expensive place too. There, one can go to Green Papaya in midtown Manhattan and pay $4.95 for TWO perfect kosher hot dogs. Even in Seattle, where there is absolutely no other option for anyone pouring out of the bars at 2 a.m., the cream cheese and grilled onion garnished hot dogs on every corner are a) $5 and b) huge.

Say what you will, but Bubba’s blows the bank for simple snack food.

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Atomic hot link hot dog from Bubba’s. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

Those on a budget may prefer to satisfy their hot link cravings by buying a multi-pack of Evergood’s Louisiana Hot Links at Costco and cooking them up themselves Nonetheless, if in the Makena area and looking for a salty treat, you can’t go wrong with the perfectly done fries, zucchini, and onion rings.

We welcome your feedback! Please let us know if you hear of any new restaurants opening or reopening…or simply know of a hidden treasure you want to share.

Dying to know how a certain dish is made so you can recreate it at home? Send in a request, and we will try to pry the secret out of the chef…and even take a run at cooking it up ourselves! Mahalo! [email protected]

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