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We wanted to take him out to a restaurant. But instead he asked for a Hawaiian plate lunch. That was easy enough. Especially if the fried chicken came from Popeye’s.

I have a funny story about my introduction to plate lunch. When Sabo took me and the kids to Hawaii, I had  known about the luau, of course, and was looking forward to attending one. But luaus were expensive, and understandably so. The entertainment alone was worth the price. So I knew we weren’t going to have luau meals every day  in Hawaii.

However, I wanted to experience other local fare. So while waiting for our car, I chatted with the friendly valets. I asked them where they normally had their lunches. One of them inquired if I was perhaps interested in “cheapest” food. Oh, yes, sure! But is it good? Oh, yeah, the food is very good at this place. We eat there all the time.

So I was happily jotting down the directions to get to this “cheapest, tasty” restaurant. I then joined Sabo and the kids who were already waiting in the car, and passed on the directions. 

With great anticipation, we arrived at what looked like a Hawaiian fast-food joint, called Zippy’s. That was how I came to know about plate lunch. It was tasty alright, and the prices not too bad. But I realized that what I thought I heard “cheapest” really was “Zippy’s.” Not funny to you? You just had to be there!

Plate lunch apparently can consist of any meat and side dishes, as long as it has rice and macaroni salad. We had several different kinds of plate lunch while in Hawaii. Some with Korean barbecued meat, some with lau lau, some with a hamburger patty with a sunny side up on top (a loco moco), but Sabo’s favorite was the one with fried chicken. So that was what he had on Father’s Day.

We didn’t want a carb overload, so instead of macaroni salad, we had Asian salad as our side dish. Is it still a plate lunch? I hope the addition of Spam makes it legit.

plate lunch with spam

Plate lunch isn’t haute cuisine, but it’s tasty cuisine. President Obama can vouch for it.