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Big City Diner

By Dining Out Team
March 31, 2013

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Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at your favorite restaurant? Well, much credit goes to the many chefs, owners and managers who work diligently day in and day out to make sure Hawaii’s diners have a top-notch dining experience.

This week, Dining Out gets the inside scoops from Big City Diner’s executive chef Dennis Franks, who gives us a little taste of Big City Diner and shares just what fuels his culinary drive.

NAME Dennis Franks
TITLE Senior Executive Chef at Big City Diner

Who or what inspires you as a chef/manager/owner? The first thing that inspires me is having the guests choose our restaurant as the place to eat, because there are many options out there. Then, ultimately they have the most enjoyable dining experience — meaning that our team exceeded all of their expectations.

My second inspiration is my 4-year-old daughter, Makayla. When we sit down at the dinner table, having all distractions temporarily off to encourage conversation, she always asks, “How was work today? What did you do at work today?” I look forward to being able to give her a great answer.

If you could serve food to a celebrity, who would it be and why? What dish would you serve? I guess I have to say Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive Ins & Dives, because he hasn’t put Big City Diner on his show yet. I would probably make him baby back ribs with our mango guava barbecue sauce, along with some fried rice. I think that would hit some taste buds. I would then finish it off with some roasted macadamia nut bread pudding and haupia creme sauce with caramel and whipped cream — a la mode, of course.

What is your favorite dish on the menu? Why? Fried rice because it’s just so versatile. The original way is always satisfying with or without extra eggs. Then, we have our famous Kim Chee Fried Rice that you can have without meat and without vegetables, if you like, and you can add other stuff like tofu, chicken, steak — the possibilities are endless.

Is there a dish that you create that’s not on your menu, but available upon request? Not really, but we do have a rotation of weekly specials and we do try our best to accommodate all requests, at any time. However, in our catering department, we can create almost anything that is requested. We do everything that’s on our menu plus many more requests. I would say about 60 percent of our catering options is not on any regular menu.

Big City Diner

Various locations (call or check bigcitydinerhawaii.com)
Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-midnight
487-8588 (catering), 738-8855 (Kaimuki), 263-8880 (Kailua), 591-8891 (Ward), 678-8868 (Waipio), 487-8188 (Pearlridge)