Molly’s Continues to Fire Up the Flavor
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“Country People, Country Food, Country Good” — a simple yet effective motto that sums up the mouth-watering food and friendly service provided daily at Molly’s.
Formerly known as Molly’s Smoke-house, the Wahiawa mainstay is being re-branded as Molly’s BBQ and Seafood. Owner Molly Walker is in the process of passing the reins of the restaurant to her daughter, Aylia Tillman, after nearly 14 years at the helm. But customers need not worry, as Walker will continue to be present, helping in the kitchen and with daily operations amid the transition.
“Now, my daughter is going to carry the business on,” Walker explains. “She told me, ‘If you can do it for 14 years, then I can do 20!’ And, I said ‘OK!'”
Walker is confident that her loyal customers will keep the restaurant going strong, and cites examples in the past. She explains that her customer base, which includes a host of active duty military personnel who reside in the area, has dealt constantly with deployments overseas to help with foreign conflicts. But, through it all, upon their return to the Islands, they come back to Molly’s to enjoy authentic barbecue and country cooking.
Molly’s barbecue dishes are cooked on wood fires, and one can often see — and smell — the sweet smoke wafting from the restaurant’s large smoker perched right outside the front door. The menu features influences from around the country, and Walker draws inspiration from her military travel experiences.
“We wanted to feature more than just what we saw living in Texas, including influences from Louisiana and Tex-Mex cuisine,” says Walker, who also credits stops in San Francisco and Oklahoma with fueling her culinary fire. “Each area provides something special that you just can’t get anywhere else.”
Dining Out readers are the first to find out about some new items available at Molly’s starting this week to coincide with the BBQ and Seafood brand. Hearty appetites are required when taking on BBQ and Seafood Dinner For Two (market price), as the bountiful platter includes catfish, barbecue chicken, baby back ribs and snow crab legs. Diners also may choose from a host of additional sides (prices vary), including barbecue baked beans, cowboy ranch beans, potato salad, mashed potatoes, collared greens, coleslaw, fried okra and macaroni and cheese.
Those looking for fresh seafood also are encouraged to try the newly introduced New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp ($15.99). The dish includes a dozen juicy, jumbo shrimp prepared in a Cajun spiced butter sauce — don’t worry, it’s perfectly acceptable to lick one’s fingers after digging into the flavorful shrimp.
“It’s a Cajun-infused butter sauce that coats the shrimp, and the sauce goes perfectly with rice,” Walker explains. “You gotta get a little dirty with it. It’s all about the butter!”
Blackened Catfish ($15.95) is another new offering that is catching on at Molly’s. The flavorful fish is served on a sizzling platter atop a bed of oven-fried potatoes and comes with a zesty roasted pepper butter sauce — the perfect accompaniment for dipping.
“I totally expect these new items to go over really well with customers,” says Walker of the newly introduced dishes, which should make their way onto the permanent menu in the near future.
Molly’s also serves up Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade ($3.75) and Sweet Tea ($2.75), which draw customers from around the island in search of the refreshing beverages.
“If you want really good food at a great price, this is the place to get it,” Walker says. “That’s what we’re all about. You can eat well without breaking the bank.”
Molly’s BBQ and Seafood
23 S. Kamehameha Hwy., Wahiawa
Open daily, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.