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Menu Expands to Include Seafood and Tex-Mex Items

Columns Foodie Fare

April 28, 2013

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

With a menu that serves up smoked meats, ribs, chicken, pork and brisket and more, Molly’s BBQ and Seafood has always been a meat lover’s dream come true.

“All of our meats are cooked within direct heat using wood,” owner Margaret “Molly” Walker explains.

But there are some big, exciting changes coming to Molly’s, and it’s not just in the restaurant’s name.

You may know the eatery by its former name, Molly’s Smokehouse. But about a year ago, it changed to Molly’s BBQ and Seafood to reflect the changes it is undergoing.

“We are not just barbecue any longer,” Walker says. “We have evolved. We have expanded our menu, and now we are including things like fried chicken, catfish, cajun dishes … and combinations of barbecue and seafood.”

Recently, the restaurant also has been working to add a number of Mexican-inspired dishes to its repertoire. These include Beef Fajitas ($25 for a 1-pound order), a beef flank steak that is lightly smoked and served with Spanish rice, refried beans, sour cream and pico de gallo, all in a flour tortilla. It is available starting Cinco de Mayo (May 5) and will be on the menu through May and June.

“This is one of the signature Mexican dishes in Texas,” Walker says.

Another new item is the Steak Dinner ($29.99), which features a 20-ounce rib-eye steak grilled to your liking, topped with a gorgonzola butter and served with steamed vegetables and a potato. For another new steak option, try the New York Strip ($19.99). Both of the steaks are available starting today and continuing at least throughout May and June.

As a Mother’s Day special, Molly’s will combine two of its popular dishes to create the Blackened Catfish and the New Orleans Shrimp ($25), which is served with a roasted potato and a salad.

“The catfish is grilled Cajun-style and it is topped with a roasted pepper butter,” Walker says, noting that it is a possibility that the combination will become a permanent addition to the menu.

For a good way to complement Molly’s new cuisine, Walker recommends the Mexican Shrimp Cocktail ($10.50), which is accented with a variety of spices and served with a side of chips. Walker says it is a great foray into the new “Tex-Mex” offerings at the restaurant.

“We are going to continue to expand on those types of food,” she adds.

“We are trying to give customers more options for what they can experience at Molly’s.”

Those aren’t all the changes coming up for Molly’s. In addition to expanding its menu, it also is set to undergo remodeling soon. After that, Walker hopes to be able to serve beer and wine.

“Just stay tuned,” she says. “We are working on a lot of things. We are changing and expanding.”

On the Side

“We have country food, and we like it country good,” says Molly’s BBQ and Seafood owner Margaret “Molly” Walker of her Wahiawa eatery.

Walker first had the idea to open a barbecue joint shortly after moving to the Islands in the 1990s. Walker, originally from Texas, moved to Hawaii with her husband from California for their jobs with the military.

Walker says that while they liked the food in the Islands, it was an adjustment initially. When they first came here, there were not many restaurants that they recognized, and they missed certain foods.

She says that she heard a similar longing for barbecue foods among others she knew here and decided to take matters into her own hands.

“Those kinds of foods just were not available,” Walker says. “We brought a concept of barbecue that was not existing here in Hawaii at the time,” she says. “This is smoked meat, which is the way they do it in Texas.

“Coming from Texas, barbecue is like plate lunch here in Hawaii,” Walker adds. “You get it on every corner, every place and everywhere.”

Walker started out by taking her food around to various community fairs.

“We were just really testing the market to see if our concept of barbecue would be accepted and successful here in Hawaii,” she says. “And it turns out that it was.”

Walker opened the restaurant a couple of years later.

More recently, the restaurant has been expanding its menu and now, customers certainly will find more than just barbecue.

And Walker says that another thing that sets her restaurant apart is the fact that everything is cooked in-store.

“We like to use natural ingredients and local if we can find it,” she says, adding that its ingredients include Ewa sweet onions and other local produce.

Molly’s BBQ and Seafood

23 S. Kamehameha Hwy., Wahiawa
621-4858
Open daily, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

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