Here’s a ‘Penny’ for your thoughtsA La Carte
April 7, 2019
Story By: Don Robbins | Photos by: Anthony Consillio
A family-owned and operated business since 1965, Penny’s Drive in on Sand Island Road in Honolulu shows it cares about customers by serving them delicious food with a friendly touch.
“Just come and eat ‘em, and you’ll be back,” says the chef, Sam Vance, who also is a son of the owner Virginia Vance. Originally a lunch wagon, the owner named her business Penny’s because she said she started it without a “penny” of her own and had to take out a bank loan to begin.
Breakfast also is served 5-10 a.m., with offerings including choice of meat, omelets, fried rice specials and more.
The lunch menu at Penny’s Drive menu makes customers happy by featuring a wide range of plates and other items such as chili and saimin. The restaurant also offers sandwiches, burger combo meals, desserts and beverages. Customers are encouraged to call and ask about daily specials and for takeout orders. The cozy restaurant also has some tables and chairs inside for casual eating.
All plate lunches come with rice and a choice of mac salad or tossed green salad. In addition, customers can also get a side of zesty pickled onions for an extra 25 cents if they ask.
Each dish at this eatery in a bustling commercial-industrial neighborhood consists of carefully prepared local style food, crafted from natural, fresh ingredients.
When asked for the restaurant’s secret to its longtime success, server Michelle Cruz shares, “It’s all homemade.”
One of those Penny’s menu choices that’s just like Mom used to make at home is the popular Hamburger Curry (large $10.75, small $9). It contains delicious hamburger smothered in a satisfying, hearty curry sauce.
Another mainstay is Shoyu Chicken (large $10.75, small $9). This hefty plate focuses on tender, juicy bone-in pieces of chicken marinated in a special shoyu sauce.
A third plate customers can definitely sink their teeth into is the Spare Ribs (large $10.95, small $9.75). Penny’s clientele certainly enjoys these meaty chunks of ribs covered with a delectable sweet and sour sauce.