Scoring Big With These Football Favorites

Columns Ono, You Know

October 8, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

It’s that time of the year again when our world seemingly revolves around a prolate spheroid called a pigskin.

Yes, football is back in full force with fantasy teams chosen and myriad fans proudly sporting their favorite jerseys at a stadium or in front of the tube. To be honest, I’m no expert on the game, but I do appreciate the spirit of competition and, more importantly, all the parties that go along with this festive season.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to pay tribute this week to my “starting lineup” of tailgate favorites — establishments worthy of kicking off any party the right way! So without further ado, down, set — and let’s go!

Kenny’s Restaurant

  • Kenny's Restaurant scores a touchdown with the editor for such tailgate favorites as Korean Style Chicken, Chow Mein and Fried Rice.
  • Kenny's Restaurant's Chow Mein tailgate special
  • Kenny's Korean Style Chicken comes in small ($30 and up), medium ($80 and up) and large ($150 and up) pans.
Image of

For the past 45 years many local families have made Kenny’s Restaurant at Kamehameha Shopping Center an integral part of their lives. Personally, I can recall enjoying early morning breakfasts there as a child with my family. These days, the Kalihi eatery has proudly become an essential part of tailgating season.

“We now have a tailgate special going on,” says Kenny’s Restaurant’s assistant manager Leihulu Irvine. “We had a lot of customers who would stop here to eat before they’d go to support the UH Warriors, and we’d have those who would come to eat after the game.

“A lot of customers expressed to us that they’d like to take our food to their tailgate parties — so that’s how we came up with this special.”

Football and tailgating fans would agree that this is the best idea yet. Popular items offered as part of the onolicious tailgate special are Kenny’s Korean Style Chicken, Chow Mein, Fried Rice, Egg Battered Mahi Mahi and Chinese Chicken Salad.

These items are available in small, medium or large pans (small starting at $30, medium starting at $80, large starting at $150), so depending on the size of your party, Kenny’s will hook you up with just the right amount of food. Leftovers are wonderful, but really nothing beats local favorites at their freshest! Speaking of fresh, the Chinese Chicken Salad is a winner and, according to Irvine, has always been a best-seller since the restaurant’s inception. Sink your taste buds into a forkful of this savory salad, featuring shoyu chicken, char siu, won ton chips, Chinese parsley and peanuts on a bed of crisp lettuce laced with a special sesame seed dressing.

“This is the first time we’re doing something specifically for our tailgating customers, and so far this special has been taking off,” Irvine states.

The team at Kenny’s Restaurant seems to have a winning recipe for sure!

Kenny’s Restaurant
Kamehameha Shopping Center
1620 N. School St.
View the Map

Max’s of Manila

  • Max's of Manila's delicious whole chicken
  • Canton Pancit ($7.95) at Max's of Manila
Image of

No football game is complete without a Filipino Fiesta to go along with it! I love the idea of being able to devour platefuls of Filipino favorites during half-time, and celebrate with a bite of Max’s famous fried chicken every time my team scores a touchdown. Max’s of Manila makes it easy for football fans to enjoy and savor the tastes of the Philippines.

According to general manager Maly San Luis of the Dillingham and Waipahu locations, “the recipe for our chicken began 65 years ago with a branch in the Philippines. The owners were serving the chicken to the American G.I.’s who were part of the war during that time,” she adds. “It was concocted by the niece of Max, Ruby.”

And with more than 120 branches located in the Philippines and in the U.S. nationwide, you can imagine the plethora of fried chicken made each and every day. The chicken is sold whole for $13.50 or half for $7.95. There also are combo meals served with a chicken leg and your choice of pancit, lumpia, rice and other delicious Filipino favorites.

“What’s nice is that we don’t use any batter on our chicken. It’s pure chicken; you don’t have the breading or anything like that,” San Luis explains. “The meat is tender on the inside, but it’s deep-fried so you still have the crispiness of the skin. A lot of people also like to pair the chicken with the Jufran Banana Sauce.”

To pair perfectly with your fried chicken is Max’s pancit or noodles. The life of the party can be found in the Canton Pancit ($7.95), featuring a wide variety of vegetables, including carrots, celery, onions and cabbage. And for you meat lovers, a bit of pork, chicken or shrimp is added for additional flavor. The secret, however, lies in Max’s special sauce that brings this already sarap (delicious) dish to a whole new level.

Max’s of Manila
801 Dillingham Blvd.
(also located in Waipahu Shopping Plaza)
View the Map

Zippy’s Restaurants

  • The Chili and Chicken barrels at Zippy's Restaurants
  • Zippy's Local Favorites ($26.95) and Chicken Katsu ($20.95) platters
Image of

Zippy’s Restaurants scores a touch-down with its amazing tailgate options that make my mouth water at the mere thought. We all know this iconic local landmark is defined by its ono grinds, and it’s only fitting that it play a starring role in the game.

Here’s a play-by-play of all the delicious options: Fill up your stomach with an array of pupu platters (place order an hour in advance), consisting of Chicken Katsu ($20.95), Korean Fried Chicken ($29.95), Fried Noodles ($22.95) and, of course, a Local Favorites platter ($26.95) showcasing all my local must-have items such as teriyaki beef, mahi mahi, chicken katsu, hot dog and Portuguese sausage. A meat lover’s dream come true, isn’t it?

The challenge, however, is not to fill up on the many pupus as Zippy’s also serves up incredible entree items that equate to potluck perfection. For starters, sink your teeth into the Bucket Chicken ($17.95, nine pieces) or Barrel Chicken ($27.50, 15 pieces; $35.25, 21 pieces). Then feast on a barrel of Zippy’s famous, out-of-this-world chili — 7 pounds, if we’re talking numbers here.

And when feeding the entire ohana, Family Meal Deals are the way to go with various portions of rice and Zip Meal Macaroni Salad included. Finally, inquire within about exact pricing regarding the Family Meal Deals, and please note that prices are slightly higher at Ala Moana, Pearlridge and Kahului locations. Next stop Zippy’s!

Zippy’s Restaurants
46-038 Kamehameha Hwy.
(and various locations)
View the Map

Ilima Awards
Hawaii's Best