Smoke Signals Point to Soul Food

Columns Lite Bites

June 30, 2013

Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Leah Friel

As I pull up to Molly’s BBQ and Seafood in Wahiawa, the wafting aroma of barbecue wood has my mouth watering before I even step inside.

Formerly known as Molly’s Smokehouse, the restaurant has changed its name and expanded its offerings, but still serves up its famous delicious smoked meat and barbecue favorites, including beef brisket, pulled pork, baby back ribs, chicken and sausages.

“Most of our dishes are carrying over,” says general manager Molly Walker. “We’re just trying to extend that arm for foods we’re excited about that we get back on the Mainland all the time. Foods that were kind of next to nature for us.

“The barbecues and crab boils are here, and we’re gonna move on and bring some more of the Southern fare. The other dish we’re doing is chicken fried steak, so that’s going to be on our new menu as well.”

Known for its authentic Texas-style barbecue and country cooking, the family-owned-and-managed restaurant has been open for 14 years; and in addition to its name change has been undergoing major renovations, updating its interior including the counter top and restrooms. The restaurant’s new sign is expected to go up today, and new menus are on its way.

Among the new dishes, a definite must-try, is Cajun Crab Boil ($45) featuring a half pound of jumbo shrimp, half pound of crawfish, one pound of snow crab, white potato, corn on the cob and spicy sausage. The large platter of food can easily feed two, however, Walker notes that customers sometimes order it for one.

Also new, and very reasonably priced, is Chop BBQ Beef Sandwich (two for $10) smoked with kiawe wood, topped with grilled onions and served with Molly’s signature barbecue sauce.

“We’re creating dishes using our famous smoked meat and our signature barbecue sauces, and finding ways where we are able to make a menu more affordable, especially during lunch time,” explains Walker.

There also are many great “soul” foods on the menu such as mac and cheese, blackened catfish, seafood gumbo and fried chicken. Walker adds that they are looking into expanding their beverage options, including serving beer and wine. For now, customers can enjoy BYOB with a corkage fee of $10 per table of four. Restrictions apply, and customers can expect to be carded.

“Our foods are so rare still in Hawaii,” adds Walker, noting the difficulty to pick just one item as the most popular. “You have customers who will come looking for catfish, and some for barbecue ribs. The beef brisket is really popular. This (new Chop BBQ) beef sandwich is going to go through the roof. I totally expect it to kick off. It’s very good.”

Molly’s BBQ and Seafood

23 S. Kamehameha Hwy., Wahiawa
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Wahiawā, HI 96786

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Hawaii's Best