Making the yummiest new eats in town, ‘fare and square’

Chew On This Digest

May 10, 2015

Story By: Jaimie Kim Farinas | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

It’s been a little more than two months since Square Barrels first opened its doors. Now, aside from menu staples of burgers and beer, you’ll also be able to find a bevy of new inventions.

Take, for example, Tats’s Poke (market price). Named after the restaurant’s sous chef, it’s served with pickled sea asparagus. Hawaiian chili water used in the sauce adds a welcome touch of heat — which you can pair nicely with one (or more) of a number of craft beers Square Barrels offers on tap.

Then there’s another still-new item: Smoked Meat ($14). It features pork that’s grilled and then served with an Asian chimichurri sauce. Only, unlike its typical preparation, this iteration is made with shiso and cilantro instead of parsley, along with olive oil, chili flakes and garlic.

“We have a guy smoking this meat for us,” explains executive chef Noah Blair. “It’s some of the best smoked meat I’ve ever had.”

Still, if you haven’t yet tried any of the restaurant’s burgers — and you really should — go for its classic Drive-Thru Burger ($9). It’s a staple for Square Barrels, notes Blair. And though it seems to be quite simple, it’s actually a complex creation, due largely to a fried caper mayo sauce that really elevates every bite.

Another thing to note: No matter the burger you order, look forward to a surprising and fun sauce that really is there to complement the meat. (Its Venison Burger, for instance, features a blackberry and raspberry mustard.)

All of these items are featured during happy hour at Square Barrels — or, as the restaurant likes to refer to it, “Bread and Circuses.” Available Monday-Thursday from 3 to 5:30 p.m., sample from specially marked food items like Poutine ($6), Johnny Cakes with Shrimp ($12) and Kale Salad ($6) for the health-conscious. Plus, select from wine and beer specials.

Though the menu has expanded at Square Barrels, other things have remained the same.

“We’re trying to keep it as local and fresh as possible,” says Blair, which has been important for Square Barrels and its owner Hideo Simon from the get-go.

In the future, something else to look forward to: A breakfast menu.

Square Barrels

1001 Bishop St.
Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96813

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