No, the judges aren’t physically blinded, silly you!
It’s one thing to eat a hamburger steak plate at Karen’s, another one from Dot’s, and then perhaps a month or two later another one at L&L, then try in your collective memory to decide which one you thought was the best. But what if you had ALL of them together to go head-to-head in one sitting for a Hamburger Steak Smackdown? Well, that’s exactly what the folks are doing at a new site named WOWGrinds.com.
They have what they call “geographic coordinators” who pick-up the contenders’ plates from the various establishments and bring it all back to one table at a “Blind Tasting Site” for judging in one sitting. Now this is a major group (family) effort! How they get everyone hungry enough to participate all at the same time is beyond me. My guess is that they schedule the judging sessions around lunch hour. That’ll work!
To make it fair and unbiased, they’re doing a double blind test, not only masking the identity of the food, but those who are serving it.
The contenders are marked for the blind test by alphabet
They’re just getting started, yet have already covered some major grinds, including beef stew (as you see in the photo above), fried rice and shoyu poke.
In the Poke smackdown, they didn’t include Ono Hawaiian Seafood on Kapahulu, which is a shame. Shame I tell you!
If you check out the “Best Hamburger Steak” smackdown, take notice that they included Banquet Salisbury Steak as a “wild card”. That’s hilarious!
According to their home page, coming soon will be “Best Chicken Katsu” and “Best Meat Jun”. They’ve also already mentioned manapua and malasada, so that’s on the back-burner as well. Sounds good!
Of course there’s so much more they need to cover. Here’s a few (doable) WOWGrinds.com smackdown suggestions!…
- Best Kalua Pig & Cabbage
- Best Laulau
- Best Loco Moco
- Best Roast Pork with Gravy (Gotta’ include Tani’s Lunchwagon!)
- Best Beef Curry (no worry!)
- Best Chili (Zippy’s, Richie’s, The Shack are a few suggestions)
- Best Misoyaki Butterfish
- Best Teriyaki Beef (and teri’ chicken)
- Best Teriyaki Burger (W&M, Teddy’s, Kua Aina, etc.)
- Best Shoyu Chicken
- Best Garlic Ahi
- Best Saimin (broth has to be transported separately for optimum texture)
- Best Oxtail Soup (that will be one EXPENSIVE smackdown!, Kapiolani Coffee Shop, Forty Niner & BOWS Cafeteria are a few suggestions)
- Best Take-Out Sushi (Kozo, Aloha, Sushi Man, etc.)
- Best Pork Adobo
- Best Pork Guisantes
- Best Dinuguan (I love Bautistas version!)
- Best Lumpia
- Best Pancit (they could do all these Filipino dishes in one sitting, just blind taste test each one separately)
- Best Kalbi (Kim Chee & Yummy’s gotta’ be in there)
- Best Fish Jun
- Best Mandoo (the Korean food could also could be done in one sitting, just separate the dishes for individual tests)
- Best Pho (again, some ingrediments need to be transported separately)
- Best Spring & Summer Roll
- Best Chow Funn
- Best Mac Salad
- Best Shave Ice (impossible! Da’ buggah going melt! lol)
Anything deep-fried like Katsu, Tempura, etc. will be difficult, because once it’s cold, poho already. Gotta’ be piping hot, just out of the fryer for most accurate representation.
This site will get more and more interesting as they continue to add new Hawaii Grinds Blind Taste Tests to their list.
Mahalo “T” for telling me about it!
Check ’em out…