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A Catered Luncheon by Burgers on the Edge

As the classic 70’s TV commercial suggests, nothing’s more American than baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. To name a few of course, as arguably just as, if not more iconic than all of the above is the good ‘ole Hamburger.

That said, with the 4th of July Independence Day weekend right upon us at the time of this luncheon that took place several weeks ago, we decided to celebrate with an all-American themed luncheon, featuring a build-your-own burger station, fries and root beer floats. Neat-O! Never done that before, that’s for sure.

Which honestly beforehand, I was skeptical would work out for catering, as you know this type of food is usually time and temperature sensitive from kitchen to service. Especially the deep-fried fries. I was surprised burger joints even offered catering services. Yet I’ll be a hot-diggity-dog (or burger), it all turned out pretty darned good!

Suiting our budget and customer service criteria best, we ended up going with Burgers on the Edge at the relatively new Kapahulu Safeway complex, after having called around Teddy’s, Honolulu Burger Company and The Counter.

Getting right to it, let’s go down the line and check out the spread of our Burger, Fries and Rootbeer Float Americana luncheon extravaganza…

Burgers on the Edge provided the “upscale” black plastic plates and utensils, along with the napkins and condiment packets here.

Sesame Buns

Oat Whole Wheat Buns

Green Leaf Lettuce


Red Onions

Dill Pickle Chips

Homestyle 1/4 lb. sirloin all-beef patties topped with melted American cheese

Homestyle 1/4 lb. sirloin all-beef patties (no cheese)


Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries Sauce (a spicy remoulade)

Root Beer Float station featuring Mug® Root Beer and Meadow Gold Vanilla Ice Cream (c/o Costco)

While our Burgers on the Edge catered luncheon spread included the basic essentials, there’s certainly much more options to choose if you visit their Kapahulu restaurant. All I’d really desire other than what’s here are sauteed mushrooms and swiss cheese, as I’m all about the Swiss ‘n Shroom burger, baby!

B.O.T.E.’s actually known for their Wagyu “Kobe style” burgers, which of course come at a premium price. Honolulu Burger Company’s premium-priced Big Island free range beef burgers are also amazing. Yet, this being a company-sponsored fixed budget luncheon, the “entry level” homestyle 1/4 lb. sirloin patties and basic toppings here works. Always does.

Let’s take a look at a few plates fresh off the “assembly line”…

My plate…

Here’s an interesting question:  Which way do you (or would you) build your burger? I build mine how The Shack does, with the veggies UNDER the burger patty. Not on top, whereas I think most folks put the veggies on top of the burger patty. The theory behind the veggies on bottom being that it prevents the “meat juices” seeping out of the patty from making the bottom bun soggy, while those juices also help flavor the veggies.

Specifically, my burger building sequence is like this (bottom to top): bottom bun with a light spread of sauce (usually mayo’) > lettuce > tomato > onion > pickle > burger patty (preferably with melted cheese, as is here) > Top Bun with a light spread of mayo’.

No matter how it’s built, whenever or wherever possible, I MUST have veggies in my burger, as it tastes “naked”, like something’s missing without it. Even just a few sliced onions helps, as I need that fresh and crunchy texture contrast to all the rich meaty-cheesy goodness.

OK, let’s do this…

Medium-rare doneness, thank GOD!…

Which normally I prefer my burgers cooked more towards medium, but being these were probably cooked at least an hour or more prior to being served, I’d much rather it be at medium-rare along with the moisture that comes with that, than to have been cooked to medium, and the residual heat turn it well-done and dried out at time of service. The burger’s doneness here was just about perfect, with the only thing I would have asked, is that it be a little warmer than it was.

Which is why I suggested to our office party planning committee that we (finally) invest in sterno chafing dishes to keep our catered luncheon dishes warm. We really should have had those kitchen basics a long time ago.

Back to the burger, while it wasn’t the premium Wagyu “Kobe Style”, the “homestyle” 1/4 lb. sirloin all-beef patty packed lots of flavor, while being adequately juicy. Apparently these are cooked on a flat top, and not flame-grilled, as there wasn’t any sign of grill markings or seared edges, yet it had a reasonably-browned crust that brought out the flavor of the beef.

Along with beef patty, equally as crucial to the makings of a great burger is a great bun, and Burgers on the Edge delivers, where, thank GOD again (I’m actually Buddhist), they TOAST the buns, along with liberally buttering it, along with a giving it a light sprinkle of finely chopped fresh parsley (nice touch!)…

It’s the attention to detail in these “little” things that make the sum of its parts all come together. Add to that the very fresh and crisp lettuce, ripe-yet-firm, thick-cut tomato, sweet red onions, tangy pickles and FANTASTIC spicy remoulade sauce (meant for the Sweet Potato Fries), and this was one EXCELLENT burger from Burgers on the Edge. Very impressive, especially considering it was catered. A “burgeriffic” 3 SPAM for Burgers on the Edge catered Cheeseburger.

As for the fries and sweet potato fries, they were seasoned perfectly with salt and surprisingly still crispy, albeit lukewarm (see my comment about investing in chafing dishes). The sweet potato fries tasted store-bought, unlike the one at Honolulu Burger Company, which have a more homemade taste and texture, and are the benchmark by which all others have to compare to. Still good though

The spicy remoulade was particularly outstanding, tasting almost identical to the most excellent remoulade they serve with the popcorn shrimp at the Ala Moana Mai Tai Bar. Good stuff!

Summing it up, I give their fries and sweet potato fries 2 SPAM Musubi, which is commendable, considering the dynamics.

Finally, let’s try the Mug® Root Beer Float, which I admittedly haven’t had one in YEARS!…

Pretty good, but too foamy. Mug was always like that though, where personally I’ve always preferred Barq’s. Also, the Root Beer soda was served at room temperature, so it quickly melted the ice cream from solid form, whereas, I like to scoop solid spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream out of my rootbeer float glass, with the root beer just “coating” it, if you know what I mean. It’s technical like that. lol

1 SPAM Musubi for the Mug® Root Beer Float. Served ice cold (and preferably in a chilled glass mug) and it would have easily rated 3. Served with a better quality ice cream (like Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean or Blue Bunny’s Homemade Vanilla!) and it would be a 5! Hey, one can dream, right? lol

Burgers on the Edge catering
Safeway Kapahulu Shopping Center
890 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii  96816

Tel. (808) 737-8866

The Tasty Island rating:

(3) Very Good. Considerable of another visit or purchase. (Supah’ Ono!)

Hawaii Five-O Official CBS website

P.S. Hawaii Five-O has been spotted all over the island filming their second season, whom I ran into a shoot several weeks ago while taking a detour drive home through Ala Moana Beach Park. Here they were filming again at their mocked-up “Waiola Shave Ice Stand”, converted from the otherwise daily concession stand on the Ewa end of the beach park.

Following are photos I shot at the Hawaii Five-O season 2 “Waiola Shave Ice” set at Ala Moana Beach Park (a.k.a. North Shore!), taken Thursday afternoon, July 14, 2011. Enjoy.

Five-O SWAT team extras on set waiting for their cue…

Hawaii Five-O’s police cruisers look almost like the real thing. Almost. HPD still uses Ford “old school” Crown Vics (with high performance package), while the reboot 2.O Five-O squad cars are based on the current late model Chevy Impala…

Also notice Five-Os cruiser code of conduct message  here says “Integrity. Respect. Honor”, whereas HPDs cruiser message reads “Integrity. Respect. Fairness”.

However, the license plates are the same as HPD, with “HPD” as the first part of the ID.

No one around that looked like “Uncle Niel”, except for this here “Governor’s Vehicle”…

Incredibly (I don’t think they were affiliated), there were also some guys parked right by the set there selling Hawaii Five-O t-shirts…

Other than “another day at the office” for the cast and crew of Hawaii Five-O season 2, it was pretty much just another relaxing day for everyone else at beautiful and sunny Ala Moana Beach…


18 thoughts on “A Catered Luncheon by Burgers on the Edge

  • July 30, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    awesome pics! ya know what? now that i think about it….in-n-out here does it just like that too!!! makes perfect sense to put the veggies on the bottom. for science! :) seriously those burgers all looked pretty ono. here in the mainland, in-n-out has a burger truck that goes out and makes burgers made to order–they do not serve fries however…as that would be a liability with grease in a truck haha :D excellent post pomai :)

  • July 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Raph’, national chains typically perform very well here in Hawaii (often much higher than the average per square foot, albeit at a higher real estate price), yet there’s oddly a few that still haven’t made the treck across the Pacific ocean for various business-related reasons. Namely (and lovingly) Trader Joe’s, and as you’ve pointed out, In-N-Out Burger, which I think would do very well here, as we love burgers!

    Bed, Bath & Beyond has recently opened here, while there’s a rumor that Olive Garden has its sight set on a Hawaii location. http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/print-edition/2011/07/29/olive-garden-has-its-eye-on-hawaii.html

    All of the above being obviously a major challenge for the locally-owned and operated “mom ‘n pop” retail and F&B businesses, no matter which regional market these corporate and big box giants enter.

  • July 31, 2011 at 3:19 am

    Pomai, that was the first hamburger buffet ever and great one too. It so different from the other type you had. As for Trader Joes I really like it very much for their food are great in healthy organic kind. I try their miso soup mix which has no msg at in it and decafe black tea in bags now they are sell coconut milk in carton at 1.99. Their prices reasonable. That when I was in visiting San Francisco my brother there.

  • July 31, 2011 at 5:21 am

    Nate, our typical luncheon budget is $10/head, which has to cover not only the cost of the food provided by the caterer, but also the drinks, dessert, utensils and paper goods purchased elsewhere (except in this case and a few other past luncheons, the plates and utensils were provided by the caterer). It can be a squeeze, but our party planning committee always makes it turn out great!

    Richard, somehow the suggestion of getting Miso Soup from Trader Joe’s doesn’t sound right. lol

  • July 31, 2011 at 8:23 am

    What? No fries inside the bun?
    Seriously, I love burgers on the edge. Just wish they had more inside or cooler seating. But that may be why they are so much more affordable than The Counter.

    BTW. In n Out is not in Hawaii for a specific reason. Hawaii was the continuing vacation spot for the family that owned the restaurant chain. They did not want to think business while on vacation. It is in the In N Out book. Now In N Out is owned by the niece of the founder. Perhaps she shall reconsider. But it would be an expensive proposition compared to a mainland expansion. And there are no franchises.

  • July 31, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Pat, No fries in burgers for me, as I think burgers should be kept as simple as possible, with whatever toppings in it there to compliment the BEEF, not detract from it. Which is why I don’t like bacon in my burgers, being it’s too bold (pork-fatty) and overpowering (smokey). Fries and onion rings, when placed IN the bun with the burger also muddle the flavor of the beef, IMO.

    Have you ever tried Kiawe Grill’s burgers? Their “Kobe” beef burger is STELLAR, while they also have some interesting “other” meats, like genuine Ostrich and Buffalo Burgers.

    That’s some interesting facts about IN ‘N OUT Burger. Let me guess: their favorite vacation spot is Maui, right? If so, perhaps they’ll get Hawaii’s first In N Out.

    One of the most interesting factoids regarding national burgers chains, is the contribution Hawaii made to the business, with McDonald’s Hawaii locations being the first ever in its corporate history to adapt to the local demographic with the introduction of Saimin on its menu, adapting a recipe from Boulevard Saimin. Which they seriously need to redo, as it’s currently TERRIBLE. They really should resource Sun Noodle for a new and improved McDonald’s Saimin, and market it aggresively, as only McDonald’s can do. $$$$$$$$$


  • July 31, 2011 at 9:37 am

    A burger thread!!!!!

    “My” perfect burger: bottom bun, toasted> french fries>meat>cheese, preferably cheddar>tomato>onion>dill pickle>thousand island dressing> top bun toasted.

    The above is my solution to ‘bottom bun blowout’. Fries soak up the juices and need to be stacked in single layer, in a row to prevent stability issues with the bottom bun.

    No lettuce, IMHO lettuce soaks up nothing and contributes to what I call a ‘tectonic shift’ of the meat/toppings. At best, ruining the ratios of the bite and at worse, sliding something undesirable in your lap.

    Consolidating the toppings to the top bun only can cause top bun blowout however it is easily remedied with another layer of fries. However, it is seldom a problem as I have four fingers up there holding it all together versus a single thumb.

    Pretend you are eating a burger and the fingers/thumb thingy makes some sort of sense.

    YMMV and it should. Eating a proper burger is a personal thing and I Thank You for sharing Pomai.

    Also, Thank You for the 5-0 set information. Cannot wait for the new season to start!!!!!

  • July 31, 2011 at 9:51 am

    ArnyB, wow, that was DEEP! Now you’re getting all technical on us with this whole geological “tectonic shift” razzle-dazzle. lol

    What is “bun blowout”? Is that when it becomes soggy? Or when the bun becomes crushed and deflated from holding it?

    As for choice of cheese, I’m open to just about any variety except Bleu. It’s gotta’ be Swiss if there’s sauteed mushrooms, though. Those two just work best with each other. I have yet to try making a Brie Cheeseburger, which I already know would ROCK!

    Speaking of “build”, have you ever tried Da’ Hui in Ala Moana Food Court? They’ve since closed down, but Diner A and Diner E raved about them. The deal there was, they stuffed the toppings INSIDE the burger patty then cooked it, whether it’s cheese, mushrooms, Portuguese sausage or what have you. Nothing new, but they were the only place in town that I’m aware who stuffed the toppings inside the burger patty.

    With the patty stuffed instead of topped, “guaranz” there’d be no problems with “tectonic shift”, plus the burger’s center of gravity would be optimized for improved handling and ergonomics, while also minimizing “bun blowout”. lol

    Glad you enjoyed the Five-O photo set. :-)

    *I corrected the typos in your comment*

  • July 31, 2011 at 11:04 am

    ‘Bun blowout’ is my term but it is when the integrity of the bun degrades to the point where it falls apart. Being too soggy is typically the culprit, day old bread will do the same thing, making it too big will certainly do it as well.

    I like to taste the meat as well. My choice of cheddar cheese doesn’t overwhelm the meat and like American cheese, has the proper adhesive properties when melted. Keeping it all together. My favorite all time cheese is a big hunk of gouda. Can seldom get it on a menu so I reserve that guilty pleasure for home.

    The only time I eat blue cheese on a burger is with bacon. Call me weird. And no…..I cannot taste the meat at that point. Way too much going on.

    I do not reside on Oahu so I have not tried out Da Hui. When I do visit, I am focused on eating all the other wonderful things you blog about. Everything I have learned about saimin is from you. Besides as you can see, I eat way too many burgers.

    I have tried the ‘toppings inside the burger’ thing a few times and like it. First time I tried it with cheese. Mozzarella to be exact. It wasn’t bad but I was warned before about letting it cool a bit to prevent it from vulcanizing my esophogus. I bet swiss cheese and mushrooms cooked in between two hamburger patties smashed together would be wonderful. Now you got me thinking….I bet gruyere with carmelized onions would work too. Need..to..stop..thinking..about..burgers..now.

    Now I have to go eat a salad because these shooting pains in my left arm might be real. Can your arteries harden just by thinking of burgers???

  • July 31, 2011 at 11:21 am

    ArnyB, mahalo for the explanation on “deflated bun” crisis, because that really is a crisis, if not a national tragedy. lol

    A burger stuffed with Gruyere and caramalized onions sounds awesome!

    Since you like burgers and are interested in saimin, when you visit, you definitely gotta’ try a burger and saimin combo. Particularly, I would order the Zipmin at Zippy’s (in the restaurant, not takeout), along with either a teriyaki burger or teriyaki beef sandwich. The latter of which is essentially thin slices of grilled of teriyaki beef in a bun with lettuce, tomato, onions and a little mayo’. Either one really compliments the hot noodle soup of the saimin well, with the hot saimin broth being a “chaser” for the meaty burger or sandwich.


    Dunno’ about hardening arteries, but all this talk about burgers has me DEFINITELY stopping by Teddy’s Koko Marina today after I finish watching Captain America right across the parking lot. Probably will opt for my usual swiss ‘n shroom, sans Teddy’s “special sauce”, which I don’t like, as it tastes like smokey barbecue sauce mixed with mayonnaise, and I don’t like barbecue sauce-flavored burgers. I always tell them to substitute the “secret sauce” with mayonnaise. Perfect like that.

  • July 31, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Hey when the bun starts to blow out, flip em over. Pau problem.

  • July 31, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Pat, that book of the “ins ‘n outs” of their business sounds like an interesting read.

    Kalapaki Beach Hut’s got a favorable review stream on Yelp!…
    Thanks for the tip! Will most def’ check that place out on my next hop over to Kauai.

    As for “simply” flipping the burger over when the bun “blows out”, nah, no can do. If the bun “blows out” (becomes a soggy, nothingness mess), the whole burger is shot. Seriously, it’s all about the balance and texture contrast where starch meets meat (that was tricky!). That, along with the “crispety-crunchety” freshness of the veggies that bring the whole “rock band” of a great burger together.

    The “deep” burger talk continues…

  • July 31, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Pomai-san… here beginneth the trivia –

    Chevy (GM) got promotional consideration (much like Ford did during the original series) to show off their cars on Hawaii Five-O. It’s not unusual for ‘prop’ police cars to have a slight difference from the real police cars – many cities have ordinances and restrictions on the display of official city seals or colors in anything not owned by them. (I remember reading on the Net some time ago that an Adam-12 fan rebuilt an exact replica of the AMC Matador police cruiser used in the series, with one exception: the City of Los Angeles seal on the cruiser was altered – very slightly – to comply with LA city ordinances as the guy lived in the city.)

    And speaking of saimin and burger combos, don’t forget Shiro’s saimin and Hula Burga combo!

  • August 2, 2011 at 5:58 am

    I thought “bun blowout” is what happens to all your pants when you eat too many burgers and fries.

  • August 3, 2011 at 6:40 am

    Marcus, couldn’t have said it better, my friend. lol.

    Chuck, what’s sort of odd when coming across a Hawaii Five O shoot, are the actual HPD officers on-hand directing traffic, where you first wonder upon driving up whether they’re real officers, or Five-O cast member, and you’re suddenly in as part of the shoot. lol

    In season 1, I was a little disappointed they chose a (rather plain looking) SILVER Camaro for McGarrett’s subsidized police car. They could have at least tipped their hat slightly to the original 1974 BLACK Mercury Marquis Jack rode in by giving Alex a shiny new BLACK Camaro SS. Or, perhaps stay even more evolutionary (than revolutionary) by giving him a black 2011 Grand Marquis! Nah, but I like the idea of a black Camaro SS better.


    The show’s doing a great job separating itself from the original, while still retaining some of the original’s look and feel (save for the actors appearances), so viewers can’t really complain by comparing or nitpicking between the original and the reboot.

    As for Shiro’s, to be honest, I haven’t eaten there in ages (no locations in my neck of the woods). I’ll have to try this Hula Burger saimin combo’ you mention… arigato for the tip!


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