So I was in Ewa Beach at the relatively new Laulani Village shopping Center this past week running a business errand, where I decided to grab lunch at the “still smell the paint drying on the walls” brand spankin’ new Teddy’s Bigger Burgers.
Upon reading the now numerous reviews on Yelp, most folks rave about the ono burgers, spot-on consistency (with other Teddy’s locations) and EXCELLENT service at the new Teddy’s in Ewa Beach. However they unanimously complained how small the indoor seating area is, especially for the volume of business they’re doing.
Well, after my visit, I must concur. Teddy’s may serve bigger and better burgers in Ewa Beach, but their restaurant is far from meeting that slogan from a brick and mortar restaurant aspect, being more like “Teddy’s Smaller and Inadequate Burger Joint”. Ooh! OUCH!
I’m sorry Ewa Teddy, and I hope your wife didn’t hear that, but it’s true. While I never got to experience it, folks on Yelp who were lucky enough to score a table inside within the confines of cool air conditioned comfort, still didn’t enjoy the experience when it got busy — which apparently is most of the time — with several reviewers noting “You get a face full of waiting customer @ss as you you’re trying to eat.” Oh man, not good. So not good. Well it could be good if they have a nice @ss. But if not, you get their point, no pun intended.
Really, all they need are umbrellas for those outdoor tables, and for the most part, problem solved.
Anyhow, let’s take a look around inside the newly opened Teddy’s Bigger Burgers at Laulani Village Shopping Center in Ewa…
Looks pretty much like most other Teddy’s locations.
The wash basin for customers to use so they can wash off all the mess from those juicy burgers is a nice touch!
That’s it for seating indoor seating. Just eight 4-place tables, making it a total of 32 heads at any given time. Where I already see how I’d rearrange the place for improved accommodations and efficiency.
What I’d do to improve this joint, is make a 3′ high partition wall that creates a hallway along the inside wall leading from the entrane/exit door, where customers would have an access path to the front counter. The condiment station would be moved to the side window area where you pick up your order, which makes more functional sense. That would leave the entire rest of the available floor space limitless in how its arranged for seating, allowing for individual counter seats, 2-seat and 4 seat table configurations, while still allowing wheelchair access for compliance. I’d illustrate a floor plan for you, but that’s beyond the scope of this post. I’m not THAT OCD! lol!!!
Surfing along, while other Teddy’s locations have whimsical murals painted on their walls depicting the area they’re located, Teddy’s depiction of the Ewa Beach community is done on this surfboard…
There’s another surfboard on the opposite side of the entrance wall in honor of the US armed forces (Army, Air Force, Navy & Marines).
Some cool art deco’ goin’ on…
I was gonna’ say that looks like a pineapple or a rabbit, but I think it’s supposed to be a cheeseburger. Don’t you see a rabbit? No?
As I sat at Ewa Teddy’s official “people awaiting their order” 2-person bench, here’s the front of what developed into being a VERY long line behind me…
Here’s Teddy’s much needed overflow outdoor seating — umbrella extra charge (actually not currently available) — scorched by the blazin’ hot Ewa Beach sun…
If you buy any burger combo’, you can get a Teddy’s logo T-shirt for just $10, which sounds like a pretty good deal..
Teddy’s featured burgers of the month (the “Kailua Style” has actually been their location-wide featured burger for years now)…
Teddy’s Ewa Beach main menu…
Hmmm, what should I get? Their signature 100% ground chuck beef burgers are out of my equation. I’m not a big fan of Alaskan Pollock, so the fish burger is out. Which I must say, Teddy’s, what’s up with that? For the premium prices you’re charging, we should be getting locally-raised beef and fresh-caught island fish such as Mahimahi or Ono!
Well, there’s been quite a lot of Yelper raves about Teddy’s Veggie Burger, so that’s what I went with on this “First Byte” Ewa visit…
So now that I have my pipin’ hot, cooked-to-order Teddy’s Veggie Burger Combo’, let’s go sit down and eat! Let’s go sit down and eat! Um… oh, what? Every seat’s taken? Huh? How can that be? I beat the rush! Well, as folks on Yelp had already pointed out, the small space (obviously too small for the volume they’re doing) here accommodates very limited seating, and this was peak lunch hour, with most folks looking like they were either just starting or halfway through their meal, so I knew there was no hope waiting.
And I sure as heck wasn’t going to eat outside in that scorchin’ hot Ewa Beach sun on those tables with no umbrella or awning covering them.
Oh well, so I took my “dine-in” order to go…
And? Winnahz! Being consistent with the other Teddy’s locations I frequent, including the Waikiki and Hawaii Kai locations, Ewa Teddy’s thick-cut fries were seasoned with just the right amount of kosher salt. They also have perfect texture, being nice ‘n golden crispy outside, and pillowy-steamy-tender inside. And that potato skin. Oh that glorious, slightly chewy, fibrous, “spudsy” potato skin left on some, but not all the cuts… LOVE THAT! They just taste so fresh, like Idaho is right in the backyard, kinda’ fresh! Blows In ‘n Out, that’s for sure. And the fries portion was just the right amount to fill me up temporarily while I abstained from using my cellphone, yet still able to put on my lipstick and eyeliner AND eat my awesome Ewa Teddy’s fries while driving back to the office. Ha!
Seriously though, as far as “standard” potato-based fries are concerned, Teddy’s are up there on my short list for contention as “Best Burger Joint Fries” on Oahu. I’m not talkin’ cut waffle, or curly, or spiral, or “TOT” or sweet, or what have you. I’m talking the good ‘ole ALL AMERICAN BURGER FRIES. In fact, I have to confess that I visit fast food burger joints at least once a week. You know what for? Fries. Yup, I’ll go in and order the biggest and baddest size McDonalds fries, and that it. Walk out a happy camper. Oh, god how I love McDonald’s fries. No burgers. No wraps. No this or that. Just a big ole helping of McD’s PERFECT fries. and oh do they hit the spot! I’ll take Teddy’s fries over McD’s any day, however for “Fries cravings” convenience, you know how I roll. lol
Now back at the office, let’s get a better look at Teddy’s Ewa Beach Veggie Burger (which should be like a Veggie Burger from any other Teddy’s location).
Oh, that’s just so sensually whispering in my ear, “You know you want me.”
Gotta’ get that cross-cut shot…
It’s interesting seeing how various places build their burgers. Notice at Teddy’s, “The Burger Build” goes like this: bun bottom (toasted!), patty, special request toppings (in this case sauteed mushrooms and melted swiss cheese, tomato, sliced white onions, pickles, lettuce, sauce (in this case Mayo’), bun top (toasted!).
Whereas, say The Shack puts their lettuce and tomatoes UNDER the patty, with the special request toppings on top, with mayo’ slathered on both top and bottom of the toasted bun.
So what about the Veggie patty? What’s the deal there?…
As you see, it’s flame-grilled just like their beef burgers. While I didn’t ask, I’m 99.015792463% sure its previously frozen. And how does it taste?…
EXCELLENT! Certainly not “beefy”, but quite “meaty” tasting for a veggie patty, resembling perhaps a little bit of chicken and veal. It’s a bit more dense than I’d like, and also a bit on the dry side, like most veggie patties tend to be in comparison to that fatty beef. However the thick slathering of mayo, along with the melted swiss cheese and sauteed mushrooms toppings more than made up for that, bringing back some of that tasty “fatty” factor absent in the patty itself.
Which of course negates the point of ordering a veggie burger to cut calories and fat to begin with. But hey, still, it’s gotta’ taste satisfying, right?! So yes, if you order Teddy’s Veggie Burger, MAKE SURE you add your favorite additional toppings, as it’s definitely going to need it. It will set you back a couple more bucks, but it’s worth it.
What I also love about Teddy’s burgers besides the fact that they’re flame-grilled, and use top quality fresh ingredients, is Teddy’s Potato Buns. Oh Teddy are your buns! lol So soft ‘n supple inside, yet with enough density and glutenous “chew”, and a firm enough crust to hold it all together, not falling apart even with all them juices. Most importantly, they TOAST the inside, thank God! That light dusting of flour on the potato bun also adds this interesting textural dimension to it as you hold the burger to your mouth. It’s those “little” things that really add the “better” to their “bigger” slogan,-sounding name.
But yeah, for you vegetarians, pescetarians or “whatever’arians” out there, check out Teddy’s Veggie Burger. Add your favorite juicy toppinz’, and along with their most excellent skin-on thick-cut fries and drink combo, you’ve got a flame-grilled, option-to-beef burger WINNAH’!
As for service, regardless of there being a long line (which I was fortunate to be in front of when I arrived), my order arrived in my hands within 5 minutes, which they call you by your receipt number, just like Zippy’s. The workers there were also very friendly, and the place was spotless, including the self-serve soda fountain and condiment station.
Other than the lack of indoor seating, Ewa Beach Teddy my friend, your proven consistent excellent flame-grilled burgers ‘n thick skin-on fries — including the Veggie combo’ , along with your friendly staff and convenient location, certainly are now up in the ranks to be the biggest and best on Oahu’s west!
Teddy’s Bigger Burgers
Laulani Village Shopping Center in Ewa Beach
91-1085 Keaunui Drive
Ewa Beach, Hawaii 96706
Tel. (808) 685-8000
• Teddy’s Bigger Burgers in Ewa Beach – Yelp user review
• Teddy’s Bigger Burgers in Waikiki – The Tasty Island
• Teddy’s Bigger Burgers in Hawaii Kai – The Tasty Island
• Teddy’s Fish ‘n Chips – The Tasty Island|
• The New Laulani Village Shopping Center in Ewa Beach – The Tasty Island
P.S. As of this writing (dated 7/20/13), along with Teddy’s Bigger Burgers, other businesses that have also recently opened in Laulani Village Shopping Center include Walgreens, a stand-alone Starbucks (along with their joined location within Safeway) and Panda Express (this one located in the front corner wing). Businesses with signs or banners up announcing to open soon are The UPS Store (reader David’s business!), Sprint (to be located next to Teddy’s), and in the front corner wing, Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen and Royal Nails.
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P.P.S. This quite interesting looking military vessel named ‘Pacific Tracker’, based in Virginia, has been docked at Honolulu Harbor over the past month..
As is obvious by the array of massive “golf ball” radar domes atop it, Pacific Tracker uses missile tracking X-Band technology, similar to the larger one that’s stationed at Pearl Harbor. When KJU is behaving nicely as a young boy should, the much larger SBX-1 vessel is usually seen docked at Pearl. When not, it’s out and about performing baby sitter duties.