Jack in the Box of Hawaii formally introduced their new Food Truck Series menu at a private media tasting event yesterday, March 13th, held at the new Anaha residential tower in Kaka’ako. This, being at the same time Jamba Juice Hawaii introduced their new Lychee smoothies and bowl. Of which to note, all the Jack in the Box and Jamba Juice locations in Hawaii are owned by Chris Scanlan and Eddie Park under the franchise group Blue Pacific Juice, LLC. Together they own 27 Jack the Box restaurants and 34 Jamba Juice stores throughout Hawaii. The new Jamba Juice Lychee flavors will be featured in a subsequent post.
Before presenting the Food Truck Series sandwiches, Jack in the Box also showcased another new menu item exclusive to Hawaii, the local style Fried Rice with SPAM, Portuguese Sausage, Eggs, and as a bonus, Pork Belly. The latter of which being same as used in their new Pork Belly BLT.
The fried rice is seasoned with NOH ingredients. Yes, there’s no flavor whatsoever. lol J/K, the seasoning is made by NOH of Hawaii, a company that specializes in local style seasonings and sauces. I would say it basically tasted like shoyu, which is essentially all you need for local style fried rice. Some folks also add Oyster sauce or dashi. That said, JITB’s local style fried rice was is right on point. Tastes just as good, as say the one from Side Street Inn, which says a lot.
The smokey, meaty combination of fried pork belly, SPAM and Portuguese Sausage really kicks this fried rice up. If you want a simple, hearty breakfast, I highly recommend JITB’s Local Style Fried Rice! Buggah is ono!
Now on to the stars of the show, the Food Truck Series sandwiches, starting with the Asian Fried Chicken, described as followed:
“Go on a culinary adventure with Jack’s new food truck–inspired Asian Fried Chicken Sandwich. It has crispy all-white-meat chicken strips, crunchy Asian slaw, fresh cucumbers, and a bold gochujang mayo on our new toasted baguette. And just to be clear, by “culinary adventure” we don’t mean that you’re going to be, like, climbing Mount Everest with a chef or something. You’ll just be chowing down on a really, really ridiculously delicious sandwich.”
And? As you know, I’m not a big chicken fan, yet still, because this was executed Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich style, I was totally feeling this. I’d like them to try making the pork belly with the asian slaw an cucumbers in it. I bet that would be even better! Still, this was rockin’ it! Surprisingly I didn’t get anything spicy about, regardless of what looks like specs of black pepper in the batter, along with that Gochujang Mayo’. The latter of which certainly helped out the party. Overall, yeah, I’d recommend you try this. She go.
Moving along to the Pork Belly BLT, the menu describes it as followed:
“Prepare your taste buds for the ride of their lives. Introducing Jack’s new food truck–inspired Pork Belly BLT. You get two slabs of seared pork belly, with green leaf lettuce and juicy tomatoes, all served on our new toasted baguette. It’s the ultimate flavor roller coaster, if that roller coaster was food truck, and that food truck was actually a Jack in the Box.”
Thick slices of raw pork belly about to hit the frying pan
OK, this is where I’m sorry to say but the presenters REALLY dropped the ball here by FORGETTING TO BRING THE TOMATOES! Ack! Dude, you cannot make a BLT without tomatoes in it! NO DEAL! They tried to compensate by adding more pork belly in the sample sandwiches, but nope. That’s not going to cut it for me. Or will it?
I must say, the smokey, salty, thick-sliced pork belly they resourced for this sandwich is FANTASTIC. This is pretty much as good as bacon gets. To be honest, it almost taste like local style smoked pork. Not quite “Big Island style” because there’s clearly no soy sauce involved, but still, it does have a sort of Kiawe-smoked pork local style flavor profile.
So here’s my sample of the Pork Belly BLT, and I must say, even without the tomatoes, the pork belly itself is so tasty, I’m a little forgiving on this. Still, if it had the tomatoes, this would have been SO MUCH BETTER! The sauce was like a creamy honey mustard aioli, which added a slight sweetness to it. I’m a purist when it comes to BLT, and believe nothing other than Mayonnaise should be in it. Still, this sauce worked. Better than no sauce, that’s for sure.
See, now THAT’s how you do a BLT, baby! My homemade take on it I prepared this morning just to prove the point!
Media attendees Rachael and Ashlynn at the Anaha tower 7th floor pool deck (Rachael Ostovich is a champion fighter in the UFC)
Summing it up, Jack in the Box new Local Style Fried Rice is bomb dot com. The also new Food Truck Series Sandwiches are delicious as well. The Pork Belly BLT was seriously in a handicap without tomatoes in it, yet still was able to hold its own thanks to the fresh ingredients, great bun, and EXCELLENT smokey-salty pork belly. Again, while I’m not a chicken fan, for what it is, the Asian Fried Chicken was fantastic as well, especially because of the cucumber and slaw in it, that gave it a “Banh Mi attitude”. I like that!
Huge mahalo to Erika Engle of Food Gurus Hawaii for inviting the Tasty Island to yet another fantastic tasting event!
Coming next from this same day event, the new Jamba Juice Lychee smoothies and bowl.
For more information, including nutritional numbers, visit the Jack in the Box Food Truck Series site here.