Ask yourself, when was the last time you had real Hawaiian food?
If the answer to that question is “never,” you’ll probably smile or clap or make some other gesture of general happiness to know that you can now get real Hawaiian food from a food trailer on College Avenue, thanks to Hawaiian Brian’s.
The new business is owned by husband and wife team Michael and Shanea Holmbeck, and is located at the Yacht Club on College, a mobile vendor park at Trenton Street and College Avenue in Fayetteville. When we stopped by on Tuesday, they’d just opened for their third day of business.
Michael is a native Hawaiian who’s been been working in retail here in Fayetteville for about 17 years. He said opening a restaurant that serves the foods he grew up eating in the Kahuku community on the island of Oahu has been a dream of his for quite a while.
“A lot of the dishes we offer, my Mom used to make,” Michael said. “I can remember having the Shoyu chicken as a school lunch, but you can’t get anything like that around here.”
The restaurant will rotate a handful of menu items each day including Michael’s version of Shoyu chicken which includes sweet Teriyaki marinated chicken thighs served with white rice, Hawaiian Brian’s “secret sauce” and a homemade macaroni salad. Other dishes include Hawaiian pork chops, Kalua pork and Loco Moco, a hamburger patty topped with a fried egg served over rice and smothered in gravy. Michael told us that all of the items would be available to order for larger office groups to pick up with a bit of advance notice.
“When Michael and I first met, he made the Shoyu Chicken for me,” Shanea said. “After that, I had him make it for me every night for three weeks. Opening this place has pretty much been a dream of ours since then.”
Hawaiian Brian’s is open six days a week (closed only on Thursdays) from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.