If you’re like me, you’ve been missing Hank’s Haute Dogs since it closed two months ago. Sure, you can stop by the 10’x10’ sidewalk tent where they’ve been selling Chicago Dogs and Pineapple Ice, but it’s just not the same. So if you’re like me you’re pretty happy about the news that Hank’s is finally and officially re-opening in brand new digs this Saturday.
I’ve been a fan since 2012, after seeing the Kakaako hot dog shop on a rerun of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives.” While it’s still rockin’ the same address and menu items, Hank’s is actually in a new green building barely a stone’s throw away from its old spot — and they’re adding breakfast.
I walked into the new space and immediately knew it was Hank’s. The walls are lined with old photos and framed posters from the old space, and aluminum siding skirts the walls and decorates the lighting. The red and beige color scheme is the same, but the lights are brighter, the space is bigger and there’s air conditioning.
Appearances aside, the biggest change is the new Hankfast late breakfast menu. It’s been a while since Hank’s decided to add new menu items. Owner Henry “Hank” Adaniya says Kakaako inclines more toward breakfast than dinner, at least when it comes to hot dogs.
The new Ice Coffee Whip was inspired by a coffee granita Adaniya had on a trip abroad. The result is a coffee-flavored slushie, cream and sugar included. It’s a bit sweet for my taste, but then I feel the same way about the Pineapple Ice, and everyone seems to love it.
The Breakfast Dog is essentially toast, eggs and sausage done Hank’s style. I was curious how the English banger so neatly ended up in an egg. The secret is a rectangular Japanese tamagoyaki egg roll pan. They cook a thin layer of egg in this pan and the sausage is simply rolled up into the egg. A little sriracha, which they have on hand, helped me enjoy this dog a lot more.
The star has to be the Breakfast Fries. Adaniya’s entire Hankfast idea started with these because “we made them and were like, ‘Oh my god, these are good!’” My advice, if you’ve got $2 laying around, add Portuguese sausage to your fries. Hangover food, that’s why.
Planning on trying some Hankfast? You better plan ahead: You’ll only have one hour on weekdays and two hours on weekends before the menu switches to all-lunch. Why such a short window? “We’re not McDonald’s, yet,” Adaniya says. “We don’t get up that early.”
In other news, keep an eye out for the return of the rabbit and veal dog. I’ve always been a fan of Hank’s truffle cheese sauce, and this dog is slathered in it. It was part of the daily specials menu when Hank’s opened in the late 2000s, and it may be coming back.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Welcome back, Hank’s!
Hank’s Haute Dogs
324 Coral St., Honolulu, HI 96813
Daily 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hankfast: Mon-Fri, 10 to 11 a.m.; Sat & Sun, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.