Rainbow Drive In versus Richie's Drive Inn Chili Dog plate lunch Honolulu Hawaii best

Rainbow's versus Richie's in Battle of da Honolulu chili dog plates

Battle of da chili dog plates: Round 2

You asked for it, so we're comparing original Rainbow Drive-In vs. Richie's Drive Inn
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Q: Which chili dog plate stay more awesome?

When I did my chili dog battle between Zippy's and Rainbow Drive-In, some readers complained that it wuzn't one fair battle cuz I went to da Rainbow's in Pearlridge, which they said wuzn't as good as da original Kapahulu location. But to me this chili dog plate battle came about because of Rainbow's westward expansion as they compete more with Zippy's, so das why I felt like I SHOULDN'T go to da original Rainbow's.

Anyhow, because of reader feedback saying how da original Rainbow's on Kapahulu stay waaay bettah and how Richie's in Kalihi is da bomb, my editor suggested we revisit da chili dog battle.  

Rainbow Drive-In, Kapahulu

Name: Chili Dog Plate
Cost: $8.50
Size: Regular
What get inside: Chili, hot dog, rice, mac salad
Hot dog count: Two
Hot dog texture: Super soft. Almost akin to Vienna sausage
Chili: Very meaty and beany
Mac salad: Basic
Rice: Two scoop
Tip: Try go at off-peak hours for make sure you can get one parking space. If wuzn't for all da tourists I would probably go hea more often.

Richie's Drive Inn

Name: Chili Dog Plate
Cost: $6.99
Size: Regular
What get inside: Chili, hot dog, rice, mac salad
Hot dog count: Two 
Hot dog texture: Super soft. Almost akin to Vienna sausage
Chili: Very meaty and beany
Mac salad: Basic
Rice: Two scoop
Tip: From da outside da place looks abandoned, but it's not. It's actually kinda nice on da inside. Da parking in da lot and in da general area is super nuts. Your best option might be for phone in your order and pick 'em up at their drive-thru window! Das so cool.

A. Richie's. But read da bottom line.

Hea what dey get in common:
Richie's devotees tell me that some of da cooks who used to work at Rainbow's Kapahulu stay at Richie's now. I dunno if das true or what, but it wouldn't be surprising, cuz it kinda seems like Richie's goal wuz for make their chili dog taste exactly like Rainbow's. I tink if you wuz blindfolded you would be pretty hard-pressed for say which chili dog wuz which.

How dey stay different:
Da price! To me da food at Richie's is OK. It's competent. Da only ting I find really remarkable is da price and da portions. Whereas Zippy's portions have been coming smaller and da prices have been coming higher, Richie's is one real throwback. They get nice-size portions and da prices is like 10 years ago. Nowdays da average plate lunch can run you 10 bucks or more even, but from looking at Richie's menu, seems like their average is $7.99!

Da bottom line: Zippy's still da best.
Is da Kapahulu Rainbow's waaay bettah? Perhaps da Rainbow's lovers who diss da newer locations went to them early on when they never get all da kinks out yet. Or maybe oddah dishes taste different. But to me, da Rainbow's Kapahulu chili dog tasted pretty much like da Rainbow's Pearlridge one. Perhaps slightly more tomato-y. Slightly. And da mac salad wuz a little less runny. But das about it.

Taste-wise, I still tink no can beat Zippy's one. Like if only had ONE Zippy's, I would drive special, all da way to town for get their chili and I would pay little bit more. But das only cuz I no eat plate lunch regularly. It's more of one special treat for me. 

For da people who eat plate lunches a lot, Richie's offers great value, so I can see why they get such one hardcore following. So I guess it's good they no fix up their puka sign and their puka puka parking lot, cuz das how they can afford for pass along da savings.  #oldskoolrulez