This time last year, there were signs indicating the opening of a new Cheeseburgers in Paradise location at the corner of Ala Moana Boulevard and Kalakaua Avenue. Open since December of 2004, Cheeseburger Waikiki has tried to fill the shoes of the previous tenant here -- a Sizzlers restaurant that had been in this same location for more than 20 years. This restaurant joins another Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant which is located at the opposite end of Waikiki and has been open since 1997.
While being taken to my seat outdoors, I snapped a few photos of the restaurant's interior. The inside of the restaurant is fun and playful, and there are strings of lights hanging everywhere.
There are a lot of knickknacks, tchotchkes, doo dads, or whatever you want to call them. In any case, there's a whole lot of clutter in here, which I guess makes it great.
For some reason, the waitstaff all wear grass skirts around their waists. I wonder if this is only done in the Hawaii stores. When I visited the original location in Hawaii, our server had on a a grass skirt as well. See the waiter at the bar in the grass skirt?
My seat was out near the sidewalk under an umbrella. The lighting was provided by these gas torches. If Waikiki weren't so crowded, this might have been really nice. It was much better than sitting indoors though -- at least it was cool and breezy.
After looking over the menu, I placed my order. The waitress advised that the food would take about 20 minutes to arrive. It actually came in 10. Good thing because I was quite hungry. It was already past 9:00 pm. Since the burgers come with no sides, I decided to get an order of the 'ono onion ringsTM (US$4.95).
The onion rings were made with real onions and a different sort of batter and coating. According to the menu, this was a "flaky crumb breading that you (I) will love". Did I love 'em? Of course. The crunchiness was just amazing and surprisingly these weren't oily either.
Now for the burger. According to the menu, all the burgers are made from "100% Natural Meyer Angus Beef. Served Hot and Juicy with 1000 Island Dressing, Fresh Lettuce, Tomatoes and Sautéed Onions. Our Sesame Seed and Whole Wheat Buns are baked Island Fresh every day!"
I decided to order the Black N Blue CheeseburgerTM (US$9.95).
After I placed my order, I realized that I had ordered this same burger in Lahaina more than a year ago. Oh well, maybe it was subconcious. The burger arrived a little pink even though I ordered it well done. I had half a mind to send it back, but decided I was too hungry to do so. The burger came topped with three strips of bacon and lots of crumbled blue cheese, but surprisingly, no sautéed onions. That was perfectly OK because I wouldn't have eaten the onions anyway. Inside the basket that the burger was served in was a pineapple wedge, a pickle, and a bamboo umbrella.
The burger was indeed juicy, though not really hot for some reason. The blue cheese and bacon went very well together and I was quite happy that there wasn't too much dressing on this sandwich. The menu also states that the burgers served here are "5 napkin cheeseburgers" and on this occasion, it was no lie. After the first couple of bites, I ended up using a napkin to hold the burger.
The burgers here are juicy and flavorful, but in my opinion, just a little too expensive. Then again, this is Waikiki right? If I were in the area, and in the mood for a gourmet type of burger, I would definitely consider coming back here for the Black N Blue CheeseburgerTM and definitely the onion rings.
1945 Kalakaua Avenue