Best Hamburger . . . and Malasadas

When we lived in Michigan, our favorite hamburger was the Big C. You can read a bit about Clyde’s and the three-quarters-pounder burger HERE and HERE. The Big C was a five hours drive from where we lived, but it was on our way to and from our cabin in the UP.

When we lived in Colorado, Smashburger — although offering only a half-pounder — was our favorite place for burgers, edging out the offering from Five Guys. 

Yes, I’m a meat eater. Some will see me as a lesser human being for it, and that’s fine. Just know I hold vegetarians in contempt for eating alive — alive, I tell you — plants trying to do nothing more than to live peacefully, not hurting anyone. You know, except the poisonous plants; them be nasty but vegetarians hypocritically leave those alone. 

Now that we are in Hawai’i, we’re working to find the best hamburger on the island. Publications that rank such things list Annies Hamburgers as offering the best burgers of the Big Island.

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The thing is, that’s a $14 hamburger . . . one each for Melisa and me and a tip made this a $40 meal. 

. . . and we were underwhelmed. Little to no flavor, overcooked, sickly-looking cheese, blah condiments, and fries that looked as if scraped from the bottom of some forgotten fryer and reheated to lukewarm tastelessness. Had the ketchup masked their lack of flavor, they would have still ranked below what you can get at any fast-food joint, even one skimping on meeting health regulations.  

Now, it could be that Annies was already behind the eight ball — as they say — because one of the first places we visited when we came to the Big Island was Tex Drive In . . . 

I’ve mentioned Tex before and even showed a photo . . . 

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You can always find locals eating here and you can always find tourists eating here. The trick is to get in here ahead of any of the tour buses and not come here during lunch or at the height of the tourist season. 

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The place is adorned with lots of memorabilia hanging from the walls. Some of the pieces relate to Tex and other pieces are reminders of a time long passed. 

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It must have been something, flying in those planes.
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This was snapped right before Christmas, hence the ornament.

The boxes below are out in one of the hallways, premade and ready to be filled with a dozen or half-dozen malasadas. 

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Notice they say breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ll be honest here and say that when we tried anything that was not either a hamburger or a malasada, we found it at best mediocre. For general all-around non-malasada fare that I like with few reservations, I would direct you to Cafe 100.

Tex’s double cheeseburgers ($7.95) are enough to feed both Melisa and me. I mean, I can eat one on my own. Such was the case on a couple of visits when Melisa orders something like their fish sandwich . . . 

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. . . and I order the double cheeseburger, hold them nasty onions. 

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But, make no mistake, there are times when we split one (70-30) and it’s enough for the both of us with a side order of fries. The photo does not show it very well because it’s shot from above, but there are two patties and you have a bit more than an inch-thick wall of hamburger meat rewarding your taste buds. 

As we eat, I enjoy the wall -hangings.

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There is a window showing you the inner workings of Malasada making . . . 

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There are two large mixers going with new batches of dough (see the first video), one batch in two large deep-fryers, a batch of dough “resting” on the table, and two batches proofing in the proof box. It’s a constant production line. 

This particular time, there was one lady handling it all, but I’ve seen two in there. As you will see from the movies at the end of the post, people were coming in and grabbing them literally as she was rolling each one in the granulated sugar.

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We order water. 

It’s nice looking at the old posters as we eat our hamburgers.

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That’s in Oahu, so I don’t know why it’s here.
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The last sugar company either closed in 2016 or will close this year. Most of the company real estate is sold to developers who are in various stages of developing it. HERE is the history of the Hamakua Sugar Co.

This last visit was the first time since we’ve been here that we found the place extremely busy (we come at odd hours, but this is near-peak tourist season). It took about forty minutes for us to get our order. I spent some of my time photographing everything and recording a few movies. 

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I also played a bit with Pixlr Express . . . 

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But, make no mistake . . . the reason for being there was to get . . . 

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We were a bit disappointed . . . these didn’t have as much sugar on them as we like. The fact they were hot made up for the less-than-optimal sugar content. Plus, I added sugar once we got home. 

Here are a few videos . . . I ruined a few videos that would have shown the whole process. I will remedy that on our next visit. If you are only going to watch one, watch the last one.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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