A Slice of Fried Gold

Final Four Matchup #2: Hula Hands vs. Gumbo House

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
One finalist is set as Bear Tooth is entrenched in the first slot, but who will they face? The Hawaiian delight of Hula Hands or the Southern comfort provided by Gumbo House? Both are lunch favorites. Both provide special versions of comfort foods. But there can only be one! Who will it be?!

Find out below.

Hula Hands: After dining at Hula Hands at their bar (a tiny little nook up by the kitchen), I've now pretty much had every experience I can get at this restaurant. I went with my friend Eric and I had my standard food (Kahlua Pig and Pulehu Chicken with mac salad and rice) while Eric took a stab at adventure (fried poke - tuna that is flash fried and raw in the middle - with mac and rice), and unsurprisingly both meals were fantastic. We even had a pitcher of Midnight Sun Brewing Co's. Sockeye Red IPA with it, and it paired to be an exceptional meal.

Even with a restaurant full of people thanks to the review the Anchorage Daily News wrote on Friday, our service was still very friendly and very fast. It consistently astounds me how a place can be so quick and so delicious no matter how busy they are. They must have the most well run kitchen that has ever been created.

So why did I write about this one experience? Because this is how it always is at Hula Hands. I'll stop raving about them when they give me a reason to. I don't see that time coming any time soon.

Gumbo House: When my Dad and I go to Gumbo House, the man who (I believe) owns the restaurant as well as serves every table always comes to us and knows what we want regardless of however long it's been since we were last there.

Owner: "Fried Chicken Poboy isn't on special today."
Us: "Come on, you know we love it."
Owner: "Ugh...let me see if the kitchen is okay with it."

The answer is always yes to a question they have no reason to say yes to. They always give us this food that isn't even on their menu just because they have genuinely great service. That the fried chicken poboys are almost comically good (I choose to think the combo of mayo and fried chicken isn't making my heart hurt, it's making my heart sing) is almost just icing on the cake here. The food is superb, they have a great spot, and they deliver! Come on now! This place is as gold as their delicious corn muffins.

The Showdown: This is like choosing between my unborn sons Biscuits and Gravy (yes, that is right. I plan on naming one child "Biscuits" and the other "Gravy". Have I mentioned I'm available ladies?). Superb, inexpensive comfort food that is incredibly close to me and served with a smile and unwavering speed. It's ridiculous.

However, when it gets down to it Hula Hands does everything just a little bit better and I simply like Hawaiian food more than Southern food. And I love my Southern food, or my middle name isn't Leroy (that is actually true).

So sorry to Gumbo House, but Hula Hands moves on to the final.

Hula Hands will meet Bear Tooth in the finale tomorrow!


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