100 Austin Burgers: The Big Kahuna
The Big Kahuna
5000 Burnet Road, Austin (map), 512-680-0224
Hours: Noon-8pm Tue-Sat
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 05.26.16
The Big Kahuna is the last meal of Pulp Fiction’s Brett. It's also the fictional burger stand that Austin director Robert Rodriguez built at the old Stallion Grill on Airport Boulevard for El Rey’s “Dusk Till Dawn” series. But the Big Kahuna is also a trailer specializing in Hawaiian–style plate lunches like ground steak with gravy and rice (Loco Moco), fish tacos, grilled beef skewers, Ahi Poki with marinated tuna and for this report, a burger with kalua pork. The yellow and blue trailer with the surfboard menu shares the tidy parking lot of a gravestone shop with three other trailers, including the celebrated T-Loc’s Sonoran hot dogs. I didn’t just walk away with a burger and sides, but also with a cascade of alohas and a little blue lei. Only the lei survived lunch.
► Big Kahuna Burger: Like the trailers in last year’s 500 Tacos series, the Big Kahuna leans on shredded roast pork for fat and flavor. And this third-pound beef patty needs the help, cooked a uniform, unseasoned gray on the flat-top. It’s a sturdy protein base for filaments and chunks of pork glistening with fat and the low, smoky curl of kalua roasting. A bubblegum Hawaiian bun, ribbons of cooked cabbage and a hot sesame-spiked mayo round out a package not nearly as colorful as its island inspiration would suggest. ($7.25)
► On the side: In the absence of Hawaii’s ubiquitous macaroni salad, I’ll fill the starchy void with sweet potato fries cooked hot, crisp and clean ($2). Better yet, a brisk sunomono salad of cucumber, carrot, light sweet vinegar and sesame is a refreshing surprise ($2).
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(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)