For this week’s burger, we let our tastebuds roam to one of the farthest corners of the country, Hawaii. Hawaiians do things differently, and burgers are no exception. As the Hawaiian culture is notoriously laidback, their burger is pretty chilled out too. Called a “loco moco,” this burger traditionally has no bun. Instead, the beef patty hangs out on a pile of white rice, drenched in gravy, peeking out from beneath a fried egg. This burger could even be eaten in a bowl.
The loco moco also pulls from Hawaii’s multicultural background. As the story goes, the loco moco was first served in 1949 at the Lincoln Grill to satisfy the appetite of some teenage boys who wanted something cheap, quick, and filling that combined the tastes of Asian and American cuisine. The answer was the loco moco—cheaper than a hamburger, faster to make than Japanese bento, and oh-so-filling. Nailed it.
The loco moco is standard Hawaiian fast food fare and has its variations. For example, sometimes Spam or fried rice is thrown into the mix. A version of the Loco Moco has even made it to the “mainland,” appearing on the menu of San Francisco’s Social Kitchen & Brewery where it is topped with Spam, pineapple, mushroom gravy, colby cheese, a fried onion, and (most astounding of all) a bun.
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