Dupont Hanksters Got Lei’d on SaturdayIf you were anywhere near Dupont on Saturday and smelled the roast pig wafting around the ‘Circle, then you already know that us lucky folk were getting our tiki on. If you missed it, then I will be the first to tell you that dozens of oyster slirpin’, tiki drinkin’ Hanksters in Dupont Circle (including yours truly) got Lei’d at Hank’s Oyster Bar & Lounge (1624 Q St., NW) at the first Annual Hula Hank’s Luau. That’s right! I will announce it to the world! Mahalo!
Chef/Owner Jamie Leeds brought a little bit of the tropics to many DC area staycationsers by offering delicious grilled oysters, shrimp skewers, three whole roasted suckling pigs (each weighing twenty-five pounds), and a variety of sides, such as the deliciously tangy and sweet ambrosia salad, fresh house-made cole slaw, and Hawaiian macaroni salad.Additionally, Hawaiian native, Mikala Brennan from the Hula Girl Truck served up her signature chicken and pineapple skewers and pineapple upside-down cake from her vibrant and authentically decorated food truck, complete with a TV broadcasting surfers hittin’ the waves. Her cake was perfectly moist and delicious. I couldn’t get enough. Ms. Brennan was very friendly and a lot of fun to talk to about childhood, growing up in Hawaii. Apparently, it’s not all paradise when you live there.
With grass skirts, festive flower print shirts, and hats, and big thatched umbrellas, the already beachy themed Hank’s was transformed into the perfect set for a Hawaiian Luau. In addition to stuffing ourselves with plates of all-you-can-eat oysters, skewers, and roasted pork, we drank the afternoon away. You couldn’t pry our souvenir tiki mug out of our almost drunk hands, as we knew it was our only ticket (pardon the pun) to receive a deliciously refreshing tiki-themed libation. Ok, so the mug was less important than the six drink tickets that you received upon entry, which could be redeemed for VERY strong concoctions, including the Maitai, a blend of several different rums, Orange Curacao, house made orgeat syrup, and fresh lime juice, and the Hawaii to Martinique, a blend of Rhum Agricole, passion fruit syrup and fresh lime juice. Some of the cocktails were even served in hollowed out coconuts. Truly impressive …
If you were able to rustle up a couple of daring friends, you could try the Hank’s Reef, a blend of rums, Averell Damson Gin, house made grenadine, and fresh citrus juices which was lit on fire to caramelize the rum was a big hit. It was really very strong! Even chef Jamie Leeds screamed, “Whoooaaaaa!” after taking one sip with her foot long straw. It hits ya pretty hard. Luckily, most of us metro’d to Dupont! Yes, they wouldn’t even let you try it unless you had four or more! Another option, The Scorpion Bowl, made with a blend of citrus juices, house made orgeat syrup, rum, and brandy was another doozy. The Hank’s Reef and the Scorpion Bowl can serve up to four people (more like 12!).
The first Annual Hula Hank’s Luau was a huge hit if you ask me and I can’t wait to attend next year! Mahalo!