[ Big D's ]  
Big D's Cafeteria & Sports Bar
Honolulu, Hawaii 96819

  [ VERDICT: 2.5 Stars ] [ Food: 3 Stars ] [ Service: 2 Stars ] [ Ambiance: 2 Stars ] [ Value: 3 Stars ]

Big D's is the restaurant nearest to where I work. For what it's worth, except for specific "daily special" dishes (like the BBQ combo or Hawaiian plate), my coworkers will regularly drive five miles to Salt Lake for lunch, rather than dine right next door.

Just as a television commercial once lobbied for changing the name of "Macaroni and Cheese" to "Cheese and Macaroni" because of the abundance of cheese, I would have to say Big D's should bill itself as a "Sports Bar & Cafeteria." That is to say, while the establishment does more than a fine job of meeting the needs of the sports bar patron — a dozen televisions tuned to sports networks, pool tables, darts, games, and of course a bar — as a cafeteria it leaves much to be desired.

To its credit, there is a kitchen, and food is prepared relatively fresh. This is no "morning bento box delivery" outfit. And the food comes in decent portions and with strong (if not good) flavors. But I just can't shake the feeling that the food operation was an afterthought — especially when I had to wait nearly ten minutes for someone to come to the food counter because the sole employee had to tend the bar.

I suspect Big D's is busy at night (open some evenings until 2 a.m.), but for lunch, it's empty and open. So if anything, if you need a basic lunch spot near the airport with lots of tables — say, for a small informal meeting — this might be the place for you.

© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: imr@lightfantastic.org · Created: 1 March 2003 · Last Modified: 1 March 2003