When I was little, every so often my father would take us for a drive around the island. This was an all-day affair, where we’d see what we could see and eat what we could eat all over O’ahu.
I loved spotting the lunch wagons parked along the Honolulu waterfront, hoping to feast on an onolicious plate lunch with beef stew, teriyaki, or breaded mahimahi. No matter what you ordered, you always got two scoops of rice and macaroni salad. But usually we’d drive right on by because it wasn’t lunch time yet. This only intensified my fascination with lunch wagons: I thought it would be so cool to cook on a little stove in a truck and wait on people through the window on the side.
I don’t know exactly when people in Hawai’i started calling lunch wagons, “food trucks.” But they’re still a big part of the local scene, enticing the always hungry on side streets and main streets with longstanding island favorites as well as gourmet treats.
In jaunty rhyming verse, Beth Greenway’s Hawai’i's Food Trucks on the Go! takes kids on a fun and tasty ride around the island from sunrise to sunset.
The trucks all rev their engines up
and head out on their way:
it’s time to feed the working cars
this bright Hawaiian day.
The Harbor’s where the cranes all work
unloading boats and ships,
a bowl of saimin’s great for lunch
just right for slurps and sips.