SWEET ISLAND VIBES

Hawaiian comfort food joint surfs into San Marcos with tropical flavor

Hawaiian comfort food joint surfs into San Marcos with tropical flavor

Hawaiian Bros. rendering
Hawaiian Bros opens in San Marcos next week. Courtesy of Hawaiian Bros.
Hawaiian Bros. plate lunches
Traditional Hawaiian plate lunches offer an authentic taste of the islands. Photo by Kathy Tran
Hawaiian Bros. founders
Co-founders Cameron and Tyler McNie learned Hawaiian recipes and cooking techniques prior to opening their first shop. Photo by Drew Eldridge
Hawaiian Bros. rendering
Hawaiian Bros. plate lunches
Hawaiian Bros. founders

Howzit, braddah? Just ’cause you live on the mainland doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an authentic taste of the islands that’s so good it broke da mouth. All you have to do is grab your slippahs and cruise up to San Marcos.

Good grinds like Spam musubi, Kalua pig, and teriyaki chicken are made fresh daily at Hawaiian Bros, a new fast-casual concept that’s opening Tuesday, June 8 at 1439 N. I-35 in San Marcos. This is Hawaiian Bros’ second comfort-food spot, with the biz opening its first location in May in Kyle, south of Austin, and is part of a bigger planned expansion across the Lone Star State.

Hawaiian Bros is celebrating the San Marcos store launch by offering up some super Kamaʻāina-style deals prior to its official opening. The San Marcos restaurant will host three VIP events: a first responders and medical personnel event on Saturday, June 5 from 11 am-2 pm; a school staff and students event, also on Saturday, June 5 from 5-8 pm; and a local businesses event on Sunday, June 6 from 11 am-2 pm.

And at 11 am on Tuesday, June 8, the San Marcos store’s official opening day, Hawaiian Bros will get into the aloha spirit, with the first 100 customers in line getting a gift card worth $25-$500. One grand prize winner will get free Hawaiian Bros nosh for a full year.

Though the Hawaiian Bros brand was first launched in 2018 in Kansas City, don’t let that boddah you, since co-founding brothers Cameron and Tyler McNie got some personal cooking lessons prior to opening, learning the traditional Hawaiian recipes and cooking techniques used in the islands for generations.

Their Hawaiian comfort food — perfect for sharing with your whole ohana — draws inspiration from the classic Hawaiian plate lunch, which consists of flavor-packed meats like slow-roasted pulled pork or marinated teriyaki chicken, sticky rice, and tangy macaroni salad.

Ono menu highlights include Huli Huli Chicken, Hawaiian Bros’ signature marinated and grilled teriyaki chicken; as well as Luau Pig, slow-roasted Kalua pork; Molokai Chicken, a sweet and spicy grilled bird; and Honolulu Chicken, savory chicken infused with fresh garlic, green onions, and sesame.

In addition to its macaroni salad, Hawaiian Bros’ side dishes also include the quintessential Hawaiian snack: Spam musubi, seared Spam glazed in teriyaki sauce atop sticky rice, all wrapped up in dried seaweed. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Hawaiian joint without the Dole Soft Serve for dessert.

And mo bettah: Hawaiian Bros serves up all its plate lunches in small, classic, and large sizes, so those unfamiliar with the island style of eating can still feel irie about the experience. In fact, it seems the only traditional Hawaiian grub missing from the concept’s menu is poi, the purple taro-root paste locals can’t live without. But that may be a little too authentic for most mainlanders.

Whatever you order, when you’re pau, you’ll be talking story about the experience for a long time and saying “mahalo” to the Hawaiian Bros.