On the last episode of Eating with John Chow, I was dining at the fine Olives restaurant in the Bahamas. To keep that island spirit going, we decided to try out Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks for the ninth episode of this series.
When Islands founder Tony DeGrazier stepped off the beaches of Oahu after a day of surfing with his Navy buddies in the early 60s, he did what came naturally to him. He went searching for a juicy burger, a hot basket of fries, and a cold drink.
Twenty years later, in 1982, it was that sense of place and satisfaction he was trying to recreate when he took a little chunk of the islands and plopped it down right in the mainland of Southern California. Today, there are more than 50 Islands locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii.
While the Islands menu does features entrees such as tacos, chicken sandwiches, and multiple entree salads, Islands is known for their burgers. They are extremely delicious, and very big. An unlisted feature of Islands is bottomless fries and onion rings. Every burger comes with them. However, I doubt many people ever get a refill. I couldn’t even finish my fries after eating my burger.
I’m sure my Kilauea Burger (JalapeÃ±o and black pepper crusted burger with pepper jack cheese, chipotle aioli, lettuce, tomato and Island Reds) will not be doing my diet any favors. That strawberry shake in a frosted glass can’t be great for the waistline either. However, if you have a hankering for great tasting burgers and you plan to go for a 40 mile bike right afterwards, then feel free to stuff your mouth with a fine burger and drink from Islands.