I was in South Salem for work on a Thursday and thought, "Finally, I will be able to try Wild Pineapple Grill!" With their limited hours and my work location, I have never had the chance to check them out. I do love me some Hawaiian Plate Lunch though and was so happy that I finally got a chance.
Wild Pineapple Grill, in addition to doing catering, occupies a drive-thru coffee stand on Howard Street, sandwiched between 12th and 13th. And, like you do when you get your morning coffee fix, you drive up and place your order at the window. I was a bit worried about how long it would take, but they are a well-oiled machine. When I got to the window, the very friendly fellow asked me what I would like. I told him it was my first time and asked what he suggested. He said he always recommends people start with the Big Island Plate because it has both meats (Teriyaki Chicken and Kalua Pork) and both sides (white rice and macaroni salad), that way I can figure out what was my favorite. I told him, "Let's go for it" and he seemed genuinely happy that I was following his recommendation. It took just a moment or two for him to hand me my bag of food and while I waited he told me about some of their specials (I must go back on a Friday to try their Poke Bowl - Ahi Tuna is one of my most favorite things in the world!) With my food in hand, off I went to the park to enjoy the beautiful day and my lunch. Now, it should be said that they do have a couple of picnic tables on site, which I think is a great addition to any kind of food cart/truck/stand, but being so close to Bush park, I could not resist.
People, the Big Island Plate is A LOT of food. Can you say, "Leftovers?!" But, the fellow was so right, it was the best way for me to determine my favorite combination. My winning combination? Kalua Pork and Macaroni Salad for sure!! The macaroni salad was so good, with peas and small chunks of cheese. The Kalua pork was tender and flavorful. The chicken was a little tough, although packed full of flavor. The rice was good. There were also two sauces, a barbeque type sauce and a teriyaki sauce both of which were good, although, I did love the barbeque sauce with the pork.
So, check your calendars now. What are you doing on Thursday or Friday? Figure out how to schedule a trip to Wild Pineapple Grill. And if you've tried the Poke Bowl, let me know what you think. Still trying to figure out how to plan my work day around getting there to try it one Friday soon.
Wild Pineapple Grill
1255 Howard St SE
Salem, OR 97302