LTH Home

Aloha Wagon - Plate Lunch at Western & Ogden via Honolulu

Aloha Wagon - Plate Lunch at Western & Ogden via Honolulu
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Aloha Wagon - Plate Lunch at Western & Ogden via Honolulu

    Post #1 - November 2nd, 2017, 12:07 pm
    Post #1 - November 2nd, 2017, 12:07 pm Post #1 - November 2nd, 2017, 12:07 pm
    The building at the NE corner of Western and Ogden has been many things over the years. It recently welcomed a new tenant in the form of a plate lunch place. Thus doubling the number of Hawaiian restaurants in Chicago. When I drove by one day this past summer I noticed the coming soon sign with the hashtag #AlohaWagon and I looked it up on instagram. Turns out the people behind this place used to run a food truck of the same name in Honolulu. I browsed through their instagram page and noticed a post saying they were moving to Chicago. I was excited for their arrival.

    ImageWestern and Ogden

    They opened last month and me and my friend who spends time with family in Hawaii each year didn't wait long to go check it out. Happy to report they were doing good business when we arrived so I didn't get to chat it up with the couple behind this place. But I'm pretty sure he's from there and she's from around here. She works the front and he cooks it up. For now the menu is sandwiches and plate lunch. Browsing their insta page I noticed they ran tons of specials in Hawaii and they plan to do the same here. In the meantime the Plate Lunch is perfect. We got the mixed plate with BBQ Chicken and Kalua Pork as well as a Loco Moco. Even though I've never been to da islands my guy liked it alot and I thought it was on par with spots like Ono Kine Grindz in MKE. I'll be riding the Aloha Wagon all winter.

    ImagePlate Lunch (Mixed Plate / Loco Moco)

    Aloha Wagon
    1247 S Western Ave
    Chicago, IL 60608
    (312) 888-9613
  • Post #2 - November 2nd, 2017, 12:41 pm
    Post #2 - November 2nd, 2017, 12:41 pm Post #2 - November 2nd, 2017, 12:41 pm
    1) This is a very exciting development and I'm penciling it in for a visit ASAP to support my people.

    2) Thank you for not including all of the poke places or Mahalo as Hawaiian restaurants in the city. Not being sarcastic.
  • Post #3 - November 15th, 2017, 9:17 am
    Post #3 - November 15th, 2017, 9:17 am Post #3 - November 15th, 2017, 9:17 am
    This is some kama'aina-worthy stuff on Ogden:

    Image

    Deeper smoke flavor in the kalua pork and (unpictured) sausage-vegetable (sometimes called wedding) soup than the last five Chicago barbecue places I've tried, and the mixed plate composition is textbook, down to the piping fried-to-order mains melting the delicious mac salad. [Haven't personally run into craisins on Oahu but there are only so many hours in the day there].

    The pork gets a quick steam-up over a mound of fresh cabbage on the griddle before mixing, and the chicken katsu has a perfect tempura crunch and is served with a large container of floral katsu sauce. Kona coffee is brewed in small batches - the couple running the place clearly has a thing for quality control in the tiny kitchen. Not a place for eat-in, but a worthy Tardis to Waikiki.
  • Post #4 - November 15th, 2017, 4:31 pm
    Post #4 - November 15th, 2017, 4:31 pm Post #4 - November 15th, 2017, 4:31 pm
    That feels like a tough location to open a restaurant. I guess EL ideas did it though. . .
  • Post #5 - November 16th, 2017, 1:59 pm
    Post #5 - November 16th, 2017, 1:59 pm Post #5 - November 16th, 2017, 1:59 pm
    Santander's pic of the combo plate above sent me hightailing over there for lunch. And I had to order the same damn thing.

    That katsu, succulent chicken thigh encased in ethereal crisp, perfection. The sauce I received had an anise-y sweetness, but in color and predominate flavor, to me, it seemed to be doctored BBQ sauce.

    The kahlua pork was as smoky as advertised above. I get the gentle reheat on the mound of cabbage, to prevent drying out. Though chef then mixes it all together and I found myself picking through the vegetation for morsels of meat. I love cabbage though, so all good.

    Sides played their part. The medium grain rice was perfectly cooked just right sticky.

    The owners could not have been sweeter. I mentioned LTH, they seemed to be somewhat aware of an online buzz.

    I agree its a funny location, but I've been known to shoot down Ogden from West Town for Whities, its a pretty central-ish locale. And with prices that low– the combo, two meals worth, at $10.50, not to mention sammies and tacos in the $3-$5 price range– I can see my young friends from Pilsen cruising up Western. There was a steady stream of (pretty diverse) traffic at 1:30. And Louisa Chu just profiled them in the Trib today, so that should help.
  • Post #6 - January 27th, 2018, 8:15 pm
    Post #6 - January 27th, 2018, 8:15 pm Post #6 - January 27th, 2018, 8:15 pm
    I continue to have a NAV MAN level of enthusiasm for Aloha Wagon. Three current reasons are the lechon kawali, the pozole (Thursdays and Fridays), and the kalua pork tacos with pristine onion and cilantro when appetite is less than their multi-pound plate lunches. The lechon kawali is succulent and accompanied by that perfect sweet vinegar pepper garlic sauce. I wish the line at White Castle a few blocks north was at this little fort instead.
  • Post #7 - January 28th, 2018, 10:05 pm
    Post #7 - January 28th, 2018, 10:05 pm Post #7 - January 28th, 2018, 10:05 pm
    This only makes me miss NAV MAN.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    Read "Cooking for One" at Literary Orphans via my author page.

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #8 - March 1st, 2018, 3:57 pm
    Post #8 - March 1st, 2018, 3:57 pm Post #8 - March 1st, 2018, 3:57 pm
    Sula seemed to really enjoy it . . .

    at chicagoreader.com, Mike Sula wrote:From behind the counter Romo takes orders while Manongdo griddles barbecue chicken thighs, sweet-and-spicy Korean-style pork butt, or bulging beef patties, two of which are employed in the consummately comforting loco moco, where they're mounted on rice, drenched in beef-onion gravy, and topped with a crispy fried egg. Plunging into this pile of gratification, with its attendant creamy elbow macaroni amalgamated with potato and a superfluous pile of salad, requires you to immediately get moving once finished, lest your plodding metabolism finish you.

    at chicagoreader.com, Mike Sula wrote:There are a few nods to the neighborhood as well—fish and pork tacos, and posole rojo on Thursdays and Fridays—but the simple model of Aloha Wagon fits snugly into a tropical niche you wouldn't have known we needed until it got here.

    Aloha Wagon rolls out Hawaiian plate lunches

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #9 - March 1st, 2018, 4:56 pm
    Post #9 - March 1st, 2018, 4:56 pm Post #9 - March 1st, 2018, 4:56 pm
    And I agree--we went a few weeks back and loved it. Had the burger steak and spicy pork myself, while my spouse had kalua pork. She is Filipina, so this hit all of those home-cooked notes for her: plenty of rice to soak things up, carb-laden "salads," and plenty of pork. I have become a fan of gravy on rice via Jollibee (a very guilty pleasure, I confess), and this is tops in that genre (although Rice 'n Bread does this well, too). Spicy pork is definitely Korean in flavor, while the kalua pork is similar, minus the spice and plus smoke. Boatload of food for around ten bucks.

    The owners are really sweet, too. On a very cold day, they gave us samples of some red pozole that hit the spot, and a piece of banana bread to try. We've been waiting for a good day to return together. While I don't think they yet have the posting volume, this place does have potential GNR written all over it.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more