I’m always searching for a good burger. So when I caught wind of Peggy Sue’s in Kihei, I figured it was worth checking out. “Hamburgers, Shakes and Fries,” the sign said. There seemed to be little room for error.
So one night I loaded up the girlfriend and we gave Peggy Sue’s a try. It was tucked away in the Azeka Mauka Plaza—so small I probably would’ve missed it if I weren’t actually looking for it.
Inside the hazy little diner smoke from the grill hung in the air so heavily I could barely see the back door (which was not that far away). But it smelled really good.
As the cloud began to subside, I could see the pastel pink and blue vinyl booths lining the right wall. A chrome-trimmed counter spread the length of the left. Black-framed pictures of James Dean and the like adorned the walls, and there was an antique jukebox cranking out ‘50’s pop.
All the booths were taken, so we pulled up two stools at the counter and sat facing the grill. A waitress wearing a frilly pink-clad waitress uniform took our drink order. I felt like I was living out a scene from Grease.
They don’t serve alcohol, so I reluctantly ordered a Coke, and when she turned to go get it I wondered if I should have instead said soda pop. I ended up ordering “The King” from the top of the menu. “A legend in its own time… our juicy king sized burger,” the description read.
I thought it best to keep things simple, but when pressed I asked the waitress to bring me a vanilla milkshake. It only seemed right.
When she left I walked over to the juke, with the intent of playing “Johnny B. Goode” (I’ve seen Back to the Future way too many times). But the Chuck Berry classic spun up before I even dropped my quarter in the machine. It was weird, so I played “Mr. Sandman” instead.
The milkshake was on the counter when I returned to my seat. I couldn’t remember the last time I actually had a milkshake, or what makes a good milkshake, but this one was excellent.
My burger arrived a few minutes later. I must admit I was a little surprised to see The King on a whole-wheat bun. I’m not sure if this is standard practice, but if I want to be healthy I’ll go to Down to Earth.
Still, my suspicions evaporated once I took a bite. Not thick and juicy, it was good in that flattened-out-patty sort of way. The fries were well above par.
When the check came, I was amazed at the low prices. Then I realized that it was because they didn’t serve alcohol and I hadn’t run up a huge bar tab like I normally do.
Could that have been why I was able to get such a solid grasp on the place? Perhaps. But at least I was able to get a good burger at a reasonable price and still drive home on my own. MTW