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Pu Pu Platters


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I grew up in Philadelphia in the 70's, which means, by definition, that I'm a devotee of Tiki. The Polynesian craze was ubiquitous in Philly and South Jersey in those days and you didn't need to travel far to find a tropical drink served in a theme mug with a parasol. While the kitsch was part of the fun, I also have fond memories of the food. Lots of little morsels for this little girl to munch on! Nothing made me happier than the huge (I mean HUGE) Pu pu platter that was always the star of our family dinners at the Pub Tiki on Walnut Street in Philly. Everything served on wooden skewers on the requisite mother-of-pearl lined shells.

I've not indulged in Pu pu since a trip a few years ago to the Love Shack in Redhook on St. Thomas. Rum and fire, what could be more fun??

Sadly, Tiki fell out of favor many years ago. A trip home to Philly for the holidays had me reminiscing about Tiki and craving a decent Pu pu platter. Not to offend the more serious eaters on this board, but does anyone want to admit to having a favorite Pu pu? Is there anywhere in town to find a hibachi of joy?

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Luau Garden's pu pu platter is acceptable, but it's been years since I've gotten anything but carryout there, so can't speak to the hibachi-ness. Another very solid alternative is Cheng's in Sterling - they don't have quite as much indoor tiki stuff as Luau Garden, so they may lose a few points on the authentic atmosphere, but their food is generally better than Luau Garden's, and I can personally vouch for the pu pu platter. (No mother-of-pearl, though they do have the carved wooden tray and the hibachi.)

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