Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Hana Hou Burger Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks | based in Carlsbad, Calif.

PHOTO CREDIT: Flavor & The Menu Staff

The better-burger trend merged with a playful surfer culture results in creations like the Hana Hou Burger, one of the many creative flavor profiles introduced to the burger category at Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks. An LTO for now, the Hana Hou has zingy components that set it apart. Spicy Machete Aïoli is made with mayonnaise, garlic, ketchup, pickled jalapeño peppers and Sriracha. The Borracho Beer Onions stand out, too—grilled yellow onions cooked in beer, yellow mustard and a house Baja spice (peppercorns, smoked paprika, thyme, onion and garlic). “The slightly acidic and spicy flavors complement each other, while providing a spicy kick that boosts the heat level of this entrée,” says Tim Perreira, VP of Food and Beverage.

The burger patty is seasoned and grilled, then topped with pepper-jack cheese and finished with lettuce, tomato and dill pickle on a toasted bun with a side of housemade fries. “The layers of flavor work beautifully together, and yet it is very simple to execute,” he says. Perreira suggests a Mai Tai pairing to help balance the heat.

“With the popularity of Sriracha over the past year or so, it’s apparent that guests are looking for spicier profiles, which is likely one reason this burger has performed well for us. We’re considering adding the Hana Hou to our core menu in the near future,” he says. Spinoffs are likely to include Hana Hou sliders, as well as grilled chicken and grilled turkey burgers that feature the same flavor components.

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