I wish I could remember a lot more from my childhood. Most of it was spent in Mililani, and as the neighborhood has changed, many memories have vanished.
I’ve always gone along with the thought that you have to make space in your head for all the new stuff, but I never quite understood how things get filtered. More specifically, why do all the memories I try to recall seem lost?
I know I visited Waldo’s Great Flying Pizza Co. on numerous occasions as a youngster, but can’t for the life of me remember whether I enjoyed it. It doesn’t matter now, however, following a recent trip to Mililani’s own pizza parlor. I made it a point to visit after seeing a banner outside proclaiming happy-hour specials.
New memories, here we come.
THE LAYOUT at Waldo’s splits its space in half. Imagine your local car repair garage with a full bar, some TVs, a couple of dartboards and small tables instead of cars, and that’s pretty much what you get in the airy bar area outside.
Walking into the restaurant area forces your eyes to readjust. The more dimly lit interior walls are adorned with historic aviation memorabilia; the photos of proud pilots next to their biplanes, old propellers and other trinkets are the kinds of things I remember seeing when walking in so many years ago. That’s one thing I definitely remember from my visits there as a child — how excited I got about the decor.
Since Waldo’s is in Mililani and I work downtown, I had trouble making it in time for happy hour, which runs from 4 to 6 p.m. daily. Getting there just as happy hour ended meant I would have to deal with regular prices for the rest of the night. Luckily, the regular prices weren’t too far from the $2.50 drafts and $7 pitchers available during happy hour.
Waldo’s even has half-pitchers available. You probably wouldn’t need to take advantage of those during happy hour, when a full pitcher of any of their four beers on tap is under $10 — but it’s an option. The night we visited, they were out of Amber Bock, so we were left with Budweiser, Steinlager, Miller Lite or bottled beers.
PIZZA, subs, salads and hot wings dominate the menu, making our choices pretty simple. We weren’t interested in sandwiches or salads, so straight to the pizza and wings we went.
Hot wings are a beer drinker’s friend. They are unhealthy, spicy and usually come out of the kitchen pretty quickly.
The wings at Waldo’s are available in mild, hot, "Nitro" or "XXX." I had zero desire to have my entire digestive system on fire, so we opted for eight hot wings for $5.50, which delivered on all levels. An unusually sweet yet spicy red sauce provided a pretty good kick. Nice.
There are also a bunch of good-sounding pizzas on the menu, but our first choice (Herb Roasted Chicken) was unavailable. Still, it was no big deal. The Super Combo Pizza and Spinach Garlic both sounded good anyway.
The small pizzas ($11 to $12) were pretty good-sized, with about eight slices each. They came out hot but took quite a while to come out of the kitchen despite a light afternoon crowd.
The taste? Average. Waldo’s pizza doesn’t really compare to some of the newer places in town specializing in pizza.
The service? Ditto. We did some waiting for fresh drinks, and had our orders forgotten and/or mistakes made.
Not sure how long this experience will light the corners of my mind.
"Pau Hana Patrol" is a weekly look at Honolulu bar and restaurant happy hours. E-mail happy-hour tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.