Hawaiian food is having a moment in the local culinary scene. The tiki bar Swizzle on Lowest Greenville serves traditional Hawaiian plates alongside rum-laden drinks adorned with purple flowers. There are Hawaiian doughnuts, malasadas, (the doughnut for people who don’t like doughnuts) at the Dallas Farmers Market. And it was recently announced that Hawaiian Brothers, a fast-casual restaurant out of (wait for it) Kansas City, plans to open 14 locations in North Texas.
But, a place that’s been having a moment for a couple of years now is ShaneBoys, a food truck at the bend in the road east of Rendon, which is halfway between Mansfield and Burleson, if that helps.
Shane Sutton is a native of Hawaii and grew up cooking alongside his mother and grandparents. By the time he was 20, he had his first fine-dining restaurant there. He spent his 20s and 30s as a corporate chef in Las Vegas and Texas.
In 2019, he decided to get back to his roots and opened a food truck, ShaneBoy’s, serving the Hawaiian barbecue and dishes he grew up with. If you’re thinking the odds on that pony, in that spot, are a longshot, you’d be wrong. Two years in, it’s rare they don’t sell out.
“I was talking to Daniel Vaughn [Texas Monthly’s barbecue editor], he’s a customer, and I told him that Hawaii is the most southern point of the country, so we are Southern barbecue,” Sutton said with a laugh.
He recently invested in another trailer, WingMan, which is parked perpendicular to ShaneBoy’s to sell just wings.
Sutton’s wife, a doctor, encouraged her husband to try coconut flour for the wings. It worked beautifully. He marinates the wings overnight before smoking them for four hours. The wings then rest in a “paste” that is part wet marinade and coconut flour. They’re plopped in the fryer as ordered. Sutton goes through 200 pounds of wings a week.
“Some things happen organically, in a smooth way, and when that happens, it’s meant to be,” says Sutton of selling Hawaiian food in Rendon while oozing an island vibe.
The menu includes a weekly special, which this week is loco moco, an Angus beef patty topped with smoked pulled pork topped with their house-made aloha sauce and an egg. All of their traditional plates are served with rice and salad. Macaroni salad can be added on for $1.50 more.
Their most popular item is anything with the word “firecracker” in front of it. It’s a mix of their house-made aloha sauce with sambal oelek chili paste added, creating a spicy and just-sweet-enough glaze. It’s become so popular Sutton bottled it and sells it out of the truck. Any protein on the menu can (and should) receive the firecracker treatment.
The coconut shrimp is tender and snaps with a bright flavor. And with every dish, the rice serves as a blank canvas that absorbs glorious amounts of either aloha or firecracker sauce. It’s magnificent.
Before heading over, it’s highly recommended you order online or get there a couple of hours before closing. They’re open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. There are several covered picnic tables for dining there.
ShaneBoys and WingMan, 5731 Rendon Bloodworth Road, Fort Worth, noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday
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