Side Orders • July 3, 2014

LET’S BE FRANK. . . July 4th combines two things that Americans love: Alcohol and explosives, according to David Letterman.

But July is also National Hot Dog Month. Did you know? The first words Mickey Mouse said were “hot dogs” in the “Karnival Kid” in 1929? Hot dogs were the first food eaten on the moon by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11.

But I’m sad that Tom’s Mini Mart in Paukukalo has closed. It was one of my favorite places to buy red dogs. The little store’s owner Jean Nakamura steamed them just right, and now she’s enjoying retirement.

You will find hot dogs from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the annual Po’okela Church Bazaar at 20 Olinda Road, along with Spam musubi and chow fun. . . Even the Four Seasons Resort Maui will get in on the craze at its 4th of July BBQ from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday.

Bite into gourmet natural beef hot dogs, crunch corn on the cob, savor sweet kettle beans, and other American fare on its oceanfront lawn in Wailea. Sip handcrafted beer and listen to live music. For tickets, call 874-2201.

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BITS AND PIECES . . . Hot on the heels of July 4th will be Bastille Day. Gerard’s in Lahaina will celebrate on July 14 with a three-course French feast with lots of options for $58 per person.

Hana Hou Cafe in Haiku will honor Bastille Day July 13 with two-course meal options for $35 with Edith Piaf style music by Lydia Panzik.

Hana Hou offers music most nights, and it’s also a rural, yet delightful place to lunch. Vince Esquire and pals play Wednesdays, and Guido Hauwaerts (formerly Lobster Cove and Bocolino) bartends.

King’s Chinese Barbecue is up and running in Haiku in the old Lilikoi Bar & Grill. It’s the same Chinese eatery franchise that’s in Wailuku and Kihei. Locals love the breakfast special for the low price of $3.99. . . Right across the street, you may get your fill of red dogs at Fukushima Store. Some say, hands down, they are the best on the island, when you order them fully loaded.

Wayne’s Sushi Bar ended its lease in Haiku in the same spot at Daily Grindz, but don’t fret. “On May 31, our lease was up, so we decided to do Fresh Off The Boat restaurant on wheels with sushi and a full kitchen,” says Wayne’s owner-chef Wayne Miyahara, who will open it with wife, Heidi Miyahara.

The couple bought an actual 77 Tennyan boat, gutted it and rebuilt the hull. They plan to open it in September and park in Haiku Marketplace.

It’s unfortunate that several more Maui establishments have recently closed, including Yogurtland at the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center, and the 19-year-old C-Jayes in the Kahului Industrial Area.

But Poi By the Pound just opened Tuesday next to Lee Bear, also in the Kahului Industrial Area. It doesn’t serve hot dogs, but it is the island’s newest Hawaiian restaurant and catering operation.

Hours may change, but for now, you may dine there from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on local favorites such as beef stew and loco moco. The Hawaiian plate boasts laulau, kalua pork, chicken long rice, lomi salmon, poke, poi, steamed white rice and mac salad. Call 283-9381.

Speaking of sipping, you may get 50 percent off of food, cocktails and beer at MiGrant in Wailea during happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. daily. . . Son’z at Swan Court at Hyatt in Kaanapali also does a generous happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. daily with Kobe beef sliders, crispy calamari and more priced at $4 to $6.

But I’m craving hot dogs, and plan to head to Cash & Carry Warehouse in Kahului to pick up Oscar Mayer franks for kiawe grilling. Did you know that’s just what Franklin D. Roosevelt served to Queen Elizabeth in 1939, on her first visit to America?