There's nothing taboo about walking into your neighborhood Fareway or Hy-Vee and picking up some Spam. It's a popular staple of many American pantries.

What is, perhaps, taboo: seeing Spam on a restaurant menu. Unless that restaurant is in Hawaii, where Spam is very popular. Even Burger King's on the island have Spam options. Want to find Spam on an eastern Iowa menu?

Look no further than a new Hawaiin BBQ joint located in Cedar Falls. While they actually first opened in November, you may not have known that they're officially a dining option.

Bobby Q's Hawaiian BBQ took over the former Starbeck's Smokehouse location at 6826 University Ave. after Starbeck's moved into a much larger space just across the street.

If you're not well versed in Hawaiian food, as I was not prior to visiting Bobby Q's, you can expect BBQ that's not what you'll find elsewhere. Beyond the Spam, there is a lot of cooking with pineapple, lots of marinades, eggs, and even raw fish.

Bobby Q's Sign (Johnny Marks/TSM)
Bobby Q's Sign (Johnny Marks/TSM)

If you're curious about the Spam option, customers can order what's called Spam Musubi. A popular local dish in Hawaii is Spam musubi. This is a dish where cooked Spam is put atop rice and wrapped in a band of nori. Nori is commonly used to wrap sushi. You can see a full recipe here if you're curious.

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For my visit, I decided to try a new take on something I am pretty familiar with, a pork sandwich. At Bobby Q's, they have their Kalua Pork Sandwich. It has slowly roasted pork, pineapple slaw, passion fruit BBQ sauce, and sits atop a Kings Hawaiin bun.

Kaluna Pork Sandwich (Johnny Marks/TMS)
Kalua Pork Sandwich (Johnny Marks/TMS)

I added some sriracha, and it was very tasty. Not your typical BBQ pork sammy, and that's not a bad thing.

See you in Hawaii! Or, Cedar Falls.

Bobby Q's menu (Johnny Marks/TSM)
Bobby Q's menu (Johnny Marks/TSM)

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