Pineapple lovers rejoice: When it’s May, it’s officially peak pineapple season. And what better place to enjoy fresh pineapple than one of our favorite family-friendly restaurants, Islands?
If you live in or around California or Arizona, you almost certainly know Islands Restaurants for its laid back, Hawaiian style, with fresh burgers and tropical drinks headlining the menu. But did you also know that Islands has a “Chief Pineapple Officer”? Well, now you do.
That lucky person with a very cool job title is Amanda Cameron, who reports that Islands uses nearly 182,000 fresh pineapple per year, restaurant-wide. “Pineapples are a big part of our food and tropical drink menu at Islands, and we’re excited to share our passion with all our fellow pineapple lovers,” she says.
Throughout this month, pineapple will be taking a starring role at Islands, with a special “Pineapple Pairing Menu” that offers both drinks and entrees featuring the fresh tropical fruit.
Options include the Hawaiian Burger, topped with fresh grilled pineapple and teriyaki sauce, paired with the Big Island Iced Tea; the Yaki Tacos, garnished with a house-made grilled pineapple salsa, paired with a refreshing Piña Colada; and the Hoisin Beach Bowl, made with chunks of fresh grilled pineapple and grilled vegetables, served over brown rice with mahi mahi or chicken and paired with a signature Mai Tai. For kids, the Gremmie Menu features fresh pineapple spears with yogurt dip.
On a recent visit to Islands, we had a chance to explore these items, plus some more “hidden” menu items, including some pineapple sliders served with teriyaki dipping sauce that were extraordinary.
“We want to make pineapple a big deal, in keeping with Islands’ tropical mood,” said Bradley Beery, manager of the Manhattan Beach Islands location. “We want people to feel like they’re escaping their everyday life when they step in here.”
One thing we love about Islands is that it’s always easy for the kids to find something that they like – and the atmosphere is laid-back enough that kids can chill out watching surf videos while they’re waiting for the food, or coloring with the menus and crayons.
Also worth noting for pineapple month, there’s a themed coloring contest that runs through the end of May. To enter, kids simply design and decorate the pineapple coloring sheets provided in restaurant, and parents or legal guardians post the colorful creations to social media using #PineappleParadise and #IslandsBurgers for a chance to win one of ten $50 gift certificates to Islands.
Founded in 1982, Islands focuses on simple, fresh ingredients found in its signature never-frozen burgers, daily fresh-cut fries, and tropical drinks – all served in a laid back, beach-inspired environment. The Carlsbad-based company operates 55 restaurants throughout California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.
Blogger disclosure: Islands treated me and my family to a pineapple-themed tasting session. I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.