Rainbow Drive-In’s Chili Bowl

Friday, July 13, 2007 10 No tags Permalink 0

I got hungry this afternoon and drove to Rainbow Drive-In for a cup of chili rice. Now I know this picture doesn’t look like much, heck, it doesn’t even look good. But don’t trust the picture! Cause the chili rice was so ono! Zippy’s has my chili standard since forever, I used to love Zippys. So did my entire family. And everyone else I knew. But then the quality of food started to fall and prices went up, and Zippy’s became…not so good anymore. But I still like their chili, especially with onions and cheese, a big scoop of rice and some soda crackers on the side. But this bowl from Rainbow’s is a close competitor. The Rainbow’s chili is less chunky than Zippy’s, all the more better for soaking into a mound of steaming rice. For cracker dipping, perhaps not so useful.

Flavorwise though, they’ve got less zest and heft, and also a smaller bean to meat ratio for you bean haters. But I don’t know why you would hate beans. While we’re on the subject of chili, what I’ll never understand is how people on the mainland eat chili as if it were soup. Since when did chili become soup?? I went to a diner in Claremont once and asked for chili. And I got chili. Realizing that it doesn’t automatically come with rice, I asked for rice. And then I got rice that doesn’t stick together. So instead of bursting into tears I ordered toast. And had toast and chili. And then I started to wish I were back home in Hawaii. Sheesh. Now I’m craving chili again. I just might have to walk back for another bowl!

Rainbow Drive-In

3308 Kanaina Avenue

Honolulu, Hawaii 96815

(808) 737-0177

10 Comments
  • Kat
    July 14, 2007

    HI Kathy! I’ve never tried Rainbow’s chili, I’ve always been a fan of Zippy’s vegetarian. I just love all the veggies they have in there like corn and mushrooms. I’m originally from Maui and my family was so excited when they had news that they were going to build a Zippys on Maui… but then it got delayed because they were going to build another one… on Oahu. So instead of the first Zippys outside Oahu, there is an undeveloped lot that has a huge “coming soon, Zippys!” sign for poor Mauians to look at and sigh. IT was funny because it was supposed to be finished either in 2006 or 2007. Poor outer island peeps, they are so deprived.

  • K & S
    July 14, 2007

    I found your blog through Tasty Island. Great local eats here! I used to like Zippy’s too, but they are so expensive now.

  • da weekend foodie
    July 14, 2007

    Hi Kathy, I used to like Zippy’s while growing up but as you said, the quality has declined and it’s not so great any more(and pricey). I like Rainbow’s chili and have heard many people compare it to Zippy’s…it’s not quite the same, though… It’s hard to find good chili locally as everyone has their own conception of what “chili” is. But not to be vain, I do make a mean pot of chili, local style…hot & on the sweet side, and have had many compliments and requests for more… :)

  • anonymous
    July 14, 2007

    I agree that Zippy’s is getting expensive, but their restaurant section (indoors) still remains relatively reasonable.I’ve also noticed that Zippy’s is gettin into the frozen foods business, packaging their more popular dishes with their brand name.

  • Kathy YL Chan
    July 15, 2007

    Hey Kat!ooh, the Zippy’s vegetarian chili sounds good, I’ll have to put that on my list of things to eat this week! lol, I just thought Zippy’s had locations on all the islands – they should have just opened on Maui, Oahu is already flooded with too many Zippy’s!Hey K&S!Thanks for stopping by my blog! :) I used to eat at Zippy’s soooo much because it was a good and cheap standby. Now that prices have gone up so much, I think I’d rather take my money elsewhere, hehe.Hey Da Weekend Foodie!Believe it or not, I’ve never had real ‘homemade’ chili, the way you describe yours sounds REALLY GOOD!!!!…I grew up eating Chinese and Vietnamese food, and only had real local foods at potlucks or when we went out to eat! :)Hey Ron!They ship their apple napples frozen…I have to admit I thought about ordering that or more than one occasion while I was at school on the mainland! :)

  • J. Lo
    July 16, 2007

    haha, for a moment there i thought that was a cup of hot chocolate from city bakery. :)

  • Kathy YL Chan
    July 16, 2007

    Justin!lol! a quick glance could definitely pass for city bakery’s hot chocolate! :)

  • KirkK
    July 16, 2007

    Hi Kathy – The Missus prefers Rainbow’s Chili to Zippy’s. It sounds as if Zippy’s chili has taken a bit of a nosedive in the last few years. To date myself….since I’m from the area, we used to get Rainbows when the Chili Rice plate(not bowl) was $1.30….

  • Kathy YL Chan
    July 17, 2007

    Hey Kirk!No way man! $1.30 for the chili PLATE?! It’s like over $6 now…man, that is crazy! Sigh. Inflation. :)

  • OkiHwn
    July 22, 2007

    Try the Zippy’s chili (I prefer beanless) with cornbread. ONO!

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