How many Tongon restaurants are there in DFW? Probably only one according to Foni who owns the eponymous restaurant located on Main Street in Euless, Texas. Foni seems to be a bit displaced in her small town American digs in Euless, just a block away from an all-you-can eat BBQ restaurant and a Wendy’s, but the South Pacific population is large enough to support the tiny restaurant that offers the interesting cuisine. The food is much like you would find in any café in Hawaii.
The owner of the restaurant is a happy woman that probably most reminded me of the actress Juanita Hall from the film South Pacific. A particular Rodgers and Hammerstein’s tune Happy Talk sifted through my skull as we chatted with her.
Foni’s Island Grille has a short menu with a few interesting items that should draw you in, including the Sapasui, which is a dish made with beef, bean threads, and garlic, reminding us of chop suey.
The short ribs are especially delicious and tender, glazed with a umami sauce that brightened the meat well. Foni offers other dishes such as raw fish (Ota) that is laced with a cream sauce, and she does whole fish on occasion as well as crispy whole roasted pig.
Otai is an island drink that is made differently wherever you may try this drink. Foni uses a rough-hewn mash of pineapple, coconut and watermelon for a tasty treat. She instructed us not to use a straw, but rather sip with a spoon to gather the chunks of fruit that is a majority of the cup.
As with most island restaurants of this style, Foni offers musubi, or Spam sushi. This is an unusual treat that you definitely need to sample.Foni’s Island Grille 603 N Main St, Euless