Franky Fresh is the culmination of Darien Provenza’s love for burgers, his dad, the 80s and hip-hop. The new burger shop near the top of Waialae Avenue features five burgers made from Big Island beef, four sandwiches on toasted French bread and three thick cereal milkshakes (yes, cereal. More on that later).
The walls, as notable as the menu, are lined with boomboxes found on eBay, street art and memorabilia including a Fresh Prince poster and Kid ‘N Play’s ‘2 Hype’ album. Provenza even set up a Super Nintendo with a ton of games like Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, Mario Kart and Bomber Man.
The Marky Mark ($12.95) has a ground lamb and beef patty, roasted mini bell peppers, tomatoes, grilled onions, feta cheese, kalamata olives, romaine lettuce, spicy aioli and tzatziki sauce. The big, bold Greek flavors, the dill in the tzatziki, the salty olives and juicy peppers make the Marky Mark stand out.
Provenza grew up in a family with a long history in the food industry. Even though he’s only 27, he has over a decade of experience in restaurants, including his family’s Fat Greek eateries. He named his burger shop after his dad, Francois (Franky).
If this brings back memories, Franky Fresh is the spot for you.
Provenza found a challah bun for the burgers that was soft and pliable but stood up to the toppings and sauces he was piling on each burger. For the sandwiches he found a toasted French bread that had just the right amount of crispiness.
The Heavy D ($14.95) can only be eaten with two hands. Piled high with fried chicken tenders drenched in buffalo sauce, fries, mozzarella cheese sticks, beer-battered onion rings, jalapenos, honey bbq sauce and blue cheese, this sandwich is perfect with a nice cold beer. Franky Fresh is BYOB until they obtain their liquor license.
Relive the best parts of your childhood with housemade milkshakes loaded with your choice of Cap’n Crunch, Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Trix.
The thick and creamy milkshakes have your favorite cereals blended right in. My personal favorite is the Cinnamon Toast Crunch ($7). The smooth, even flavor of the cereal is interspersed with crunchy cinnamon bits.
My favorite burger is the Fresh Prince ($12.95, comes with fries or a salad), a burger stacked with Swiss cheese, onions, baby portobellos and bacon. I love mushrooms and onions on my burger and I can’t say no to perfectly melted cheese tying all the ingredients together.
The Fresh Prince will flip your life upside-down. Carlton Banks would approve.
The newly renovated space has dine-in tables and a bar awaiting a liquor license.
The MC Hammer ($12.95) is a simple roast beef sandwich served on toasted French bread and dressed with wasabi aioli, a great alternative to the traditional horseradish. The au jus is full of flavor and perfect for dipping.
Yes, sometimes you need to blow into the game cartridges to get them to work.
Run-D.M.C. wants you to walk this way and order some burgers and shakes.
The menu is printed on vinyls to fit with the theme. Feel free to bring your own cardboard and b-boy to the beats and music videos put together by local DJ Blake.
I’m a big fan of their commitment to the 80s hip-hop lifestyle and vibe. Everything from the decor to the music is well thought out.
The Franky Fresh team.
Franky Fresh is next to the Fat Greek, and parking can be tough. The lot is smal so you may need to go to the pay lot across the street by City Mill or find street parking on side streets.
3040 Waialae Ave.
Monday to Sunday 4 to 10 p.m.