No one goes to King Salmon by accident. You have to want to go ‘way out there. When I heard about Sammy’s it was from friends in Washington State, go figure.
So when my friend and I checked them out on Tuesday, they had already been open for a year. The first thing we learned was, don’t go late. We thought showing up at 1:30 was the right thing to do, but they were already out of tri-tip by then. As you can gather from their website, they usually have tri-tip, kalua pork, pork ribs, teri chicken, and meatballs.
The sides include chop suey, unusual for Humboldt but considering it’s a Tongan family that runs the place it all makes sense. The menu is similar in part to that of the Banana Hut and it would be interesting to do a side-by-side tasting of the two versions of kalua and the two versions of pineapple gravy. The chop suey is made with glass noodles which I hadn’t seen before. They also have a pineapple cole slaw which I didn’t expect to like, but I did.
I had the kalua pork, salty as heck but I can never resist it, and the ribs , which could have used more cooking. They were okay but not falling off the bone. My friend got ribs which were too fatty. The lady who was serving was slow about offering to replace them, and an unseemly discussion ensued during which my friend pointed out the layers of fat on her rib. Hers were too fat, mine were not. I liked the potato salad, wasn’t crazy about the meatballs. Things would have gone a lot better if we’d gotten there early enough for the tri-tip.
The whole family works the restaurant . When I lived on Oahu I had Tongan friends who used to come and visit me out on the North Shore and every time they would find an excuse to clean my house, which was not up to their standards. Sammy’s is spotless.
I see an ad for Sammy’s in the Times-Standard this morning, but the print is so muddy you can’t read it. I hope they got their money back. Sammy’s will be open tomorrow and Friday but closed on the Fourth. Check them out and have a great holiday.