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1241 St. Rt. 131 Milford OH 513-443-2641
BBQ is all the rage. Eli’s is finally fattening their wallets after struggling for over a year. Mainly due to local press, bloggers and social media posts, according to an Eli’s employee. Other BBQ joints and trucks are trying hard to move up the ranks.
The latest and least known of these is Day Height’s Island Boi BBQ. Located off 131 (next to Angilo’s) the Hawaiian eatery hopes to gain favor of the local folks by offering a unique style of BBQ few are probably familiar with. The moment we realized it was open we headed in to try their product. The menu is short and sweet. All sandwiches come with fries. Burgers come both regular (5.50) and Island Boi style (7.95). They also offer Kahlua style pulled pork (7) and Tempura shrimp sandwiches (9.95). The main event is the chicken, beef and pork.
They do chicken three ways. The marinated boneless, skinless & grilled Island Boi (8.50). The Japanese style crispy breast with Katsu sauce (8.50). Plus a simple grilled version with your choice of sauce (8.50). The beef offering is in the form of Island Boi BBQ short ribs (11.19). The pork is the pulled variety cooked in a South Pacific style served with optional steamed cabbage (8.50). They also offer an unusual “Moco Polo”. It’s a heaping pile of rice topped with two burger patties, two eggs then smothered in gravy (9.50). It’s a Polynesian fave and a hearty meal for any appetite.
Sides of macaroni salad (1.50), fries (2) and Hawaiian slaw (1.25) can accompany any and all options. Those are the facts. Here is the fun. I went with the massive “Sumo Combo” (14.74). It features Island Boi chicken, beef and pork, with both rice and macaroni. No one will order this and leave hungry. The chicken is Island Boi’s signature dish so I went straight for that. Sweet, deeply marinated and richly sauced it nearly melted in my mouth. The flavors are outstanding and unique. It simply could not have been juicier or better prepared. I have to say, it’s the best bird in town for certain. The beef was a long thin slice across the ribs. Also deeply marinated and once the teeth sink in, the incredible sauce shines right off the bat. Not as tender as what we think of as ribs but very good nonetheless. It reminded me of Chinese style Teriyaki Beef. The pulled pork looked much like any other you’d find. One bite revealed a sauce so good I have to award another Best to Island Boi for it. Smoky, savory and sweet it has everything and more it needs to compete with any. I doubt anyone in the city has any pulled pork better than Island Boi’s. Mine was cooked a bit too long as it made the texture super soft. But this remark is based on 100% true perfection and is a minor deviation of perfect. Many wouldn’t even notice, nor agree. Order it if you go there (unless your Jewish). It’s just that simple. I can’t decide if the chicken or pork was the best. They both are well worthy of a try, even if that means a drive. I can’t imagine anyone who would say they didn’t love it. On the other hand, my macaroni was very plain. It featured little sauce or seasoning. I ate it all, but only after a healthy dose of salt & pepper. The Hawaiian slaw is interesting and unique. Chock full of pineapple chunks, maraschino cherries and mandarin oranges it is both sweet and bright. A dessert slaw if you will. A perfect accompaniment to the Island Boi signature flavor meats. Island Boi is offering an unusual style of BBQ any BBQ fan should try. One owner is Polynesian wrestler Matt Anoa’i (Rosey). Matt’s family is packed with talented famous folks. His cousins include, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Rikishi, Tonga Kid, Yokozuna, and Eddie Fatu. Just like them, Matt has traveled the world, sampling food from all cultures. When he settled here with his wife from Mason, he found no similar Polynesian BBQ plates nearer than Indy, so he hooked up with golf pro co-owner “Jeff” and opened Island Boi. The ambiance is low key casual / pro wrestler, the place is squeaky clean, the service is honest and the portions are plentiful. Whether you’re searching for the best BBQ, or just looking for something you’ve never had (but not so unfamiliar it scares you) Island Boi should be your next dinner destination.