NEW BLOG FEATURE

NEW: VIEW RIGHT SIDE TAB AND SELECT
CITY FOR TASTE OF HAWAII FAVORITES!

Monday, December 31, 2007

WARRIOR AUTOGRAPHS & PEP RALLY

SUGAR BOWL PEP RALLY
HAWAII VS GEORGIA

While walking back to our hotel, we ran into Devone Bess and Ryan Grice Mullens. These are the two best wide receivers for the Warrior Football team. Both were kind enough to autograph our Warrior helmet sticks.  We also attended a large pep rally for the Warriors. The rally was held on a large football field that was installed next to Jax Brewery. There were games, food, beer and even a concert by Eddie Money. Drew attempted to kick a 15 yard field goal and tore a hamstring when he kicked the ball. Did not make the field goal and now I am limping around like an old man. I think I used a muscle that has not been stretched in ages. We met some local Hawaii people and then went to dinner with six other people. All of us headed to the Acme Oyster House for dinner. However, the line was so long we opted to go the Dicky Brennan's Bourbon House restaurant located on the same street. The food and service was great considering that the restaurant was packed and we did not have a reservation. More on this meal later.
























NEW ORLEANS SCHOOL OF COOKING

NEW ORLEANS SCHOOL OF COOKING
NEW ORLEANS, LA

When in New Orleans we would highly recommend that you spend a few hours at the New Orleans School of Cooking. We took a half day class that cost $29 per person. The price includes the class, lunch and they even include cold beer. The course begins with the history of New Orleans Cajun and Creole cooking. People from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canary Islands and Africa all influenced the food here. All of the different cultures contributed a little something to each dish. The instructors in the class are all natives and tell great stories about the city and the culture. We began by cooking bread pudding which is quite easy. Also made a hearty gumbo with sausage and chicken. This was followed by a perfect jambalaya recipe that was really, really good. To close the class we made fresh, hot pralines. We made the standard version and then a chocolate version. The chocolate was by far the best. This was a really good way to spend the day. Shirley and me enjoyed the entire class (especially eating the food).













ACME OYSER HOUSE - NEW ORLEANS

ACME OYSTER HOUSE
NEW ORLEANS, LA


After 24 hours we were ready to return to the Acme Oyster House. Shirley loves the steamed crawfish and fresh shucked oysters. I agree, both of these items are fantastic. We also tried a shrimp po-boy and more seafood gumbo. Keli opted for crab and shrimp balls which were fantastic. Kind of like a round crabcake. FANTASTIC AGAIN.  At Acme, they shuck your oysters so they are the freshest ever. The crawfish are boiled when you order them and served in 1 pound sacks. Fresh and steaming at your table.



LABRON JAMES IN THE HOUSE

LABRON JAMES
CLEVELAND CAVS

NEW ORLEANS, ARENA

We were lucky to get courtside seats directly behind the Cleveland Cavs bench for a NBA Basketball game. The home team New Orleans Hornets won the game which was played in the New Orleans Arena. The Arena is located next to the Superdome. It is a very nice facility. Not too big so every seat in the house is good. Our courtside seats included access to the Club Level private dining areas. We enjoyed bratwurst smothered in onions and peppers and jambalaya as a pre-game snack. During the game, courtside attendants took our food and drink orders and brought red beans and rice and Etoufee to our seats (along with a few Coors Lights). It was great to see the great NBA players. Especially Labron James. Our seats were literally on the floor. We could see and hear the players and coaches talking and see their emotions. NBA is not like college basketball. College players really put their hearts into every play. The NBA is slower and they seem less interested. Great time.

Prior to the game, Keli was able to meet the Hornets Mascot and some of the Honeybee Cheerleaders.  









Friday, December 28, 2007

DAY TWO IN THE BIG EASY

CAFE DU MONDE
Jackson Square

A trip to New Orleans must include a visit to Cafe Du Monde. After a brief wait in the rain, we were seated and served quickly. The menu is minimal. Coffee and Beignets. We enjoyed a serving of (3) Beignets (Square doughnut with powdered sugar) and two cups of coffee and a hot chocolate for $8. This is a great way to start any morning in New Orleans. After the Beignets, we took a stroll around Jackson Square taking in the small shops and beautiful gardens and park. Our walk quickly took us to our next meal.

JOHNNY'S PO-BOY RESTAURANT
511 St. Louis Street

Johnny's was highly recommended by a local New Orleans food critic. We entered to find a small (hole in the wall type) restaurant filled with locals, military and tourists. The short wait in line ended in a very friendly welcome from the counter girl. We ordered from the menu printed above the cooking line. One craw fish po-boy and one roast beef po-poy with lettuce and tomato plus a bowl of seafood chowder. These are large (8" or so) rolls filled with a wide assortment of meats, seafood and almost everything you can think of including french fries, crab cakes, oysters, pork chops and cat fish. The crawfish po-boy was simply fried crawfish with lettuce, tomato and mayonaise. Not too much flavor, but good. The roast beef po-boy was filled with great flavor and big on the meat. The gumbo was good, but not as good as Brennan's. The entire meal including two drinks was $25. I would probably try another po-boy restaurant before going back to Johnny's just for comparison.

EMERIL'S
800 Tchoupitoulas Street

Emeril's is the flagship restaurant of Emeril Laggase of the Food Network. I have dined in his restaurants in Orlando and Las Vegas. After careful review, his New Orleans restaurant is the best of all. The entire meal was absolutely fantastic. We began our meal with Sweet Shrimp Hush Puppies with Southwest Cole Slaw. This dish was perfect. I wanted to order a side of the Cole Slaw it was so good. We followed this dish with the sauteed Escargo on a bed of shelled pasta with sun dried tomato and basil. This could have been a main course. Perfect in every way. Our daughter enjoyed pasta with exotic mushrooms. For a six year old that does not eat mushrooms, she ate every thing on the plate. We then proceeded to enjoy a duct confit salad with roasted beets and gargonzola cheese. Again this was amazing. Our main dishes were a Mediteranian Sea Bass with lump crab over a creamy mashed potato and a Main Cod with Little Neck Clams with Fingerling potaotos and sauteed Kale. Both dishes were great. There was nothing left on any of the plates served at Emeril's. "For desert we enjoyed a chocolate truffle tort served with fresh berries and creme. This was a chocolate lovers dream and an excellent end to a truly great meal. With each course, Emeril's suggests a wine pairing. I enjoyed two great glasses of wine that were perfect with the meal. The service is excellent and the kitchen runs like a well oiled machine. Truly professional in every way.
We would highly recommend a visit to Emeril's.

















ALOHA FROM NEW ORLEANS

Our first day in the Big Easy was wonderful. Arrived at the Ritz Carlton around noon time. The concierge recommended brunch at one of New Orleans most famous restaurants - Brennan's.
Of course, we cleaned up and took the short walk to Brennan's from the hotel.

BRENNAN'S
417 Royal Street

All of the internet and tourist guides boast that a trip to New Orleans is not complete without a dining experience at Brennan's. Well, they are right and wrong. Don't go to Brennan's if you are on a budget or looking for a deal. Brunch for two including two cocktails was over $130 without tip. The service was o.k. Seemed like there were alot of people working but always seemed a little disorganized. Once our waiter settled in, the service got much better. We ordered the recommended three course brunch for $38. This includes appetizer, main dish and dessert. However, there are upcharges for Gumbo and the World Famous Banana's Foster. If you order these items the pre-fix price for each meal goes to $50. This is for breakfast mind you.  I went with the dish that put Brennan's on the map according to the menu. It is called Eggs Hussarde. Simply poached egg on top of canadian bacon and toast with hollindaise sauce. The kicker is a mustard sauce that really did not come through in the dish. The two eggs are served with half of a tomato. My wife ordered the Eggs Owen which is poached egg with beef hash.  Looked like dog food, smelled like dog food and tasted about the same. Enough said.
Both are meals were served with an absolutely awesome crab gumbo ( paid upcharge). The gumbo was filled with lump crab and the highlight of the meal. The Banana's Foster was terrific but due to space constraints they did not do the flaming presentation at our table. They did it out of sight and prepared our order with the table next to ours at the same time. The Crepes Fitz (Strawberries) was a huge hit. This is an awesome dish that I thought was as good as or better than the Banana's Foster.
When you leave a breakfast $150 lighter in the pocket, you would expect alot more. I would go to Brennan's one time to experience all the history for yourself.

ACME OYSTER HOUSE
724 Iberville Street

When you get off the plane in New Orleans, don't walk - RUN to Acme Oyster House.
This place is off the hook great and reasonably priced. We arrived around 7;00 p.m. on a Thursday. The restaurant does not take reservations so we waited in a small line outside.
The wait was short (less than 20 minutes) and we were in. There is a large Oyster Bar down the side of the place. We opted for a table and started our meal with a half dozen oysters on the half shell. They arrived quickly and chilled to perfection. These oysters are fresh. No fish taste or after taste. Just a smooth and silky dissolve in the mouth. Best we have ever had.
The oysters were followed by a pound of fresh crawfish. Served in a pouch and steaming when they arrived. These were absolutely awesome. You could eat 10 pounds and love them.
The crawfish ettoufee was just as good. Served with rice and nice pieces of shrimp and crawfish.
We ordered a medly of gumbo, jambalaya, sausage and red beans and rice. Everything on the plate was delicious. The entire cost for this meal with two beers was $50. Yes $50. Compare that to Brennan's. We did not have room for the po-boys which were going out of the kitchen like crazy. That will be for next trip which is today. WE ARE GOING BACK FOR MORE.

DON'T MISS THE ACME OYSTER HOUSE.























Wednesday, December 26, 2007

HAWAII WARRIOR FOOTBALL - GO BOWS!

GET READY TO TASTE THE REAL HAWAII

Aloha from the beautiful Island of Oahu.  My name is Drewomite and I will be taking you on a culinary expedition of the 50th State.  I will also publish reports and reviews from road trips to Neighbor Islands and other spots around the United States and World.  Our first road trip will be Dec 27, 2007 as we head to New Orleans, Louisiana to watch the University of Hawaiii Warriors play the Georgia Bulldgogs in the Sugarbowl.