Sunday, September 21, 2008
IMANAS SUSHI IZAKAYA
On the way to the Hawaii Womans Volleyball game last night we decided to try Imanas because it is right next to the University Of Hawaii and known for great Japanese food. The last few times we tried this place we were turned away because we did not have a reservation. This time we arrived at 5:20 p.m. (they open at 5:00) thinking we could sneak in. As usual, we entered the place and were greeted loudly with a Japanese welcome. The hostess asked if we had a reservation and we said "no". She quickly reviewed the dining area and offered us three seats on the end of a table that had "reserved" signs all over it. As we sat down I noticed that all the tables were reserved. Lucky to get in in thought. The menu includes sushi, seafood, chicken, steak and traditional Shabu Shabu where you cook various meats, vegetables and seafood at your table. We started with their simple salad. It was $3.50 but big enough to serve three people. It is a good salad. We also tried the Spicy Clams. Served in a spicy broth that is great. The clams were plump and big. Delicious. The Teriyaki Chicken was smothered in sauce and they did not remove the skin from the chicken. It had good flavor and was served with a small salad and potato salad. We enjoyed some fresh Ahi Sashimi, Miso Soup and Soy Beans to finish the meal. As we finished the place began to fill up fast. The service was really good. Can't wait to return to Imanas with a reservation next time. They have a room in the back where you remove your shoes and sit on the floor. Keli really wants to sit there.
Labels: HONOLULU IZAKAYA, IMANAS, IMANAS IZAKAYA, imanas izakaya sushi japanese food honolulu hawaii oahu
Saturday, September 20, 2008
We didn't know what to expect when we decided to try Fresh Catch on Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki. The former Pizza Hut/Taco Bell spot has been transformed into something that sells fish. Is it a restaurant, a deli or a fish monger? Well once we entered we found out that it is all of the above. Fresh Catch sells fresh poke, sashimi, sandwiches and plate lunches. You order at the large glass counter. The guy behind the counter was great. Once he found out it was our first time here, he quickly took us through the daily specials and regular menu items. The Smoked Marlin Sandwich caught my eye first. I asked how it was prepared and he said with a lot of mayo. I told him about the Smoked Marlin Sandwiches I had enjoyed daily in Bali. Smoked Marlin with horseradish, onion and capers served on a toasted bun. He thought for a moment and said that he did not have horseradish but would come up with something for me. And he delivered. He took the Smoked Marlin and tossed it with creme cheese and wasabi and then topped it with lettuce, tomato, onion and capers. This sandwich was delicious. My wife took a bite and ended up eating half. We also tried the Oxtail Soup. Our friend had a crab sandwich which he said was just o.k. The poke was great. We tried garlic shrimp, limu ahi and spicy ahi. Other menu items include a Hawaiian Plate, Beef Stew and Fresh Fish such as Mahi Mahi with Miso glaze and fresh Salmon. There are three picnic tables in the restaurant so we took one and enjoyed some BYOB cold brews. This was a great place and not too expensive. Sandwiches and plate lunches run around $6. Poke is sold per pound. I cannot wait to return to Fresh Catch and enjoy my special Marlin Sandwich again. Photos from the Star Bulletin.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
BEST HAPPY HOUR FOOD AND VALUE
The burger pictured here served with french fries is $1.95 during Happy Hour (3:00 to 6:00 pm). It is a full 1/2 pound of beef and really good. We enjoyed huge plates of Oregon Crawfish for $1.95. Also Teriyaki Chicken Wings for $1.95. These are regular size servings too. For $3.95 you can enjoy Fish Tacos or an Antipasto Plate. For $4.95 you can get three amazing Kobe Beef Mini Burgers with Cheddar Cheese, Bacon and Caramelized Onion. The Kobe burgers are awesome. Moist and full of flavor. We also tried the Slow Roasted and Smoked Pork Ribs served with Red Cabbage and Corn Slaw for $4.95. This food is really good and very affordable. You must sit in the bar area to get these great prices. The service was excellent too. We liked McCormick & Schmick's so much that we went back the next night and enjoyed some salad and seafood. The menu is amazing and filled with fresh fish from all over the world. I tried the steamed clams along with some Minnestrone Soup and Bib Lettuce Salad. All were excellent. My friend enjoyed a Beet Salad and an order of fresh Ahi Sashimi. Everything was good. This is a great restaurant located right on the river in Downtown Portland. I highly recommend the place for Happy Hour and dinner. Cannot wait to return.
Walking around downtown Portland we stumbled into a nice Irish Pub called Paddy's. The waitress highly recommended that we try the Fish Tacos. Yes Fish Tacos in an Irish pub. Why not we said. It took awhile but the taco's arrived looking great. Three good size flour tortillas filled with a battered fish and covered with cabbage, cheese and salsa. Also comes with Beans and Rice. The tacos were really good. I could only knock down two but my friend ate four. These were really good fish tacos. Good flavor and presentation.
OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
This was by far the worst tailgate and fans I have ever witnessed at a college football game. The Beavers have no spirit or Aloha. The tailgating is weak. Really weak. The stadium was o.k. The lines for the bathroom and snacks are long. Even if we would have won the game, I still would rate this as probably the most boring tailgaters and fans on earth.
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII VS OREGON STATE BEAVERS
RESER STADIUM - UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
This was a road trip that I can't wait to forget. Hawaii was terrible. No offense. No defense. No special teams. There were no bright spots. Score was something like 45 to 7. Sitting in the stands was brutal.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
OLD HICKORY STEAKHOUSE
After a very long day at Disney World we arrived back at our hotel around 9:30 p.m. Hot, sweaty and wearing our shorts. I asked the Concierge at the hotel what options we had in the hotel. He politely brought out three different menus for the different restaurants in the hotel. He said it was late but we should try the Steakhouse. We ran over to the hostess desk and were quickly greeted by a nice hostess. I asked if they would seat us for dinner and she said "absolutely". She walked us to the table and asked how our day was going. Small talk but a nice surprise. We were seated and then approached by one of two waiters that would take care of our table. Water and bread came too. Then a nice glass of wine. I ordered the Heirloom tomato and Vidalia Onion Salad. Normally served with a Maytag Blue Cheese dressing I requested a balsamic dressing. The waitress said no problem. The salad ($10) was fantastic. Great tomato flavor with onions that were not too overpowering. The balsamic was delicious. Shirley enjoyed the Lobster Bisque soup. It was also terrific. For dinner I enjoyed the signature 100% grass-fed cattle beef tenderloin, center cut. At $40 this better be great. It was.....cooked to perfection. It cut like butter and melted in my mouth. Shirley's Porterhouse Steak was a huge 24 ounce cut ($37). It was a great cut of meet and perfectly cooked. Only complaint is that it was over salted. I tasted it and agreed. We also tried the Steamed Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce($8) and Sauteed Wild Mushrooms ($7). The mushrooms were good but greasy. All in all this was a great meal with great service. Would love to go back again.
Labels: OLD HICKORY STEAKHOUSE, OLD HICKORY STEAKHOUSE GAYLORD PALMS, old hickory steakhouse gaylord palms resort orlando florida
The front desk clerk at our hotel highly recommended the Bonefish Grill. We decided to try the place since it was close to the hotel. We arrived the evening of Game Day and found that there was a forty minute wait. Since the bar area was packed we joined a dozen other people that were sitting outside. We were quickly greeted by a waitress (outside) that offered us drinks. A nice glass of red wine would be nice I said. The wine came quickly along with a soda and water for the family. Wow....what great service and we have not been seated yet. After a few minutes another waitress came outside with a platter of shrimp appetizers. They were served to everyone waiting. No charge. We were seated by the hostess and then immediately greeted by our server. Everyone that worked at Bonefish was very friendly. The menu includes Wood-Grilled Fish, steaks, chicken and pasta dishes. We opted to begin the meal with a fresh Ceviche and the Saucy Shrimp that was served for free outside. The Ceviche was mostly small scallops and was pretty tasteless. The saucy shrimp were sauteed in a lime tomato garlic sauce with Kalamata olives and Feta cheese ($8). This was good. We tried the Chilean Sea Bass ($22) and Gulf Grouper ($19) with a warm mango salsa. Both served with fresh vegetables. The Grouper was better than the Sea Bass but both were good. I give the Bonefish Grill high marks. They were super busy the night we were there yet the service and attitude was excellent.
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII VS FLORIDA
GAME DAY AT THE SWAMP
Game day started back at the Swamp Restaurant. We arrived early before the big crowds and got a nice table overlooking the street. They don't serve breakfast at the Swamp so you get the lunch menu. I enjoyed a delicious Shrimp Wrap. Others had mostly fried food. The Bloody Mary was terrible but the atmosphere of game day and location make this a great spot. We left the Swamp and headed to the real Swamp where they play football. Along the way several Gator tailgaters invited us in and served us cold beer and more food. The fans were great even though we were what they call Gator Bait. We entered the Swamp and were amazed that it seated 90,000 fans. Looks a lot smaller. As game time came closer, the clouds moved in and then the rain. Huge raindrops pelted us until we were soaked. Then came the sunshine and hot humid weather that made you feel sick. The Swamp began to stink like a real swamp and it was miserable. We took haven in the shade above our seat section. As the score got worse for Hawaii fans we bagan to walk around the stadium and just take in the experience. It was great despite the 56-10 loss to Florida.
|WE MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE SWAMP!|
|90,000 FANS AND A FEW HUNDRED CHEERING FOR HAWAII|
|HAWAII COACH GREG MC MACKIN READY TO RUMBLE|
|HAWAII CAME TO PLAY BUT LOST BIG|
HAWAII VS FLORIDA
GAME DAY IN GAINESVILLE
The local Gainesville affiliate for ABC News interviews Hawaii fans Drew and Aldrin. We cruised the city of Gainesville in our rental car decked out with University of Hawaii stickers and flags.
|WE WERE A LITTLE OUT OF PLACE WITH OUR HAWAII GEAR IN GAINESVILLE|
WAFFLE HOUSE PART TWO
2:00 A.M. GAME DAY
After a great night at the Swamp Bar we finally decided to go back to the hotel. There was a quick stop that had to be made first. The Waffle House.
Forget the low fat diet. Forget the calories. Forget the side effects of the Alli diet. We dove into a bowl of chili and a beef patty melt. The chili was awesome and the patty melt was the best ever. This was worthy of a culinary award. Please note this was 2:00 in the morning after about a dozen beers.
This is "the" place for Florida football fans. An indoor/outdoor bar that rocks with Gator fever. Located directly across from Florida University and only minutes from the stadium, the Swamp is a local institution. We found ourselves in the thick of the party on the Friday before game day. As the night progressed the party got better and better. Students, fans, Alumni and two crazy guys from Hawaii enjoyed cold beer, a few shots and a lot of laughter. We spent the early part of the evening on the outside deck in front of the bar. Several beer stands made it easy to acquire a cold beverage without waiting in line inside. The staff was very friendly and often gave us free "Beat Hawaii" stickers. This is a great place to party before the game.
|ME AND MU BUDDY LIKED THE SOUTHERN BELLS|
Labels: THE SWAMP RESTAURANT, THE SWAMP RESTAURANT GAINESVILLE, the swamp restaurant gainesville florida the swamp