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Sunday, November 29, 2009

HAWAII VS NAVY - TAILGATE PARTY


HAWAII VS NAVY

TAILGATE PARTY
ALOHA STADIUM

You could feel the excitement in the air at this years Hawaii vs Navy Football Game.
Our little tailgate party started off the day with good food and good friends. The menu on this clear and sunny 80 degree day in November consisted of Drew's (now famous) Spicy Chile,
BBQ Pork Ribs, Hot Wings, Spicy Sausage, BBQ Char Siu, Grilled Spicy Shrimp, Fresh Fruit Salad, Shrimp, Crab Salad w/Mango, Sushi Platter and Home Made Apple Pie and Cranberry Bread. Food was great, but the game was better. Hawaii beat Navy 24-17 in one of the best games I have ever seen at Aloha Stadium. Hawaii's defense came to play and impressed everyone who had almost given up on them. GO BOWS!

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

HIMALAYAN KITCHEN

HIMALAYAN KITCHEN
HONOLULU, HI

While eating our takeout BBQ from the new Hog Island BBQ joint, a young waiter or manager from an adjoining restaurant approached our table and offered us his business card. He said that we should try Himalayan Kitchen sometime. Since we were not eating the BBQ due to poor taste, I asked to see a menu. Authentic Nepali and Indian Cuisine it proclaimed. Traditional Tandoori Clay Oven cooking, Naan Breads, Curries and lots of Vegetarian Dishes. Since we ate a little of the BBQ I ordered a couple appetizers just to sample the flavors. We had the Naan Bread with garlic and jalapenos, Samosa and a chicken and vegetable dish. The Naan Bread was delicious and served with a cilantro and mint dipping sauce. The bread was spicy and cooked to perfection. The Samosa was like a large Won Ton filled with potatoes, chick peas and curry. It was awesome. The three appetizers cost $20. I would go back here for another order of these. The other dish was also very good, but we were so full we could not eat much. I am going back here again and will try some entree dishes and get better descriptions of the food.

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FIVE PALMS - WAILEA MAUI

FIVE PALMS
WAILEA, MAUI

I have been lucky to dine at the Five Palms dozens of times over the past years. It is my #1 spot for lunch with customers on Maui. My friends and I call this place the "Secret Spot" because it is located in a condo complex on one of the most beautiful beaches on Maui. The restaurant is indoor/outdoor (we always sit outdoors) overlooking a beautiful beach and Molokini. In the winter you can watch the humpback whales while enjoying a cold beer. I have had most things on the menu here. My friends say the breakfast is the best on Maui. It is very good. Lunch last week was incredible. I ordered the corn beef sandwich with braised cabbage and swiss cheese. This was hands down one of the best sandwiches I have ever had in my life. Watch the video. I don't want to write about this thing. I just want to go back to Maui and order another one.
A trip to Maui must include a trip to the "Secret Spot". The food, view and service are all great.

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HOG ISLAND BBQ - HONOLULU, HAWAII

HOG ISLAND BBQ
HONOLULU, HI

Hawaii really needs a good BBQ restaurant. After 20 years here, I have not found a place for bbq brisket, pulled pork or ribs that would make me go back a second time. When Hog Island BBQ opened just minutes from our house I was excited. I had read several reviews that proclaimed Hog Island as the best BBQ in Hawaii. Four star ratings for food, service, ambiance and value. After reading this we had to try it. First off this is not really a restaurant. Rather a cramped counter with a small wood smoker sitting behind you. There are not seats, no waiters and no beer. Hog Island is basically a take-out window with seating upstairs on a deck. We ordered the Beef Brisket Plate Meal ($8.25). Wood fired Beef Brisket with choice of two sides. I opted for the Pitmaster's Baked Beans which are dried beans soaked over night and then slow cooked with homemade bbq sauce along with brisket and pulled pork bark. My other side was the Cole Slaw w/dried cranberries. Review: the Brisket was a bit dry and lacked a lot of flavor. I dipped the brisket into the bbq sauce and this really helped the flavor. There is a certain spice in the rub that I cannot pick out, but it does not do well with my taste buds. This flavor overwhelms the beef. The sauce is good. The beans were a bit bland and the cole slaw was very good. We also tried a full rack of Baby Back Ribs ($24.75). These ribs are dry rubbed with a spice mixture that includes 29 herbs and spices and then are slow cooked for 12 hours. The verdict on these was mixed. The two children dining loved them. The parents could not eat more than one rib each. The ribs were dry and had that one spice that I don't like. Even dipping them in the bbq sauce didn't save these ribs. Costco ribs are better I am very sad to say. We tried the Chef's Scallop Potatoes with the ribs. Fresh potatoes thinly sliced and then slow cooked for over 2 hours with cream and a blend of 23 spices. To my surprise they use "no cheese" in the potatoes. I liked the Scalloped Potatoes, but would not make a special trip to eat them. Hog Island also sells BBQ Sandwiches; Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork, Chicken Breast and a Philly Style Beef Brisket. These run around $7 to $9. Will try the pulled pork on my next visit.
Dining here is nice because you take your food upstairs to a rooftop deck. There are about four tables.

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