NEW BLOG FEATURE

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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

CALIENTE DEL SOL MEXICAN CUISINE - HONOLULU, HAWAII


CALIENTE DEL SOL
INSPIRED MEXICAN CUISINE
HONOLULU, HAWAII

I visited Caliente Del Sol when it first opened in the Safeway Center on Kapahulu. After the first visit I vowed not to return. A year later we decided to give it another try during our shopping day at Safeway. The service was the same as I remember. A bit disorganized and confused. You order at a counter and then wait for them to call your name. The menu is very limited. There are tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas and a taco salad. That is it. Makes it easy to order. I tried a shredded beef taco and shredded chicken taco with black beans and rice. First off the beans were not fully cooked and so bland that I could not eat them. The rice was undercooked too and had no taste. On to the tacos. The beef and chicken were actually pretty good. I had them with hard shells. The meats had good flavor. Ask for the red salsa they put on the burritos and throw this on the tacos. Adds some flavor. I took a few bites of a beef burrito. The burrito is stuffed with the same meat as the tacos and then filled with the tasteless and undercooked rice and beans. I would go back for the tacos only. Hard to believe this place has stayed in business.
UPDATE: 3/10 - This place went out of business. Look what I wrote above.

SONIC BURGER










SONIC BURGER
ORLANDO, FLORIDA

My only memory of eating at a Sonic Burger was at 2:00 am in the middle of nowhere in Alabama after enjoying a few beers with good friends. At the time, I thought that this was the best meal of my life. I was in heaven absorbing the cheeseburger and chili dog. While taking a cab in Orlando, we saw a Sonic Burger and decided to grab a quick lunch. The cab ride to Sonic was about $30. The meal for two was $16. The Sonic we visited was a drive up only with car hops delivering your food. To eat in, you go to the menu and order under a canopy. The menu board has a credit card slot and you pay right there. It is quick and easy. No cash exchanges hands. When your food is ready they bring it outside and serve it to you on a tray. I went for the Cheeseburger and footlong chili dog. Both were good, but not as good as 2:00 in the morning after a night of drinking.

THE CAPITAL GRILLE - ORLANDO, FLORIDA












THE CAPITAL GRILLE
ORLANDO, FLORIDA

After eating at Texas de Brazil in Orlando, the last thing I was thinking about was a steak dinner. We were invited by some good friends and business associates so what the heck lets do this. You cannot miss the Capital Grille when driving down Orlando's main drive near the Convention Center. The building is beautiful. We arrived to find the place packed with suits. This was a convention week and we were part of it. Despite the large crowd we were greeted nicely by the reception staff. Our party was found in the bar and we were quickly seated. The service started off good but went down a little due to the large crowd. There were times when we could not find our waiter. Especially when it was time to pay. The meal started with some fresh breads. I had a dark bread that was absolutely delicious. The Capital Grille is a classic steak house like Mortons or Ruth Chris. Elegantly styled eating space with class. I examined the menu to find a great selection of appetizers and sides. We did not order any appetizers but some looked great like the Wagyu Beef Capaccio, Lobster and Crab Cake, Pan Fried Calamari with Peppers and Fresh Oysters. Just not that hungry or I would have jumped on a few of these. I opted for a Caesar Salad. It was o.k. The dressing was a bit bland. For the entree, I chose the Bone in Rib Eye. They called it a Delmonico Steak. The steak was seasoned and cooked perfectly medium rare as requested. Good flavor. I liked it but could not finish the whole thing. We also tried the Creamed Spinach and Au Gratin Potatoes. This was a hearty portion of sliced potatoes layered with creme and a combination of cheeses. Topped with fried onions. I kept going back to the plate for more of these. They were awesome. I did not pay much attention to the prices but figure the steak was around $40.

TEXAS DE BRAZIL - ORLANDO, FLORIDA










TEXAS DE BRAZIL
ORLANDO, FLORIDA

Hands down one of the best meals of my life. Texas de Brazil rocks. Great food and service.
If you like meat this is a dream restaurant. You are served unlimited portions of meat. Then more meat and then more meat. Balance out the meat with an incredible selection of salads, soups and sides and you have an experience - not a meal. Your evening at Texas de Brazil begins with a trip to a huge salad bar filled with high quality and delicious selections that include; Fresh salads, Buffalo Mozzerella, Potato Salad, Cold Brazilian Pasta Salad, Olives, Caramelized Sweet Onions, Marinated Portobello Mushrooms, Beets, Harts of Palm, Artichoke Hearts, Grilled Peppers, Steamed Asparagus, Salami, French Cheeses, Rice, Black Beans, Sushi, Soups and more. Our entire table tried the Lobster Bisque Soup. It was awesome. You also get sides delivered to the table. They were all delicious. We tried the Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Brazilian Cheese Bread and Fried Bananas. The meat selections come to your table one, two, three and sometimes four at a time. The waiters bring huge skewers and cut you the portion size you request. Are you ready? Here is what was served: Seared Top Sirloin, Brazilian Sausage, Brazilian Picanha, Slow Roasted Lamb, Chicken Breast Wrapped in Bacon, Crispy Chicken Legs, Parmesan Crusted Pork Loin with Garlic, Flank Steak, Rack of Lamb, Filet Mignon, Bacon Wrapped Filet, Pork Ribs and Braised Beef Ribs. I loved the Filet and Sausage but everything was great. All of the meats are marinated and full of flavor. No bland food here. It is just amazing and never ending. To top it all off, Texas de Brazil has incredible quality dessert selections that are also included in the set price. Our table tried them all: Brazilian Cheesecake, Chocolate Mousse Cake (my favorite), Key Lime Pie, Carrot Cake, Creme Brulee and a great Banana's Foster Pie. The price for all this is about $45 per person. Well worth the price for the quality, portions and assortment. There are several different Brazilian Steak House chains in America. I have now been to two and they were both excellent. This is a Taste of Hawaii favorite.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

ROYAL CARIBBEAN BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS - CHOP STEAK HOUSE

ROYAL CARIBBEAN BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS
CHOP STEAK HOUSE

The Brilliance of the Seas has two "specialty dining" restaurants. One Steak House and one Italian Restaurant. We paid an additional $25 cover charge per person to dine at the steak house. The cover includes all the appetizers, sides, entrees and deserts that you can eat. The Chop Steak House is like a Ruth Chris or Morton's. They have your choice of starch, veggies and several types of steak. We chose the bone in ribeye and were not impressed with the taste. We actually ate very little on our plates.

video

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

ROYAL CARIBBEAN BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS

ROYAL CARIBBEAN BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS
SOMEWHERE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

Christmas on a cruise ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea is not like at home. It was a great time, but did not feel like Christmas. No complaints. We were blessed to enjoy this time together as a family. Seeing the Pyramids of Egypt, Ephesus and the House of Mary was a great Christmas present.

video


ROYAL CARIBBEAN BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS

ROYAL CARIBBEAN BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS
SOMEWHERE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

video

ROYAL CARIBBEAN BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS

ROYAL CARIBBEAN BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS
MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE

We enjoyed a great balcony stateroom aboard the Brilliance of the Seas. This ship is a huge floating hotel. Keli enjoyed the rock climbing wall and her bunk bed. The kids playroom was also a hit with Keli. She played with other children for several hours each day while we were at Sea. This gave Shirley and me time together seeing a show or playing in the casino. It was nice to spend some time reading on the balcony when weather was good. Not a bad day when you can read, eat, take a nap, eat again, see a show, gamble, sightsee and eat again. We had an incredible itinerary that included: Barcelona Spain, Ephesus Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus, Rhodes, Sardinia and Palma De La Mallorca. This was truly a trip of a lifetime.

video

Saturday, January 2, 2010

EPHESUS TURKEY - THE STADIUM

EPHESUS, TURKEY
STADIUM

Saint John preached in this 25,000 seat stadium in Ephesus. Mark Anthony and Cleopatra walked along these marble streets.

EPHESUS, TURKEY

EPHESUS, TURKEY

Probably one of the most awesome places to visit on earth. This was a highlight of our cruise and will remain in our memories forever.