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Saturday, March 31, 2012

FARMERS MARKET - KAPIOLANI COMMUNITY COLLEGE


FARMERS MARKET
KAPIOLANI COMMUNITY
COLLEGE

The Farmers Market held on Saturdays at Kapiolani Community College is a great gig.  Lots of good food, great looking girls in short-shorts and tank tops plus a few celebrities.  On this day we ran into Danno from the new Hawaii Five O television series and a few local television personalities. The setting here is perfect.  The market is on the slopes of Diamond Head which is a beautiful green right now because of the recent rain.  There is lots of parking but the main lot closest to the market fills fast.  Have patience and wait for someone to leave or park in the back of the college and walk a bit.  The market itself looks large but after a few laps around you realize that it kind of small.  There is little or no seating within the market so be prepared to walk or stand while you eat.  There are some curbs to sit on but they face the sun and it is brutal at times.  My daughter saw people eating corn on the cob and dragged me to the corn stand within two minutes of arriving.  She ordered one piece of Roasted Corn ($4) with Butter and Garlic.  She loved it.  Did not hear her talk for the next five minutes.  She devoured the entire cob without even offering me a bite.  When she came up for air, I was looking at some beautiful pieces of fresh Big Island Abalone coming of the grill across from the corn stand.  I ordered one plate of Abalone ($7) and was amazed by the size and flavor.  This Abalone is really good.  The pieces were thick and juicy.  Could not believe that my daughter asked to try one.  She took one small bite and then chewed up an entire piece.  "Yummy" she said.  My daughter loves Abalone, Escargot, Rack of Lamb, Sushi, Fish, Crab, Clams and Steak.  Not your normal Chicken Nuggets and Burger eating 10 year old.  We also tried the Fried Green Tomatoes ($7) because they just looked darn good coming out of the fryer.  They sell bags of the batter separately and people were buying it.  I cannot understand why as I found the batter and tomatoes to be pretty tasteless.  The mayo sauce served with them did not add anything to the flavor.  The batter color and appearance is good.  Maybe Ranch Dressing would be a better dipping sauce for these.  There are a lot of different stalls here where you can buy Plate Lunches and enjoy an entire meal.  Everything from Vietnamese food to Sushi, Fried Chicken and Waffles and Sausage on a stick.  Highly recommend spending an hour or two walking around this Farmers Market.


GET HERE EARLY.  PARKING LOT IS ALWAYS PACKED
DOZENS OF VENDORS AND LARGE CROWDS
FRESH LOCAL FRUITS AND PRODUCE
PESTO PIZZA STALL ALWAYS HAS A CROWD
FRESH ROASTED CORN BOOTH WAS ALWAYS BUSY
THE BOSS LOVED HER CORN
WITH BUTTER AND GARLIC
FRESH BIG ISLAND ABALONE
3 LARGE PIECES OF ABALONE FOR $7
ME AND THE BOSS LOVED THE ABALONE
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES BOOTH
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES WERE A BIT BLAND
WAITING IN LINE FOR A SHAVE ICE
$3 FOR A REGULAR SIZE SHAVE ICE
RETURNED ON ANOTHER SATURDAY TO
TRY THE KUKUI SAUSAGE.  THEY SOLD
OUT OF THE SPICY SO I GOT THE REGULAR
SAUSAGE ON A STICK.  MOST TASTELESS
SAUSAGE I HAVE EVER HAD.  TOOK TWO
SMALL BITES AND GAVE IT AWAY.
KUKUI SAUSAGE BOOTH HAD A VERY LONG LINE.

Friday, March 30, 2012

GIOVANNI'S ORIGINAL SHRIMP TRUCK

GIOVANNI'S ORIGINAL SHRIMP TRUCK
KAHUKU, HAWAII 


A trip to Hawaii's North Shore is not complete without stopping at Giovanni's Original Shrimp Truck.  I have been going here for over a decade and still maintain it is a Taste of Hawaii Favorite.

While the truck remains the same, the exterior eating area has been spruced up big time.  The ground has been paved and there is a canopy over the seating area.  Heck, they even have running water and soap to wash your hands now.  Gone are the broken wood tables, uneven dirt floor and mud holes.  Like everything else in paradise, Giovanni's has gone commercial.  While the exterior has changed, the food and employees have stayed the same.  Local girls serve up the North Shore crustaceans with a no nonsense attitude.  It is all business here.  Get em in and get em out.  Cash only please.  A plate of Shrimp Scampi with two scoops of rice topped with garlic is now $13.  You can get the shrimp with Giovanni's famous hot sauce on the shrimp or on the side.  If you order the sauce on the shrimp there is a no refund policy because the sauce is very hot.  It is a really good hot filled with flavors that I love.  I always ask for extra sauce and take it home to put on our home cooked shrimp.  In my opinion the sauce makes the dish.  The shrimp is cooked in loads of garlic and lemon butter.  The hot sauce adds another dimension of flavor that is addicting.  I put the hot sauce on the garlic rice too.  Wow...I can taste and smell the grease now.  Wonderful!  My friend told me that the Garlic Dog was good so we tried one too.  This is a large hot dog cooked in the garlic butter and served on rice or in a bun.  We went for the bun.  I liked the dog but will stick with the shrimp when eating at Giovanni's.  Another thing I will always do is order the BBQ Kahuku Corn from the tent adjacent to the Giovanni's truck.  This Corn is GREAT!!!!  For $3 you get a piece of corn covered in spices and parmesan cheese that will blow your socks off.  Our table went silent for minutes as everyone devoured their corn.  When we came up for air, everyone just said "wow...that was great".  To end the meal we enjoyed a Strawberry and Banana Smoothie from yet another truck next to the Giovanni truck.  This was the ultimate North Shore meal and one that makes you feel "lucky to live Hawaii".  Check out more posts and the Giovanni's website:
http://greateatshawaii.blogspot.com/2016/09/giovannis-original-white-shirmp-truck.html

GIOVANNI'S ORIGINAL SHRIMP TRUCK.
A "MUST DO" ON THE NORTH SHORE!
ORDER AT RIGHT WINDOW AND PICK UP ON THE LEFT
STAND IN LINE AND ORDER AT THE WINDOW.
CASH ONLY HERE.
PAVED AND COVERED EATING AREA WITH PICNIC TABLES
SHRIMP SCAMPI WITH HOT SAUCE ON THE SIDE.
SERVED WITH TWO SCOOPS GARLIC RICE
GIOVANNI'S GARLIC HOT DOG
BBQ CORN FROM TENT
NEXT TO GIOVANNI'S

Thursday, March 29, 2012

KENNY'S RESTAURANT


KENNY'S RESTAURANT
KAM SHOPPING CENTER
HONOLULU, HAWAII 

I cannot remember the last time we ate at Kenny's.  Could have been 15 or 20 years ago.  Kenny's is one of those old Hawaii landmark restaurants that has survived for decades serving local favorites and typical diner food.  I was trying to stay on the lighter side and ordered the Chinese Chicken Salad ($10.79)  that they promote as a "famous best seller".  Wow..what a disappointment.  The salad was all lettuce with just a small amount of chicken.  The Char Siu was non existent.  For almost eleven bucks, I thought this would be better.  My associate had the Hawaiian Plate ($17.99).  He loved everything on the plate as did our guest that ordered the Hamburger with Bacon.  Next time I will forget about my weight and order the burger.


KENNY'S RESTAURANT IN KALIHI
OLD SCHOOL COUNTER SEATING WITH LOCAL STYLE

KENNY'S FAMOUS CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD
HAWAIIAN PLATE
BURGER WITH BACON AND FRENCH FRIES

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

SIAM GARDEN CAFE


SIAM GARDEN CAFE
HONOLULU, HAWAII

I really enjoy having lunch at the Siam Garden Cafe.  You can check this blog for review of previous visit.  What I like most is that you can get in and out for lunch very quickly.  It is amazing how fast they get the food out.  Perfect for a quick business lunch.  We always eat family style and order dishes that the entire table shares.  On this visit there were four of us enjoying a variety of dishes.  We started with Stuffed Chicken Wings.  These are good, but I have had them at other Thai restaurants and they serve the wings with hot sauce and peanut sauce. I love this combination of flavors.  At Siam Garden they serve them with a sweet chili sauce.  You have to ask for hot sauce here.  It is not something they place on the table.  The Spring Rolls here are not cut in half and not served with lettuce so you can wrap them like a burrito.  We always ask for a plate of lettuce so we can place the Spring Roll on the lettuce, add the cucumber and sauce and eat like a wrap.  This is the best.  Again you need hot sauce to put this over the top.  I love the Pad Thai Chicken at Siam Garden.  Always delicious.  The Sweet and Sour Shrimp with Vegetables is also good and so is the Sliced Beef with Green Beans.  Everyone loved the Chicken Larb.  Finely diced chicken that you wrap in cabbage leaf.  Siam Garden delivers on good food and service.  It is a great place to enjoy a really good fast business lunch.
Click links below to view more on Siam Garden Cafe;
http://greateatshawaii.blogspot.com/2011/05/siam-garden-cafe.html
http://greateatshawaii.blogspot.com/2011/01/siam-garden-cafe.html

STUFFED CHICKEN WINGS
SPRING ROLLS
PAD THAI CHICKEN
SWEET AND SOUR SHRIMP WITH VEGETABLES
CHICKEN LARB
SLICED BEEF WITH GREEN BEANS

Monday, March 26, 2012

IL LUPINO TRATTORIA AND WINE BAR


IL LUPINO TRATTORIA
AND WINE BAR
ROYAL HAWAIIAN SHOPPING CENTER, WAIKIKI 

Il Lupino Trattoria serves up some good Italian food in Waikiki.  I was surprised to see the place packed on a Sunday.  Both indoor and outdoor sections were full when we arrived.  The hostess greeted us with a calm smile amongst the crowd.  We were given a beeper and told the wait would be around 15 minutes.  In less than five minutes we were seated in the front near the bar.  I immediately noticed a waiter cutting fresh meats on a food slicer next to the bar.  This turned out to be the Salumeria where they cut Artesian Cheeses and Cured Meats to order.  They offer five different meats and five cheeses.  Each selection is $5.  You can order a small plate of 3 meats and 3 cheeses for $25 and a large plate of all 5 meats and cheeses for $40.  We went with Salami Toscana and Cambozola Cheese.  The Salami was paper thin and fresh tasting.  The Cambozola was very creamy with a subtle bleu cheese flavor.  Yummy....  The Panzanella Salad ($12) was light and refreshing.  Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, onion, pulled bread, anchovies, capers, and Gorgonzola doice.  Liked the bread in the salad.  Made it kind of rustic.  Good flavors and very fresh.  We ordered a Margherita Pizza ($15).  Vine ripened Pomodoro Sauce, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil.  We loved the thin crust but the cheese was clumped up in the middle of each slice.  This pizza was not bad.  The Linguine alla Vongole ($19) had some nice tasting fresh clams in a white wine, clam juice, olive oil and chili sauce.  Sauce was a bit bland.  Service was good considering the crowd.  Our waiter was very efficient and gave us just enough attention to make us comfortable.  He was really busy and did not mess around.  Just get the food on the table in a friendly manner.  I was impressed with the overall look of the restaurant and training of the staff.  This was a well trained machine working at maximum capacity.  It all worked well.  We want to go back and try more menu items soon.
Click link below to view another post on Il Lupino;
http://greateatshawaii.blogspot.com/2013/01/il-lupino-honolulu-hawaii.html
IL LUPINO TRATTORIA AND WINE BAR
ROYAL HAWAIIAN SHOPPING CENTER

LARGE OUTDOOR PATIO SEATING
PLACE WAS HOPPING AT 7:00 PM ON A SUNDAY
INDOOR SEATING 
BAR WAS HAPPENING AND SERVICE SEEMED TO BE GOOD
SALUMERIA - ARTESIAN CHEESES AND CURED MEATS.
CUT TO ORDER
SALAMI TOSCANA AND CAMBOZOLA CHEESE
PANZANELLA SALAD
FRESH TOMATOES, CUCUMBERS, OLIVES, RED ONION,
PULLED BREAD, ANCHOVIES, CAPERS, AND GORGONZOLA DOICE
MARGHERITA PIZZA
VONGOLE BIANCO

RUM FIRE - SHERATON WAIKIKI HOTEL

ENTRANCE FROM SHERATON WAIKIKI LOBBY
RUM FIRE
SHERATON WAIKIKI 

Got the family out of the house on a beautiful weekend afternoon in March.  I had been to Rum Fire a few days before entertaining some reps from Arizona.  Enjoyed a great Sloppy Slider that I wanted to share with the family.  Rum Fire is a large indoor/outdoor bar and restaurant set right on the beach in Waikiki.  Most of the seating is outdoors with great views of Diamond Head and Waikiki.  There is also a large section of outdoor seating that overlooks the huge Sheraton main swimming pool.  The Sheraton Infinity pool on the opposite side of the main pool is spectacular at sunset.  This is a great place to enjoy cocktails and pupu's in Waikiki.  Great staff, good food and fantastic views.  During Happy Hour from 2:00 to 6:00 there are drink specials such as draft beer for $4.50 and House Wine for $6.50.  Regular price for drafts is $5.50 and wine is $8.50.  Our waiter (Kenny) was spot on during our visit.  Always there to refill our drinks and make sure we were happy.  The Edamame ($4) here is delicious.  Served with a sweat chili sauce.  The Sloppy Sliders ($3 each) are awesome.  These are mini braised short rib sandwiches served with cole slaw.  If they would only put a pickle on this sandwich it would be the bomb.  Still good the way they are.  Our waiter Kenny said he would add pickles if we ordered more.  We were too full to order more but will order with pickles next time.  The Yukon Fries ($5) can be ordered with Garlic or Sea Salt.  We went for the garlic.  Great fries.  Addicting.  Light and crunchy.  Can eat these things for hours with a cold beer.  As the sun sets at Rum Fire the place fills with tourists and locals who maneuver for the best spots to watch the sunset.  Really makes me realize how lucky we are to live in Hawaii.  It is paradise and Rum Fire is a great place to enjoy our paradise.
UPDATE:  Returned to try the Mini Vienna Sausage Chili Dogs ($3).  These small Dogs are $3 each.  When you can buy a Costco Dog with a drink for $1.50, this is a rip off.  The Mini Chili Dogs were pretty flavorless.  The chili was tasteless.  Don't waste your money on these.
BEAUTIFUL VIEWS FROM OUTDOOR PATIOS
OCEAN FRONT BAR IN WAIKIKI
SHERATON WAIKIKI INFINITY POOL IS SPECTACULAR
LOTS OF OUTDOOR SEATING
BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB
SLOPPY SLIDERS ARE DELICIOUS
SLIDERS ARE $3 EACH DURING HAPPY HOUR
THE ONLY THING MISSING IS THE PICKLE


EDAMAME WITH INDONESIAN SATAY SAUCE AND SESAME SEEDS



YUKON FRIES WITH GARLIC





MINI VIENNA CHILI DOGS WERE TASTELESS.
NOT WORTH $3 EACH.