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Sunday, January 18, 2015

PIONEER SALOON

PIONEER SALOON
HONOLULU, HAWAII

PIONEER SALOON
3046 MONSARRAT AVENUE
HONOLULU, HI  96815
808-732-4001
HOURS:  Tuesday thru Sunday 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
                 Closed Monday

Readers of this blog know that I am not a huge fan of Hawaiian Plate Lunches.  Not into two large scoops of rice and Macaroni Salad loaded with Mayonnaise.  For that reason I have avoided Pioneer Saloon because the sign out front says Plate Lunch.  Thought it was the run of the mill place that serves Chicken Katsu, Teriyaki Beef and Hamburger Steak.  Oh..how wrong I was.  Entered the Pioneer Saloon and was a bit shell shocked by the wild decor.  Looked kind of like a rummage sale with tables.  There is even a couch covered with blankets along with three large trash cans for cans, bottles and plate lunch boxes.  Next to the trash cans is a table with magazines.  The restaurant is open air with a large window in the front with views of Monsarrat Avenue.  Once I looked around and got the lay of the land I figured  out that you order at the counter.  There is a printed and hand written menu on the wall next to the cash register.  As I gazed at the menu items I thought to myself that this was not your normal Plate Lunch in Hawaii.  Fresh Fish, Steak, Scallops, Shrimp, Curry, Rib Eye, Prime Rib and even Beef Tongue were on the menu here.  Wow..I thought hope this place is good.  As we waited for our turn to order, I could not help but notice that 90% of the patrons here were Japanese.  Japanese singles, couples and families have all found this place so I wondered why haven't I.  We ordered at the counter and my only compliant the entire meal was the moron at the cash register. The guy did not know the menu and I had to repeat myself three times to order one entree.  Cannot imagine how he understands a Japanese National ordering who does not speak english.  I ordered the Grilled Ahi Garlic with Spicy Chili Sauce ($13).  They cashier asked me how I would like the fish cooked and I told him medium rare.  My daughter ordered the Kalua Pork with Cabbage ($8) and we grabbed a seat at a large table in the back that seated six people.  Eventually other people joined our table so it was kind of like communal dining.  A few minutes passed and a guy delivered our Plate Lunches to our table in plastic containers.  I opened my box and found a beautiful piece of grilled Ahi that looked like a perfectly cooked steak.  The grill marks and color were like a steak.  On top of the Ahi were slivers of shaved fried garlic and fresh green onion.  Looked amazingly good.  I was happy to see Pasta with cheese and a light pesto sauce in place of the standard macaroni salad served with local style Plate Lunches.  One bite of the Ahi and I was an instant fan of the Pioneer Saloon.  The Ahi was a perfect medium rare, fresh and delicious.  I dipped the Ahi in the Spicy Chili Sauce and Wow....Probably the best Grilled Ahi Plates in Honolulu or Hawaii for that matter.  Absolutely perfect presentation, portion and flavor.  LOVED IT!!!!  My daughter went with the Kalua Pork and Cabbage and said it was delicious.  I tasted the dish and thought it was much better than most.  The Kalua Pork did not have a strong Liquid Smoke flavor like a lot of places.  Nice combination of cabbage to pork ratio.  For $8 this is a nice meal.   Cannot wait to visit the Pioneer Saloon again.  I mean really soon.  Want to try a dozen other things on this menu and see if they are equally as good as the Grilled Ahi.
Insider Tip:.  Monsarrat Shave Ice is located next to the Pioneer Saloon.  After eating your Plate Lunch go next door and enjoy a fresh Shave Ice with no artificial colors or flavors.  Just natural and organic fruit with shaved ice.  

PIONEER SALOON ON MONSARRAT AVENUE IS NOT YOUR NORMAL PLATE LUNCH PLACE
SMALL TABLES WITH OUTDOOR SEATING ON MONSARRAT AVENUE
A LOOK INSIDE AND YOU WILL HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE PIONEER SALOON
DON'T LET THE INTERIOR AND "PLATE LUNCH"  FOOL YOU.  THIS PLACE SERVES GREAT FOOD
SMALL RESTAURANT FREQUENTED BY JAPANESE TOURISTS
A FEW TABLES AND A LOT OF INTERESTING THINGS ON THE WALLS AND IN CABINETS
SMALL BAR SEATING AREA
TRASH CANS AND SOFAS AT PIONEER SALOON
GREAT PLACE FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO DINE
THINK THAT IS A JACKALOPE
PHOTOS OF OLD WAIKIKI IN BACK.  LOVE THE CABLE CAR IN WAIKIKI PHOTO
YOU CAN BUY ALL KINDS OF NON FOOD STUFF HERE
PIONEER SALOON IS ONLY A FEW BLOCKS FROM THE BEACH SO WHY NOT SOME SURF STUFF
STAND IN LINE AND ORDER FROM THE MENU ON THE WALL
PIONEER SALOON MENU
SPECIALS, SEAFOOD, LAMB AND JAPANESE FUSION DISHES
KALUA PORK AND CABBAGE
GRILLED AHI GARLIC PLATE
GRILLED GARLIC AHI SPICY CHILI SAUCE IS AWESOME
FRESH AHI TUNA COOKED TO PERFECT MEDIUM RARE

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