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Monday, March 28, 2016

BBQ GLAZED PORK CHOPS

BBQ GLAZED PORK CHOPS
DINNER AT HOME

We don't eat much Pork at home so I decided to change it up and try some Pork Chops.  Since it was a warm and mildly humid night I cooked the Chops on the outdoor BBQ.  Served with grilled Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes with a little Butter, Sour Cream and Bacon.  Delicious dinner cooked up fast and for just above $15 total for three!

BBQ GLAZED PORK CHOP

Sunday, March 20, 2016

PIEOLOGY PIZZARIA

PIEOLOGY
AINA HAINA SHOPPING CENTER
820 WEST HIND DRIVE
HONOLULU, HI  96821
808-373-5550

I only have one thing bad to say about Pieology and it is "why didn't I think of this".  What a brilliant concept for a Pizzeria.  This is the Chipotle of Pizza Chains and it is not only perfect for East Honolulu but you could put one of these just about anywhere and it would be a hit.  Kaimuki needs a Pieology and so does Kalihi, Downtown, Kailua and Waipahu.  Every single neighborhood in Hawaii needs a Pieology in my book.  Great fresh pizza cooked up fast and the way you want it at a decent price.  The pies here are only $10.95 each and that includes UNLIMITED toppings!  We arrived in the afternoon to find a large line along the side of the restaurant.  There are signs posted next to the line that explain how to order your pizza.  First you pick a sauce and then cheeses, meats and veggies.  You can also choose from seven House Favorites if you do not want to create your own pizza.  We went with the Margherita Pizza but added the House Red Sauce when we found out that the Favorite Margherita does not contain Tomato Sauce.  Next up was my own creation of House Red Sauce, Canadian Bacon, Pineapple, Red Onion and Jalapeños.  Ordering is easy and just like a Chipotle Mexican restaurant.  The process starts with a large press that flattens the pizza dough into a perfect 11.5" diameter pizza crust.  Talk about simplicity and consistency.  The crust is passed to the front line where you can choose your sauce, cheeses and toppings.  All the while you are watching your pie go down the line until you come to the cash register where you pay.  When you pay the pies are put into the oven and about five minutes later you have a piping hot pizza.  If you are dining in, they will give you a number to place on your table and the pizza will be delivered to your table.  There is indoor seating plus a large covered outdoor area where you can enjoy your pie.  The place serves beer too so this might be a weekly hang out for me.  The pizza is good.  Better than most places in Hawaii.  Loved the thin crust and fresh toppings.  Nothing to complain about at Pieology.  Great tasting Pizza at a decent price.  Probably going back in a week.

PIEOLOGY IN THE AINA HAINA SHOPPING CENTER
JUMP IN THE LINE ON THE LEFT AND GET READY TO ORDER
OPEN KITCHEN AND DINING ROOM
SELL SERVE UNLIMITED DRINK STATION
THINK THIS PLACE WILL ALWAYS BE BUSY
PERSONALLY INSPIRED PIZZA IN 5 HOT MINUTES
USE THE SAME PIZZA INGREDIENTS TO DESIGN YOUR PERSONAL SALAD
CHOOSE YOUR SAUCE, CHEESES, MEATS AND TOPPINGS
PIEOLIGIST'S FAVORITES
CHOOSE YOUR SAUCE
CHOOSE YOUR CHEESES OR LETTUCE FOR A SALAD
ALL OF YOUR FAVORITE PIZZA TOPPINGS
TOPPINGS FOR PIZZA AND SALADS 
CHOOSE YOUR MEATS
FRESH PIZZA'S MADE TO ORDER THE WAY YOU WANT THEM!
WHEN THE PIZZA'S ARE READY YOU PAY THE BILL AND THEY POP THEM IN THE OVEN
PIZZA'S GO INTO THE OVEN
PIZZA COOKED IN MINUTES AND THEN DELIVERED TO YOUR TABLE OR BOXED FOR TAKEOUT
MARGHERITA PIZZA WITH HOUSE RED SAUCE ADDED
THIN AND CRISPY PIZZA
MY PIZZA CREATION WITH CANADIAN BACON, PINEAPPLE, RED ONION AND JALAPEÑOS
THIN, CRISPY AND FRESH!
LOVED MY PIZZA AT PIEOLOGY!


WENT BACK A SECOND TIME AND TRIED THE "MAD TO MEAT YOU" PIZZA


WENT BACK AGAIN WITH THE GIRLS AND WE FEASTED AT PIEOLOGY.   LOVE THIS PLACE!


MW RESTAURANT

MW RESTAURANT
1538 KAPIOLANI BLVD, #107
HONOLULU, HI  96814
808-955-6505
HOURS:  Monday thru Friday 10:30 AM - 9:00 PM
                 Friday 10:30 AM - 10:00 PM
                 Saturday 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
                 Sunday 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

It took a gift certificate that we received last year to get me back to MW Restaurant.  While I have been watching this place get rave reviews and nominations for some pretty prestigious restaurant awards it just was not on my list of must eats now.  I had tried to get reservations on a weekend here and they were booked a week out at the times I wanted to dine.  I made a reservation for a Saturday a little more than a week out and was successful in getting a table at 6:45 PM.  The restaurant emailed me twice and called to confirm the reservation the day of the reservation.  I like this confirmation process and it reminded me of how many of the fine dining restaurants on the mainland do business.  We arrived to find valet parking for $4 and entered to find a hostess stand with two gals attending.  One looked up without a smile and asked if we were here for dinner.  No hello, welcome or smile kind of did not sit well but I smiled and gave her my name.  Another girl who was also quite serious grabbed two menus and seated us at a row of tables along the side where you have tables so close to each other that you can hear every word of the conversations to the left and right.  I absolutely hate dining like this.  We quickly learned that the guy next to us was celebrating his 60th birthday with a friend but it was not actually his 60th birthday rather his 62nd but the friend missed the 60th.  They examined each one of our dishes that came to our table and asked how they were.   That said, I would recommend you request a table that is in the middle of the restaurant.  Our waiter was in the same mold as the hostess.  No real smiles and not engaging.  Did not make us feel welcome and seemed to be just going through the motions to pick up a paycheck.  A striking difference to the gal at Hoakalei Country Club that served me lunch this same day.  She was all smiles, vibrant and continually making sure everything was perfect for her guests.  We asked the waiter what appetizers he recommended and he was not much help so we went with what sounded good to us.  The Ahi Nachos ($18) with Avocado Salsa and Rice Cracker Chips and Won Tons was as solid dish.  Great fresh Ahi Tuna and creamy Avocado.  Just did not have that little extra something to set it apart and make me want to order it again.  The Unagi and Butterfish Arancini ($12) sounded pretty amazing but missed the mark for both of us on flavors.  I could only eat one of these fried balls and would not order them again. 
There was a nice Risotto inside but really could not distinguish the Unagi and Butterfish components. The Pickled Local Beet Salad was flawless and delicious.  The Beets and Pickles were so fresh.  This is a very light, fresh and flavorful salad that I would order again.  Loved it.  The Surf-N-Turf ($45) with a Big Island Beef Tenderloin and Kona Abalone with a Miso Black Bean Sauce was a waste of good beef and Abalone.  We ordered the steak medium rare and it was a bit over medium.  The Abalone was way overcooked and like rubber.  I love Kona Abalone and believe me the ones you can buy at Costco that are grilled and seasoned lightly are better.  Its not that the Abalone was overcooked, dry and rubbery but it was covered in the Miso Black Bean Sauce which tasted like Plum Sauce.  The beef was also covered in the sauce which ruined the flavor of the steak.  You could not enjoy the flavor of the meat without getting the strong flavor of the Miso Black Bean Sauce.  They call this a Miso Black Bean Sauce but it tastes like Plum or Hoisin sauce.  We could not finish the steak and I barely could get down one Abalone because of the taste of all the sauce covering everything.  The star of the evening was the Kona Lobster Carbonara ($45).  Now I am not a big fan of fifty dollar pasta dishes but price aside this was a delicious entree.  I loved the fresh made pasta, sauce and bits of lobster.  Kona lobster does not have the bold sweet flavor of a Maine Lobster but it is good.  The fried green stuff on top was totally unnecessary and added nothing to the dish.  Sometimes less is more and I cannot figure out why you would pile more stuff - especially fried green stuff on top of a Pasta Carbonara. Think it was fried Kale?  You cannot visit MW without trying a few desserts.  The pastry chef here has won many awards and recently was nominated for a James Beard Award for pastries.  That is an impressive accomplishment.  We asked our waiter for recommendations and again he was no help.  We tried the MW Candy Bar with Black Sesame Ice Cream ($10.50).  The Candy Bars were hard as a rock on the bottom and did not satisfy my dessert craving.  The Black Sesame Ice Cream just made me ask "why".  Just give me a great Vanilla Ice Cream rather than a grainy green turd.  I mean who wants Sesame Ice Cream?  The Hawaiian Crown Banana Cream Pie ($10.50) was DELICIOUS.  Loved the banana and chocolate flavors going on here.  Each bite made me want more and that is how a dessert should be.  The people sitting next to us looked over as I rolled my eyes in pleasure eating this.  The guy said he was craving banana too and would order it.  So nice to share your dinner with strangers.  O.K. I have been a little critical but very honest about MW.  Bottom line is that I really do want to go back again to try a few more of the dishes.  
Click link below to view another post on MW Restaurant;

MW RESTAURANT ON KAPIOLANI BOULEVARD
SMALL RESTAURANT WITH OPEN KITCHEN
BAR NEAR ENTRANCE
MW APPETIZERS AND SALADS
ENTREES
SPECIALS OF THE DAY
CHEF'S TASTING MENU
PICKLED LOCAL BEET SALAD
UNAGI AND BUTTERFISH ARANCINI
UNAGI AND BUTTERFISH WITH NORI SAUCE
AHI NACHOS
SURF-N-TURF WITH BEEF TENDERLOIN AND KONA ABALONE
KONA LOBSTER CARBONARA
MW DESSERT MENU
MW CANDY BAR
HAWAIIAN CROWN BANANA CREAM PIE

Saturday, March 19, 2016

ALOHA SUB KALIHI

ALOHA SUB KALIHI
1210 DILLINGHAM BLVD
HONOLULU, HI  96817
808-841-1838

So nice to find an alternative Sub Shop to Subway Sandwich.  Hawaii really does not have any good Sub Shops like you can find in New York, Chicago and even Los Angeles.  When Subway is the best in town, you know there is room for improvement.  Aloha Sub "is" an improvement and the sandwich that I ate here was delicious.  The Jaws ($13.98 half size) is massive and filled with Roast Beef, Ham, Turkey, Pastrami, Salami, Pepperoni, Bologna, Tuna, Avocado, Bacon and Cheese.  Looks like they may have renamed this monster as mine was marked "Bumbucha"which means big or large in Hawaiian Pigeon language.  The sandwich is massive and I could only eat one half of half.  There is a whole lot of meat going on in this sandwich and not one particular meat stood out for me.  Really never picked up the Tuna in this sandwich.  I liked the shredded lettuce and Italian Dressing on the sandwich and the jalapeños I added kicked up the flavor and heat.  This is a good Sub by Hawaii standards and I really want to return to try others.

ALOHA SUB KALIHI MENU
SURF'S UP SPECIALS
BUILD YOUR OWN SUB AT ALOHA SUB
JAW'S SUB WAS MARKED BUMBUCHA
THIS IS HALF ORDER OF THE JAWS/BUMBUCHA SUB
MASSIVE SANDWICH WHERE HALF CAN FEED TWO PEOPLE
ADDED JALAPENOS FOR SOME KICK
I COULD ONLY EAT HALF ON HALF SANDWICH
LOADED WITH DELI MEATS, CHEESE, LETTUCE, TOMATO, ONION AND ITALIAN DRESSING