Mrs Chips Goes to Hawaii
Aloha, You know me. Mrs. Chips, TrudyN, Mother of the ever popular Sam Chips.
Well recently Mr, Chips went to Buffalo. I, on the other hand, was busy planning a trip to Hawaii for one of the clients I serve at work.
He goes to Buffalo. I go to Honolulu. Sounds fair, right?
Well, let me tell you that it is better to listen to Mr. Chips. I have never eaten worse in my life than I did in Oahu.
Here is my proof"
On Day I we checked into our hotel which I will be kind enough not to name.
One look at the menus and we chose a "bar be que on the beach" at the Aloha Grill.
It was pure luck: pork ribs with a guava based sauce, blackened and flavorful, cabbage with pineapple and some sort of sour cream sauce, corn on the cob and sticky rice. Remember this, it will be a long time before our next vegetable or tasty meal.
The next day we went to lunch at a bar called "The Red Lion" My friend uses a walker so a wonderful man from the Hyatt upstairs (Hi Francis) took us through the underbelly of the hotel, through the kitchen and into the bar. We ordered great "fish and chips" style Ahi with salad. It was good. The pork spring roll was not what I expected. It was cooked, as in deep fried. The pork strips and cabbage inside were cooked. There was no cilantro.
We had Haagen Daz and ice tea for dinner.
The next morning we tried the free breakfast buffet at the hotel. I know, it was risky, but my friend is very limited in his walking and was having a disastrous time trying to ride the Honolulu buses. I like the pineapple, the melon and the strawberries, but just as much as I like them at my Safeway. There were the usual unidentified pastries, two day old croissants and eggs florentine. There was all you can eat bacon. I consider this a good thing. I loved the brown rice, fried with whatever. I plan to make it at home. My companion took a liking to the Japanese breakfast. He loved the Miso soup with tofu and green onions. He ate radishes, cucumber and pickled carrots.
He wants to add Miso to his home diet. The rest of the buffet was forgettable.
He had lunch at McDonald's [can I mention them on this forum?] Okay, he ate at a familiar Scottish restaurant restaurant and was very happy with it. I waited until we got to the Waikiki
Market. I had a Vietnamese style [not cooked] spring roll. It was filled with steamed shrimp, cabbage, onion, and carrot that they soak in vinegar and something else. It had a nice spicy pepper sauce in one container and peanut sauce in the other. In honor of my favorite Portland restaurants, I mixed them and dipped liberally. I am sorry to say that the chicken satay was just ok. The name of the food stand remains a mystery. The sign said "Thai Food". The proprietor
told me that she gets her shrimp at the intriguing looking seafood stand across the way. No kitchen,no stove, I was sad. I had to just look at the live clams, fresh shrimp and other fish.
Please do not mention to Mr. Chips that I bought four bracelets and a pair of garnet earrings at the market.
For dinner we tried the hotel again. They had an extravaganza crab leg centered buffet. The crab legs were good, albeit, from Maine. They were cooked in ginger and we dipped them in butter.
I also liked the chicken with black mushrooms. I honestly don't remember the other offering. The do remember that they were bland and boring. The pulled pork was flavorless and disappointing.
I decided it was time to get serious. I got out my pretrip food studies. I tried to locate Helena's.
I looked up the address for Leonard's Masalas. I even tried to find the LikeLike Drive In.
The next day we rented a car. We looked for Helena's on School Street, but could not find it so we
drove through the pineapple fields to the North Shore. We stopped at a Killer Taco. I can say with conviction that Killer Taco has the best Kahlua Pig on the island. it came in a taco. It was well cooked, with a slight char and a great flavor. The lettuce and tomato were crisp and the tortilla was as fresh as you can expect that far from Mexico. The salsa was tomatoee and good. (yes, Dale, I ate tacos in Hawaii. I had to. I was hungry.
We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center. Am I the only one that did not realize that it is affiliated with the college Brigham Young of Hawaii? The luau was charming. The food was not.
I like the purple taro rolls. The lomi lomi was edible: the dried beef was okay. The taro "potato salad" was bland and awful. I will not mention the luau pig. Oh, ok, I guess I will. It was too moist for me. All signs of skin and char were gone. It was not seasoned that I could taste. It was disappointing.
The next day at Leonard's bakery I was eating my guava filled masala. My friend was equally happy with his blueberry covered pastry. I saw a man giving a tour of Leonard's. I had to laugh, but I had to find out more. I talked to him. He gave me his sympathies and told me about his website. He says there are decent restaurants in Honolulu. I wish I would have caught up with him sooner. I don't know if he was trying to flatter me, but he claimed to be familiar with Roadfood and Mr. Chips.
At this point, having no access to a computer, I gave up and ate Chinese. I had spicy chicken and rice. It was edible. I was happy.
I have to tell you that I did like the snacks. We ate macadamia nuts and dried mango. We had several mango smoothies, a Mai Tai and a Blue Hawaiin. My fellow traveler loved Pina Colada smoothies. I like Ono Trail mix with pretzels and nuts. I liked the rice crackers. We went to the Aloha Grill and the bar be que on the beach again. It was good, again. Yes. my friend picked up
a half rack in his hands and ate it. I drank gallons of ice tea and looked at Waikiki.
On our last night we were tired from our trip to Pearl Harbor. We ordered pizza and had a great time on the lanai. Next time I will have Mr. CHips orchestrate the eating. I hate to admit it, I really do, but he is better at picking out food in a new city. I still claim to be the better cook.