Sunday, June 07, 2015

Hawaii 2015: Day 7

Our original plan was to go back to Ray's Cafe one last time before heading to the airport for our 1:20pm flight.  Unfortunately, this was not meant to be.  We weren't able to find parking and when we finally did, there was a long line.  Since we still needed to get gas and return the rental car, we decided not to chance not making our flight on time.  Nick found a great place called Scratch Kitchen and Bake Shop right in the middle of O'ahu's Chinatown.  There is nothing remotely Chinese about Scratch.  Catering to the younger foodie crowd, it is a very trendy place that serves delicious Southern inspired food.  With an open kitchen and reasonably priced menu, Scratch is a pretty cool place to visit if you're into young, hip restaurants.

I'm clearly on a French toast kick.  They only make 12 servings of their pound cake French toast a day.  Of course, I wanted it.  We got an order to share, but I ate most of it. 

My Mom and I both got the chorizo and egg biscuit sandwich.
My Dad got the Calentado, which was garlic rice with braised short ribs and a sunny side up egg. 

Nick and Christopher got the Creole shrimp and grits that came with two sunny side up eggs.

House made serrano chili sauce. 
To wrap things up and be thorough, I had to include the meal that we were given on the plane.  Most of the time I can get plane food in, but I just couldn't get myself to eat the meatballs or soggy snap peas so I ate the rice.  I had one meatball and it really wasn't good.  I think I would have preferred an extra bag of peanuts instead.

It was a successful family vacation without any snafoos, but I was so happy to get home to this smiling face and my own bed.  

Pregnant lady travel kankles for your viewing pleasure.
Until our next traveling adventure, that's all folks!


Hawaii 2015: Day 6

On our last full day on O'ahu we wanted to take my Dad and Christopher to Ray's Cafe since they didn't go with us the first day.  Today we ordered significantly more food.  I really wanted the French toast again, but also wanted to get the Ray's special.  We decided to share an order of French toast so that I could get a full meal.  While we were trying to decide what to order, Nick saw a plate of butterfish go by.  It was HUGE!  That pretty much made up his mind for him.  I would highly, highly recommend this place if you're visiting O'ahu.  It is very small and chances are that you'll have to wait outside the door to get a seat, but it is really worth the wait.  Also, be warned that parking is pretty tough and it's a rather industrial looking area.

Ray's menu

This is the sign that cracked up my Mom. 

French toast
You can't even see the burger patty under all of this brown gravy goodness.  (Ray's Special)

My Mom got a shrimp omelet and was really impressed by how much shrimp was actually in the omelette.  

Nick and Christopher both got the butterfish.  The fish was so big that Nick could barely finish the whole thing.  

Oddly enough, this tiny place specialized in prime rib.  For $16.95 my Dad got a giant slab of really tasty prime rib.  Take that Black Angus.  

Christopher was pretty astounded by the size of the avocados that you can get at the farmer's market.  Sister had showed us a picture a while back from her trip to Hawaii, but it is much different in person.  These things are softball sized.  

After lunch we headed over to Ford Island to visit the USS Missouri, the Mighty Mo.  Nick and I have visited the battleship before, but the last time my Dad was in Hawaii, the ship wasn't part of Battleship Row.  Nick and I always enjoy visiting military ships and aircraft carriers.  They're just so cool to be on.  The USS Arizona Memorial had opened back up today after being damaged by a boat, but we've all been to see the memorial so didn't visit this time around.

These 16 inch guns can shoot rounds every 30 seconds that are the weight of a Volkswagen Beetle.  Accurate out to 1000 miles, our guide told us that if they targeted the North Shore that there could be 27 rounds in the air before the first rounds would even hit the ground.  

This is the plaque where surrender documents were signed by Japan to end WWII. 

It was really hot on the USS Missouri so we didn't linger too long after we saw the battleship.  We had plans to go to a nice dinner at The Original Roy's on the east side of the island.  While we were cooling off from our historical adventure, we took up our appointed places on the balcony to enjoy one last sunset. 

Prior to going on our trip, Christopher took a goofy picture while he was packing.  A friend requested that I take a like picture because we look so similar.  

Definitely came from the same parents. 

I have to admit that I wasn't super stoked to go to Roy's since there are so many locations.  I was afraid that the quality would suffer.  There is even one in San Francisco.  I was pleasantly surprised though that even though it clearly caters to tourists, the food quality was still very high.  I liked this dinner much better than Orchid's.

Flying Dragon roll made of unagi, avocado, miso butterfish, masago, macadamia, and sweet ginger wasabi sauce 

Baked coconut curry escargot.  I didn't care for the escargot much, though I've had it several times before.  The sauce was really good, but maybe my tastes have changed and I had a hard time chewing the snail. 
Crispy fried brussels sprouts & cauliflower.  I really enjoyed this dish and want to try to recreate the fried brussel sprouts, but not sure if our broiler will get hot enough.  Nick is pretty sure that they fried the brussel sprouts and then put them under the salamander. 

My Mom and I got the honey mustard grilled beef short ribs over scallop potatoes.  The meat was so tender, but it was very heavy and rich that neither of us could finish. 

Nick got the Hawaiian Kai mix grill which was Szechuan baby back ribs, hibachi-style shrimp, and grilled king salmon. 

Both my Dad and Christopher got the Hawaiian Kai seafood collection of king crab, day boat salad, and prawns.

Upside down pineapple with vanilla ice cream.
Macadamia nut tart and vanilla ice cream. 
Peanut butter crunch with fresh fruit. 

 We rolled back to the hotel feeling happy and full to play a few food coma-esque rounds of Banana Grams.  Our plan was to head back to Ray's Cafe for breakfast before heading to the airport.


Thursday, June 04, 2015

Hawaii 2015: Day 5

The second half of our week is pretty packed full of things to do.  Today we got up early to hit Leonard's Bakery for their famous hot malasadas, but first made a stop at the McDonald's next door for something quick to eat.  We didn't have time today for a sit down breakfast.  Tomorrow we plan to hit Ray's Cafe again so that my Dad and brother can experience it too.  Since Leonard's is primarily a bakery, they didn't really have much breakfast food that would carry us through the day.  Not that McDonald's is anything great, but it works in a pinch. 
I got a blueberry and pomegranate smoothie that was pretty darn tasty.  

Leonard's was not far from our hotel and actually on the way to the freeway.  It was a quick 20 minute stop that fulfilled one of our checklist places to visit.

Made fresh to order, these puppies were hot!

Our main event of the day was to go to Kualoa Ranch where many movies including Jurassic Park and Windtalkers were filmed.  Nick, Christopher and my Dad planned to do a two hour ATV tour around the ranch while my Mom and I waited.  After not being able to maneuver the ATV well, my Dad decided to stay back with us.  To make up for the cost of the ATV tour, we all were able to go on a bus tour, which I quite enjoyed.  

My Dad is the second from last driver veering off to the sides.  Luckily he knows when enough is enough and told the tour guide to go on without him. He's a pretty good sport because my Mom and I got a pretty good giggle. 

We stopped at one of the best kept bunkers from WWII.  From the entrance of the bunker was a great view. 

While we were waiting for everyone to take their pictures at the Jurassic Park log, Christopher and Nick's tour pulled up along side. 

This is the actual log from the first Jurassic Park movie that the kids hid under when the T-rex was trying to get them. 

Oh brother. 


After the ATV adventure and bus tour, we headed back and did a quick drive through the National Memorial Cemetery at Punchbowl before hitting a sports bar near our hotel to watch the Warrior's game.  

I was surprised to see how many Warrior's fans there are in Hawaii.  Nick said that a lot of times since Hawaii doesn't have any sports teams of its own the locals will adopt teams from California.  Unfortunately for me, even with all the enthusiastic sports goers at the bar I still couldn't get into the game until the last few minutes.  Basketball just isn't my sport.  

At least I got mozzarella sticks!

Giant pizza pan sized Kalua nachos

Kalua pork and bacon BBQ pizza.

With only one full day left to go I can't believe how quickly this week has gone.  Doesn't that always happen?  When you're at your desk the week couldn't go by any slower, but when on vacation everything just zips on by.   Here's to one more full day of rest and relaxation.