Entries Tagged as 'cheeseburger'

Hawaii Day 2: Kauai’s North Shore

June 10th, 2014 · No Comments

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On our second day in Hawaii, Dallas and his dad started to get to work on the deck they were going to rebuild on the house. We were staying in the house that his dad built and that Dallas grew up in. So, the deck was really old and needed repair.

After starting to tear off some boards, they needed to get going. Dallas and his parents were going golfing with Larry, so that left Makai and I do do what we wanted. The golfing was at The Prince in Princeville and I hadn’t been up to the North Shore for years, so I decided to go up with Makai too and then meet up after golf.

Makai was still a bit off from the travel and time change and he actually slept for the entire hour car ride. I was so so so thirsty and didn’t want to wake him so I went through the McDonald’s drive thru in Lihue just to get a soda. And I couldn’t resist a haupia pie! Note the other local favorites on the menu: Local breakfast sections with Portuguese sausage and spam, McTeri burger, Saimin.

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My first stop on the North Shore was in Anahola at Ono-Char Burger. I was hungry for lunch and had been wanting to try this place out, since it was one of our recommended North Shore restaurants when we got married, even though I’d never even been there!

Since it was my first visit to Ono-Char, I kept it simple and got a cheeseburger, a half order of fries and a soda. It sounds stupid, since it’s in the name, but the char was great. I thought it was interesting that the cheese was shredded cheese, but whatever, it tastes the same. It was great! I want to go back now and try some of the other kinds of burgers!

Ono-Char has outdoor seating next to the building and Makai and I found a shady picnic table to sit and eat. Me, the burger, and him, a bottle. While I finished eating, he sat back and watched some chickens and roosters run around. I also was talking with a local haole lady who was married to a local Chinese guy and was going on about how cute Makai is and how cute hapa babies are in general! She also thought Ono-Char Burger was the best burger on the island and since she’s so right about hapa babies, then I’ll have to agree with her about the burger too :).

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After lunch I wanted something sweet so I drove to Princeville to visit Lappert’s and get my favorite ice cream ever. We don’t really give Makai sweets at all, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for his first ice cream to be Lappert’s, so I gave him just a tiny taste. I think there was more on his face than in his mouth! I love the Kauai Pie ice cream, but I didn’t want to give Makai coffee ice cream, so I got the Heavenly Hana, which is dark chocolate ice cream with a marshmallow swirl and chocolate covered roasted almonds and white chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Yumyumyum. As we were enjoying our sweet treat, a little local girl was sitting with her mom nearby. She came over to say hi, looked at Makai and said “Your baby has a big head!” to me! No kidding, really, kid? :)

We walked around Princeville Shopping Center a bit and people kept saying Makai was so cute and commenting on his big cheeks! I couldn’t believe how much attention he was getting. Everyone was so friendly and open (and it was just the beginning, which I didn’t know at the time. Later on, people were literally stopping their car to tell us our baby is cute!).

We tried to stop by Ching Young Shopping Center, just to walk around and take a look, but it was so so so busy that we couldn’t even park anywhere. I remembered when I went with Cousin and Rob and Sarah, but it definitely was not that busy.

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So, finally, we went to Hanalei Bay where Makai got his first real, close up glimpse of the ocean. Well, he probably saw it from the house in Waimea, but it’s a bit distant. I couldn’t deal with the stroller and his stuff and the sand and water just then, so we just picked a grassy spot in the shade in the park and relaxed for a while. Then a funny thing happened. Some Japanese tourists walked right up to our blanket and were speaking to each other in Japanese and pointing to Makai. One of them knew English and asked me basic questions like how old he is and what is his name. And then they all spoke to each other some more. I have no idea what was going on. It was probably about six people crowded around our blanket. Mostly women. I think maybe a couple men. And then some of them started taking photos of Makai! One wanted to hug him, but I kept him close! It was time to go anyway. Dallas and everyone were done playing golf.

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We drove over to The Prince golf course and I didn’t know where exactly everyone was so I got out with Makai and went to the club house area. Just inside this was the amazing view (above). Wow! Makai and I sat outside and the host (? I don’t know what they’re called at a golf club) came over and played with and talked to Makai. Nice local guy. The breeze was awesome and it was such a nice day. I didn’t care if Dallas and everyone turned up any time soon!

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… but eventually they did. And they were hungry, so we went to the golf club’s restaurant, which was The Tavern by Roy Yamaguchi, who is a super famous and well respected Japanese chef in Hawaii. (You might know him from his famous chain of restaurants called Roy’s.) Anyway, it was happy hour so we had some pupus that were on special and a few drinks. Dallas’s parents had some errands to run in Lihue, so we took Larry home, since it was on our way anyway. When we got to his house Larry’s wife Eleanor rushed out to meet Makai!

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Roscoe Village Burger Fest

July 23rd, 2012 · No Comments

On Sunday I went over to Jen and Chad’s for Roscoe Village’s Burger Fest. This is the third year in a row (2011, 2010) I’ve gone to Burger Fest with them and it is always a good time. Jen and Chad always have an open house kind of party where people come and go from their house to the fest. So, half the time we’re relaxing in their backyard and half the time we’re at the festival. It’s a good balance.

Jess met up with us and we split a burger and a slider at the festival. We had the Cowboy Burger from John’s Place (1/4 pound angus beef burger, pub cheese, bacon-onion jam, bbq chipotle drizzle). The toppings on this burger are delicious. I love the combo of the creamy pub cheese with the rich bacon and onion jam, but if you want to taste the burger, this isn’t the burger for you. The Cowboy Burger was the 2010 fest winner and I also had it last year too. I remembered it being so good, I had to try it again. We also split a small slider from Rockit. It was made with mushrooms and a truffle aioli. I thought it was pretty good. You could really taste the burger.

I also sampled a few burgers that Kristin and Jen had earlier in the day. None of us were big fans of the bloody mary burger from Jury’s. We really liked the carmelized onions on the burger from Select Cut Steakhouse and we really, really liked the truffle burger from Butcher and the Burger.

I’ll have to post an update when the winner is announced.

Update: It was Rockit’s first year at Burger Fest and they won. Second place was Stanley’s Kitchen & Tap and in third was another newcomer, The Butcher & The Burger.

It was Rockit’s first year at Burger Fest and they won! Second place was Stanley’s and third was another newcomer, The Butcher & the Burger.

Back at the house, I enjoyed some refreshing Stiegl Radler beer. It is beer with grapefruit soda and it is delicious! Chad and Jared started up with beer pong and Jared won against Chad and then against Kristin. I didn’t really want to play because I stink pretty bad at it, but I ended up beating Jared and then Chad and then Kristin. Jess came up next but forfeited to go back to the fest! This means I’m still the undisputed champion of the day! First time for everything!

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Shake Shack

June 13th, 2012 · No Comments

While in New York I met up with Tien for my first Shake Shack experience. I think Shake Shack opened just after I moved from New York to Chicago and I haven’t been able to try it on any of my visits back, so I was happy to finally get the chance to see what all the talk is about. We met up at the Battery Park location. I asked Tien what the “standard” order was, I wanted to try just the basic, and not base my judgement off something crazy. I ended up with the ShackBurger (single patty with American cheese, lettuce, tomato and Shack Sauce) and a frozen custard chocolate shake.

I liked Shake Shack. I liked it better than Five Guys, which I just tried a few weeks ago. It could be something to do with the way I ordered, though. I didn’t realize that a double was the standard order at Five Guys. If I was to go there again, I’d make sure to get just a single. Also, I had WAYYY too many toppings. It was so hard to eat and way too much. I did really like the fries at Five Guys, though. Tien and I shared fries at Shake Shack. They were good, but they don’t really stand out in my mind the way that the Five Guys fries do.

And then there’s In-N-Out. The holy grail. It’s hard for me to say if I liked my burger at Shake Shack more. I definitely remember a certain char that I liked on the Shake Shack burger, but I think I’d have to give this one to In-N-Out. Maybe its a nostalgia thing, me reminiscing about my days living in California, but I think I like In-N-Out better. I think the toppings are more fresh. I think In-N-Out uses iceberg? Maybe that’s it?

I must note that my burger at Shake Shack was totally under cooked. So much that I brought it back. I thought it was going to be a long wait, because there was a line out the door and they use a buzzer system, but they plucked a new burger out of the kitchen for me in about 30 seconds. I won’t hold this against them, though. It’s almost to their benefit and shows how great of service they have. The employees in the dining room were very helpful and friendly too. And speaking of the dining room, or the general ambiance of the place, I’d say that Shake Shack does win this. The space was beautiful and modern with lots of glass, metal and dark wood. It did not feel like you were in a fast food chain, which is totally the feeling of In-N-Out and Five Guys.

Anyway, I do not eat burgers that often at all, so this was a great treat for me. Also, Battery Park City? What’s up? Everything down there is brand new and there seem to be a ton of young families living there. Tien went to high school very nearby where we were eating and on the walk to the subway he pointed out all the new things. Aside from a building or two, everything is new. He said that back when he was in school it wasn’t anything…. empty lots. Crazy to think about.

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