Friday, November 06, 2009

odds and ends

Well, it's been 4 weeks...Grandma's doing fine, we've been taking her to do her grocery shopping and to some of her "normal" appointments.

On other days, I've been shuttling my parents here and there. It's not that they don't drive, but they "don't like" to drive unless they have to, and feel that since I do not drive in Japan, that I may "feel the need" to get driving out of my system...please add chauffeur to my resume (ahem!).

For most of days here, the weather has been miserably humid (Isn't it November??). Add to that the vog (volcanic smog?!)...ugh!

Anyway, I wanted to round-up some of the eats, let's get the "not so great eats" out of the way...

Just Tacos' Quesadilla...some pulled beef (which they call birria), melted cheese between two flour tortillas...thank goodness I took some salsa, there was no other flavor to the meal...UPDATE: as of 3/2012, this place has closed

Starbucks pumpkin spice latte...I like the version in Japan, which I think is non-sweetened then topped with whipped cream and pumpkin spices. This one was sickly sweet then topped off with whipped cream and the pumpkin spices, reminded me of their sickly sweet Chai Tea Latte...blah!

Sam's Club pizza...nice toppings but spongy crusts.

Quickly moving onto the "good eats"...

Baked manapua (char siu bao) from Chun Wah Kam US$1.85 + tax....I used to like the steamed version but have been converted with this one because the outside is soft and a little sweet like brioche and IMO (in my opinion), there is WAY more filling. (sorry no photo)

A teeny teri-beef sandwich from Bob's Bar-B-Que US$2.70 + tax...kinda disappointed with the size of this sandwich, and toughness of the sliced beef, but the flavor was ono! (delicious!) (sorry no photo)...gotta go back to try their steak fries, next year...

A HUGE portobello mushroom sandwich eaten with good friends during lunch at Assagio's. If you've ever eaten here, you'll know that before your meal they serve a loaf of their warm crusty bread. Well, they use the same sized loaf for this sandwich!

It was packed with portobello mushrooms, red bell pepper, onions, spinach sauteed in garlic and olive oil, PLUS it came with a small house salad! US$10.90+tax. (sorry no photo)

A couple of Nanding's spanish rolls, which I've written about here...they have a new location in Waipahu....buttery, soft, a little sweet, mmm! (no photo, sorry!)

Addicting seasoned pretzels that my mom made for her church's craft fair...the recipe is similar to this one. I'm supposed to bring this bag home "to share" with Satoshi over beer (I better pack it into my suitcase and not into my carry-on in order to share...ahem!)

Despite the hot and humid weather, there was a guava jam session and cookie baking session for my mom's church craft fair which included these thumbprint cookies...only in Hawaii could the jam/jelly filling be guava!

NOH seasoned mixes, they had a portuguese sausage mix listed on their website and I FINALLY found it at a store (Marukai)! I can't wait to try this when I get back to Japan.

Vosges' dark version of their bacon bar...since I loved their milk chocolate version, I can't wait to try this one. UPDATE: this is good, the 62% dark chocolate makes the bar not as sweet as the milk chocolate version. I love the chewy bacon bits and hits of smoked salt here and there.

Dark chocolate covered creme de menthe Altoids...sounded interesting, hope they are good.

LU 70% Petit Ecolier cookies...while reading the "Trail of Crumbs", this brand of cookie was mentioned in the book. The other day while at the market, I happened upon them (not the exact same cookie in the story, but)...mmm, just the same!

My first trip to Yogurtland...they opened a shop nearby and my friend, Wen and I had a blast! putting different flavors and toppings...I tried a smudge of the Nutter Butter/Dutch Chocolate mix and a smudge of the Double Cookies & Cream/Coffee mix, PLUS crushed Reese's PB cups & sliced almonds as toppings.

The thing I like about this shop is that you can put as much or as little of yogurt and/or toppings as you like, you just have to pay by the US$.39 per ounce, my damage...only US$1.78 (with tax). I wish they had smaller sized cups. They recently teamed up with Tokidoki (an Italian brand with a Japanese name) and have these cute cups and spoons. I also looked on their site and found out they have 2 shops in Okinawa. (actually by the time I posted this, I've actually gone a total of two times!! The second time around the damage was a little higher, but so deliciously worth it!)

While in the Menehune Mac Boutique at Ala Moana, I bought a locally made shirt by idkwhat2wear (I'm so tech-unsavvy, I had to look up what "idk" stood for (it means..."I don't know")...they need to add the word "dark" to this, but this shirt pretty much sums up everything about me (don't you think??)

This tiny bird, which I think is a type of finch, has such a nice chirp. The photo is kinda blurry because I had to take it from a distance and quickly...these guys are fast!!

Bubble Shack soaps, which I found at our new Target store, I've bought some in the past from Down to Earth, and loved their fragrances! The chocolate malasada soap smells good enough to eat!

An extra-dark chocolate Lindt Lindor truffle..saving this for the plane ride home...along with...

these (candies) and this (bag of chips)...

So, it's back to Japan, hopefully in time to catch some fall foliage, and maybe some chestnuts...

I'm glad I was able to help out with my family and thankful that Satoshi was kind enough to let me come home on such short notice.

Even though I didn't get a chance to play too much while I was here, I still made the most out of my visit, my suitcase is stuffed and I can't wait until my visit next year!

Talk to you again from the other side of the world!

Nanding's Bakery
94-216 Farrington Highway
Waipahu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.678.0828

Bob's Bar-B-Que
1366 Dillingham Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.842.3663

Yogurtland (UPDATE: as of 3/2012 this location is now closed)
94-1254 Kaahumanu Street
Aiea, Hawaii
Phone: 808.488.5004


Deb in Hawaii said...

Have a safe trip back! It looks like you do have a suitcase full of fun treats and things to try. ;-) I am curious to see how the sausage mix works out.

Unknown said...

Wow Kat... Looks like you've been able to eat more things in your few weeks here than I've been able to try all year! =P

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your time back on the island. I look forward to reading more about your food experiences in Japan.

PS- I see you stopped at Bob's, but didn't go to Megs?!? (my family's drive-in) hahaha.

K and S said...

Will keep you posted Debinhawaii :)

Meg's is your family's drive-in?? That is cool, Rick! I have it down for the next trip home :)

Take care you two.

jalna said...

Bon voyage, Kat!

Rowena said...

Loved reading all your odds and ends....because at the end where you wrote I can't wait until my visit next year! I wondered when would that be? You see, if I'm going to Thailand next year, my dad agreed to fly me to Hawaii first! Yippe!!! I should make my shopping list now...

Perogyo said...

I never knew what to call our gross volcano air before- vog! Thank you!

Anonymous said...


Glad to see your Grandma is doing well and I enjoyed the extra Hawaii posts.

Travel safely.

Alan from Makiki

Lori said...

Two of my favorites - baked manapua and Nanding's spanish rolls! Glad you got some good food while back home! :)

K and S said...

Thanks Jalna :)

whoo hoo Rowena, I'm thinking summertime for me :)

you're welcome medea :)

Thanks Alan and Lori :)

Take care everyone!

KirkK said...

Hey Kat - Those 4 weeks went pretty quickly!

K and S said...

Indeed Kirk!

Take care.

Kathy YL Chan said...

oh man, I LOVE Nanding's Bakery! Used to bring back boxes and boxes of their buttery Spanish rolls for friends. We'd heat them up in toaster oven...mmm ^-^

And those seasoned pretzels? My roommate here in NYC (also from Hawai'i) has her mom mail over bags from Hawai'i, extra garlic!...most delicious "care packages"! :D

K and S said...

I should bring some rolls back with me the next time, Kathy! Ah, those pretzels, you are so lucky!

Take care.