Monday, June 14, 2010

Kona Brewing Company (Koko Marina Pub)

We made a quick stop for lunch at the Kona Brewing Co. in Honolulu to enjoy fresh beer and food. It was a great choice and something I'd recommend to anyone. I went hog wild and ordered a doubled beer sampler to make sure I didn't miss any of the styles on tap. Kona makes very good beer with my favorite selection the Wailua Wheat Ale. It was light and refreshing for summer (though there is less change in season in Hawaii...) The company's own description is as follows: "Wailua Wheat Ale is an excellent beer to enjoy after a day on the water or at the beach (or even after mowing the lawn or playing softball in your "pau hana" summer league!)." Erica also enjoyed it, further demonstrating its mass appeal.

As for my food choice. I went with a thai chicken pizza. It was pretty good, but I always compare that pizza to a very good one made my CPK. The size is very generous and I really like the peanut sauce used instead of tomato sauce. It had a little kick, a big kick if you asked Erica. With my 8 beer samples and an order of cheesy bread for starters, I didn't come close to finishing my pizza. Luckily we have refrigerators and pizza tastes just as good on day 2.

I really enjoyed our meal at Kona and it reminded me why I love good brew pubs. Having a good dining experience requires good beverages too. Kona makes great beer that I am now going to try and find in Chicago.

Kona Brewing Company (Hawaii Kai) on Urbanspoon

Homemade Pizza in Honolulu and Hula Pie

Just a few pictures from the Hawaii trip of some very good pizza made at Chez Andrew and Stacy on the night of our arrival. On the other end, our last "dish" as a group was a Hula Pie from Duke's on Kaua'i. The dessert is something to write home about, and order again and again. We shared it 4 ways - we could have ordered 4 and finished them all.

Yes, that was amazing. Macadamia nuts everywhere, in the ice cream, oreo crust, fudge and whipped cream.

Birthday Dinner at Hula Grill Waikiki

My first birthday off the mainland went very well, and a good meal at Hula Grill went a long way to making that happen. For starters, we were treated to an unexpected fireworks show while enjoying a cocktail waiting for our table. Always fun to get a fireworks show for your day :) 

Ribfest Chicago - Ranking the 4 ribs

CORRECTION: I previous mislisted my #4 restaurant as Smoque, when I meant The Smoke Daddy. It has been revised. 

I've definitely been a little bit behind the ball on posting, even though I just got home a few days ago and need to prepare for MY TRIP TO THE WORLD CUP! My sister was also in town for her Around the World in 80 Sips event at the MCA (hope you were there). Needless to say I've fallen behind, but there's nothing to get back on track than a day of good food and an authentic Chicago street fest. I was blissfully unaware that Ribfest was happening, surprising because I'm a rib and BBQ lover. The event is one that I would love to go back to and was very impressed with the organization and quality of the vendors. It's a little pricey, but a good crowd that is more respectable than some other more drink heavy festivals.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer Drinks and Wed. Prix Fixe at Ceres' Table

One of my new favorites in Chicago is Ceres' Table in Uptown. If you haven't gone, check it out (my last meal there). They have new drinks for the summer, as well as a special $35 menu on Wednesdays. Read on for details:

Friday, June 11, 2010

A few meals from India

My short trip to India yielded a few good meals. In fact, I'm a big fan of Indian cuisine. It's affordable with large portions. You choose between naan and rice to go with any dish you order. I don't recommend eating Indian for one, it's not as fun as a group, and you can't try many things :)

Food we Ate in Kathmandu

Even though we would have eaten anything when we came off the mountain, we made some nice decisions and went to two highly respected restaurants: Everest Steak House and Fire and Ice (pizza and ice cream). Of course, Dave was craving KFC so that was our first stop :)

At Everest I ordered a steak with some spice, and added hot sauce, which led to an interesting dinning experience. The steak was only ok, but when all you've had is yak and fried rice for a month, it tasted like gold.

The following night we went to Fire and Ice for the best pizza in town. The reviews were correct, the pizza was very good with well cooked crust and fresh cheese. My favorite of the pies we ordered had the spicy meat ( can't remember what kind of meat...)

My favorite mystery meat pizza

The Nepali version of Hawaiian pizza (ham, pineapple and green peppers)

Food Served on the Trail in Nepal

I know it's been a while, but here are some food photos from my trip to Nepal. I didn't take too many because for the most part, I choose the same food each and every day: fried rice, fried noodles, soup, fried potatoes and the occasional yak :) Just for kicks, the 5 things I ate on my trip that I normally don't do are as follows: Regular Coke (from the bottle), anything Chocolate, lots of Hot Chocolate and other warm drinks with milk (I usually stay away from milk all together, lots of ice cream and finally, Ketchup is served with everything as the only condiment (yes, that includes rice and noodles and everything in between). Here are the pictures:

 Yak curry and rice
Dave really enjoyed his chicken sizzler with chips (fries)

My most memorable meal, Yak Chili Chips. The spices smoked out the entire tea house.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gemini Bistro - 4/28/10

Since I had a lot on my mind before leaving for my month-long adventure in Nepal, I never got around to posting my farewell dinner at Gemini Bistro on the 28th of April. Erica and I wanted to try this neighborhood spot for a long time and their 3-course menu with wine looked appealing. We had a nice dining experience with good food, fast service and a fun atmosphere. I can see how this is a popular spot to have a meal with friends or a place for date night. The d├ęcor is inviting and tasteful, yet sophisticated. The space is small enough to feel cozy, but there is plenty of room between tables. The service was first class and knowledgeable. Our first two courses arrived so fast that I thought they were trying to get rid of us, but the pace slowed down and we never felt rushed. We were disappointed that the food did not live up to the rest of the dining experience. Some dishes were nice, but more of them were bland and not overly flavorful. There is plenty of potential and reasons to return and recommend Gemini. I’ve heard brunch is very good, and if I lived down the street I’d probably go back much sooner. The talent is there; maybe they just need a little tune up.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Photos from Nepal and India

Check out my other blog to view pictures from my recent trip to Nepal and India. I have photos from some meals that I will post shortly, but I am a bit behind.


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