Tag: wissahickon creek

5 Must-Eat Cuisines in Hawaii

Must eats final

They don’t call it paradise for nothing. Hawaii is well-known for it’s incredible year-round weather, scenic beaches, nice people and aloha spirit. But when it comes to food, Hawaii has some of the most diverse and delicious cuisines from all over the world. Because Hawaii’s population is made up of settlers from the east- China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines and from the west, a rich local food tradition was born. Without further ado, here’s my list of the 5 must-eat cuisines in Hawaii:

1.

CHINESE (1)Perhaps no cuisine ups the ante more than Chinese food in Honolulu. Forget about your greasy neighborhood Egg Fu Young joint. Honolulu serves up some of the tastiest Chinese dishes, from chow fun, lobster prepared your way (I prefer black bean sauce), minute chicken with cake noodle (only found in Hawaii) and dim sum that rivals Hong Kong. Leave your preconceived notions of what Chinese food is at the door, because Hawaii’s Chinese food will definitely impress you.

2.

JAPANESEIf you thought Japanese food is synonymous with sushi, you’re only half right. There are so many other amazing dishes and concepts that comprise Japanese cuisine. Pictured above is a Japanese-style hot pot- a mouth-watering amalgamation of tender meats and fresh veggies slowly simmering in a spicy broth. Pair it with some beer, and now you know why this popular and fun way to eat makes for lines out the doors. Hawaii also has udon (thick hot or cold noodle) restaurants, places for yakitori (grilled meat skewers), sukiyaki (another version of hot pot cooking) and butter yaki (similar to cooking in a hot pot, but everything is cooked in butter instead). Of course the sushi quality in Hawaii rivals that of Japan, so don’t forget to indulge in raw fish while in Hawaii.

3.

HAWAIIAN

You would think this would go without saying, but you must try Hawaiian food in Hawaii! So many people come here and don’t even know what Hawaiian food is. They are missing out. Here’s a list of some popular Hawaiian dishes: Chicken long rice, haupia (congealed coconut custard), lau-lau (pork wrapped in taro leaves and steamed), kalua pork (cooked underground), lomi lomi salmon (cubed raw salmon salad), pipikaula (dried, seasoned beef like beef jerky only tastier) and poi (pounded taro root pudding). You might find some variations of the aforementioned items at different fast-food or even sit-down restaurants, but nothing beats an old Hawaiian grandmother serving you her recipes in a traditional Hawaiian restaurant. Try Ono Hawaiian Foods on Kapahulu Avenue in Honolulu. 

4.

-POPThink you know a thing or two about good BBQ? Unless you’re talking about Korean BBQ, you don’t. Korean food is my favorite cuisine and here’s why: there are innumerable flavor combinations possible from one simple sit down meal. A typical Korean dinner entails several different types of meat you grill on the table yourself (social and fun) and never-ending bon chon, or side dishes. Picture kimchee (fermented cabbage), salad, daikon radish kimchee, boiled potatoes, gochujang (fermented spicy/delicious bean paste), sprouts, noodles, rice, fish cake, cabbage…the list is literally never-ending. Pictured above is a Korean BBQ plate lunch consisting of barbecue chicken, beef and kalbi (the king of meats, also the tastiest), a variety of veggies, white rice and mac salad. Believe me, you have to have Korean food in Hawaii. They know what they’re doing.

5.

Local

Local style is a term for anything locals like to do. That’s no exception to food. Local style food can be pretty much anything the locals like to eat, from ahi salad with mango salsa (pictured above), to spam musubi (spam on top of rice wrapped in nori), hot dogs, saimin (noodle soup) fried chicken, li hing mui (Chinese salted dry plum) candy, mochi, and shave ice. When in Rome!

10 Things I learned in Philly

I moved to Philadelphia post-college in October 2010. I’m moving back to Chicago (my home town) tomorrow. 15 months have gone by, and my, how I’ve grown! This is the obligatory moving on post. Here is a list of things I’ve accomplished/learned in my time on the East Coast.

1. I learned how to parallel park: Once the cause of contention and frustration, parallel parking has become so easy for me, I can practically do it with my eyes closed. In from the left or right, I continue to surprise myself at how, in one fell swoop, I’m able to inch my way into a narrow space.

2. I love roast pork sandwiches: Philly is a great foodie city. I never before knew the wonders of roasted pork, au jus, sharp provolone and brocoli rabe. I will dream about this sandwich for years to come.

3. The woods can be a dangerous, but magical place: I’ve spent a lot of times hiking the beautiful woods in and around Philly. Wissahickon Creek, Brandywine Hikes, Valley Forge State Park, Jim Thorpe, anywhere in the Pocono Mountains…all old, living, breathing spots. I’ve enjoyed swimming holes, creeks, rivers, gazed at (and swam in) some beautiful waterfalls, and had a head-to-head battle with mother nature lost in the Appalachians one fateful day. I’ve also learned to pack a compass and a map. 

On a hike with my friend Marley at Wissahickon Creek

4. Making friends with the neighbors: If you ever decide to live in city, which everyone should at some point, make it a point to be friendly with the neighbors. They’re the first people you want to ask about garbage day and the last person you want to piss off when shit goes down.

5. I became a pro at using chop sticks: Pho, how didn’t I know of your existence before I ventured to Washington Ave. in south Philly for some hangover Vietnamese? Your lovely beef and tripe soup smothered with chili flakes and Sriracha has somehow been what I’ve always needed.

The only photo to date of me enjoying Pho

6. I became a master of public transportation: Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away, I was afraid to take public transportation. “What if I get off at the wrong stop?” I constantly argued with myself. But then, I took the leap and never looked back. El? Taxi? Bus? You name it, I’ll take it. 

7. I learned the value of talking to strangers: I’ve had more of my fair share of solo exploring days. They were all made better by a chat with a random stranger. It’s this way I’ve learned the value of Death Metal music, been on some incredible hikes and met some wicked-cool talented people.

8. Once you go microbrewed beer, you’ll never go back: Is it possible that I’m a beer snob? Yes. In all likelihood, it’s a fact. Within two miles of me are 3 microbreweries, all of their pours on tap at the onslaught of gastropubs in Philly. Slyfox, Kenzinger, Yards, yum. Please, sir, may I have some more?

9. Collect something, anything: Although I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m wanting to shed possessions, it’s always good to have a growing collection of something. As the adage goes, “Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t have anything on their walls.” That being said, I have a decent vinyl record collection now, something I didn’t have before. Just a few of my favorite artists. That’s all.

10. The value of putting myself out there: My time in Philly taught me to take a chance. I put myself out there. I wrote for the community newspaper. I acted like I belonged. I talked with bartenders, restaurant owners, priests, the homeless, morning commuters, freaks, actors…and I’m a better person for it. I’ve become more comfortable with my travel mindset and learned that in order to get anywhere, you have to move.