Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Eggs & Things Restaurant Location New Eggs & Things 339 Saratoga RoadEggs & Things' former location on Kalakaua Avenue in the Kalakauan has been closed for a long time (a year or so?) Many people were anticipating their re-opening at this new location at 339 Saratoga Road. Although they did open a little behind schedule, it did open. Even when the Kalakaua Avenue location had a fire it took many many months before they re-opened. Anyway, we finally made it to check out the new location.

I think this location is great. Not only is it in a pleasant area of Waikiki, but it will soon be right next to the new location of the Hard Rock Cafe. It is also 1 street over from the Waikiki Beachwalk area and just up the street from the soon to be completed Trump Tower Waikiki. If you have to mail something the post office is also across the street.

The restaurant is 2 level and open air unlike their previous single leveled air-conditioned spot. It is a little odd because you check in for a table downstairs then are escorted upstairs to the dining area. Eggs & ThingsOne of the favorites that we ordered was the Bacon & Spinach Omelet with Potatoes. It's as big as usual (3 eggs) and tastes like an omelet. The potatoes are roasted to a nice crispy exterior cruch with a tender and moist potato inside. It's seasoned with basic salt & pepper. New Eggs & Things 339 Saratoga RoadThe second item we ordered was the Blueberry Crepe. The crepe was tender, yet had nice crisp edges. It was very delicious!

This visit to Eggs & Things was actually last Saturday morning. The morning before I ended up in the hospital emergency room. My hospital predicament had nothing to do with the quality of this breakfast at Eggs & Things. Although, if you read the previous post about my newly found restricted diet, it probably did play a part. But it's because of my body's defect not the food!

I sure hope that was not the last time I can enjoy a Blueberry Crepe from Eggs & Things. But if it was, at least I can savor the memory...

I better see a dietitian about finding a way to get those blueberries back into my diet!

Restricted Diet... yummm! Restricted Clear Liquid Restricted Clear Liquid Diet Restricted Clear Liquid DietWell I finally have internet access from my laptop. It's a long story, but I ended up at emergency on Saturday night and then admitted to the hospital. I haven't been discharged yet! But I'm ok.

These first 3 photos are of some of the various meals I've had during my "Clear Liquid Restricted Diet" period of my stay here. The first day I was here, I was only allowed to eat ice chips. No photos of those. I wanted to display the variety that was available during my 3 days of clear liquid meals.

As you can see there is quite the assortment sugar and water. Juices were served to me in either "100% Pure Grape", "10%" Passion Orange or Apple Juice of the Aloha Maid brand. They were icy cold and sometimes even had slushy ice still in them! Yummy! What I couldn't understand about it was how it can be "100% Pure Grape Juice" when there were things listed in the ingredients like water, sugar, etc. I guess there are guidelines that allow packaged juices to claim they 100% juice that allow this. I am not a big fan of sugar juices, but given the circumstances this was a delight to have. My favorite was the "100% Apple Juice" which was concentrate and water.

Another fruity part of the clear liquid diet is a "gel-type dessert". That just sounds so delicious! Anyway, the ones I was provided were sugar-free and from Kozy Shack. Oddly sugar-free items are another thing I don't enjoy eating. I didn't notice these were sugar-free and they tasted good. My favorite of the 2 flavors is the strawberry. Orange is the 2nd flavor.

The main course of these clear liquid meals are the broths or soups. The various types were miso (soy bean paste), chicken and beef. I especially enjoyed the flavor of the beef broth.

The meals came with a warm beverage which was either Lipton Black Tea or a coffee. I tended to prefer the teas flavor between these 2 drinks. Restricted Clear Liquid DietThis card came with my 2nd clear liquid meal. It was very interesting to see the meals were created by the chef of 3660 on the Rise. I know a chef can't have much control of my clear liquid diet. I just thought it was unusual for them to add this card to a clear liquid diet meal. Kind of like a teaser of what I was missing out on! Restricted Clear Liquid DietThis meal was sort of a hybrid. The Doctor changed my restriction from clear liquid to "full liquid" after lunch. When the clear liquid came for dinner, I was a bit disappointed. I asked if this was the full liquid and the wonderful dietary services person said it wasn't. When I told him that I was changed to full liquid, he said he'll go get some different things. He came back with the potato chowder, whole milk and vanilla pudding. He left the chicken broth and gel-type dessert also so I had extra food. What I did to "soup-up" this dinner was add the chicken broth to the potato chowder to give me a full hearty bowl of chicken potato chowder! Mmmmm. The potato chowder was very delicious! Restricted Full Liquid DietThis is my first "Full Liquid" breakfast. It has a delicious Cream of Wheat type of cooked cereal, a different vanilla pudding and also my first box of "Boost Breeze". I added a bit of the milk to the cooked cereal because it's hard for me to drink so much whole milk straight. I usually drink non-fat or 2% milk. I also added some of the sugar to it and it tasted great! Just like Cream of Wheat at home. The Boost Breeze drink is a nutritional supplement that the Doctor added to my diet. It is a wild berry flavor that tastes nice; kind of like drinking unset Jello. It adds 250 calories and 9g of protein to my diet each serving. A little on the sweet side, but tastes nice. Restricted Full Liquid DietThis is the Full Liquid lunch. It wasn't as impressive as the Cream of Wheat type breakfast because it was still the beef stock that the clear liquid meal comes with. The bonus was the Meadow Gold Watermelon Sherbet. It was a little thawed, which is understandable, still tasted good. There was also a Kozy Shack Vanilla Pudding which had a nice creamy texture with just the right amount of sweetness and tasty vanilla flavoring.

With the addition of all these new liquid meal items, I tended to eat a lot slower. I found myself filling up with liquid.

After this lunch, I was surprised with news of my next meal upgrade! The Doctor came in and said I could try a "Low Residue Diet" for dinner. I had no idea what low residue diet meant. I was expecting my next upgrade to be "Soft Foods". I skipped a level! Not knowing what low residue diet consisted of, I asked the Doctor and she said that the hospital dietitian would visit and explain how to choose and prepare low residue foods. Wikipedia has a pretty good description of the Low Residue Diet.

When the dietitian arrived to counsel me on this special diet, I began to realize that everything she pointed out that was on the AVOID side of the list was everything I was eating prior to ending up here. Not only that, it has a lot of things that I particularly want to eat all the time on there like popcorn, nuts, pepper, sesame, whole grain breads, potato skins, olives, pickles, raw berries, crunchy peanut butter and strongly flavored cheeses! All those culprits are things I crave all the time!! There were things on the avoid list that I already found myself avoiding like coconut & brown rice (in my favorite Thai food dishes), raisins, broccoli and other raw vegetables. I used to like eating salads and vegetables, but I did notice it making me feel uncomfortable so I haven't been eating much in recent years. Restricted Low Residue Diet

My first normal-ish meal is pictured above! It's a larger picture because it's soooo special! It was also a very impressively large proportioned meal! Restricted Low Residue DietThe main hot entree was a "Ono Kalua Pork" that was served with white rice (instead of brown) and the steamed vegetables. The Kalua Pork is a popular Hawaiian preparation. Normally it's a full pig roasted in an imu or underground fire pit type of oven. Obviously they don't prepare it like that here or in most restaurants. It was salted just right for me (not so salty) while also being very soft and moist. The steamed white rice and assorted vegetables were also delicious! Not having "real food" for 5 days may have played a factor in it, but it really was delicious. The other items consisted of cream of mushroom soup, chicken jook (rice porridge), tofu (soybean curd), soda crackers & a chocolate cream puff (Chef's Special) for dessert. The cream puff was yummy! Restricted Low Residue DietHere is my "Low Residue Breakfast". This was my final meal in here because I was discharged before lunch arrived. Hmmm. I wonder what I missed out on for lunch??

Anyway, it was frenchtoast, Cream of Wheat and some beverages. I was able to select from the menu choices for this meal so I selected from the beverages a 1% milk, coffee and a hot chocolate. I went back to my favorite mocha recipie from about 20 years ago at the family drive-in, Megs. I added the Nestle Hot Cocoa mix to the cup of coffee and added some of the milk. It brought back memories. I also used to add freeze drived decaf Sanka back then to give it more of a coffee flavor. I didn't have any of that with this meal, but it still tasted good.

Finally, I get to go home!
I was in the hotel industry for 8 years which makes me want to thank all the wonderful people working on this floor at the hospital and in the emergency room. The Doctors, R.N.s, Nurse Aides, Charge Nurses & Housekeeping did a great job during my time at the hospital. I cannot imagine having to add the medical issues into my job tasks back at the hotel. This blog focused mostly on the food because I felt the subject was a better fit for my blog. I looked forward to the meals and enjoyed them everyday.

Thanks Queen's Hospital! I feel great now!

PS Thanks Randy & Josephine for helping w/ my escrows!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chopstick Holder Chopstick HolderFinally, I found a chopstick holder!! I can't believe how difficult it was to find this simple plastic chopstick holder that is covered. I can find bamboo types or any cups to hold chopsticks, but those all aren't covered so dust falls onto them and into the holder.

I've been searching for one for a couple of years now. I even asked my friend who is Japanese and lives in Japan to find me one. He had no idea what I was talking about. I told him I know we used to have one about 30 years ago so there must be such a thing. He still had no idea. So I thought maybe in recent years they may have phased out. He is a bit younger than I am. Chopstick HolderAnyway, the Marukai 99 Cents Store had this chopstick holder for about $8. I didn't see it right away and just happed to see it when we were about to leave. I was so excited and immediately grabbed it.

At last, my chopsticks are protected...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Shochan Hiroshimayaki Restaurant しょうちゃん 広島やき レストラン Shochan HiroshimayakiThis past Saturday we went out looking for a late lunch. Really late. It was about 4pm. Anyway, I did not know this restaurant, but Kelli saw it before and suggested we try it so we did.

It is a restaurant on University Avenue in the Puck's Alley complex. The front looks like this photo. When reading the sign, we (English thinking people) focus in on the "Japanese Healthy Foods" statement on the blue banner. To be quite honest, we had no idea what kind of food to expect until I walked into the restaurant. I didn't notice the colorful sign to the right of this photo with the Japanese writing that says "okonomiyaki" and photo of okonomiyaki or that black apron that says the same. I suppose if you are someone who thinks in Japanese, those would have been obvious. Shochan OkonomiyakiAnother funny thing is Kelli read the sign. This photo was taken from inside the restaurant so it's backwards. When we were walking into the restaurant, she read outloud to me/us, "Japanese Healthy Foods Hiroshi Mayaki". As you can see in this photo, the slit in the banner just happens to be between ...SHI & MA... Therefore her vocalization of it sounded like Hiroshi Mayaki. Upon hearing that, I assumed (and so did she) that Hiroshi Mayaki was the chef's name. Perhaps this "Hiroshi Mayaki" fellow was a popular healthy foods chef from Japan?? Not until we entered the restaurant and were seated at a table did I realize that we were actually in a Hiroshima style okonomiyaki restaurant!! How hilarious! Long story shortened a little... ok I know this was long already, but anyway, I think the signage could be improved to attract a wider variety of customers. Luckily we were feeling adventurous and just decided to jump in not knowing what to expect.

What risk takers we are... Shochan OkonomiyakiI thought it was very interesting that they had these instructional guides on how to eat okonomiyaki. If you don't know what okonomiyaki is, click for google results. The menu also explains what okonomiyaki is so anyone visiting this restaurant not knowing what they are about to eat has a very thorough explanation. It especially explains the difference between okonomiyaki in various areas of Japan and Hiroshima's style of okonomiyaki. My family is from Hiroshima so I am familiar with the Hiroshima style of okonomiyaki as well as the other Kansai area styles that are like pancakes. The main difference with the Hiroshima style or Hiroshimayaki is that it contains yakisoba (fried noodles) as the base rather than the pancake batter style. Shochan OkonomiyakiKelli ordered the regular yakisoba (fried noodles). The basic has pork, bean sprouts, cabbage, seaweed flakes and this restaurant uses Mitsuwa Sauce to season their noodles. It was very nice tasting. Not too oily or mushy (overcooked) like yakisoba at many other restaurants. This is the lunch portion which is lower priced than the dinner menu. Shochan OkonomiyakiI had the Hiroshimayaki. It's the same yakisoba with a crepe style egg over it and the okonomiyaki sauce (Mitsuwa Sauce in this restaurant). It also has a couple slices of bacon. It comes served on a sizzling hot platter. Normally in Japan you eat this off a sizzling hot grill after watching the chef prepare it (similar to teppanyaki restaurants), but they couldn't re-create that here. Shochan OkonomiyakiI just had to take this picture because I thought it was so neat that the mayonnaise bottle dispensed the mayonnaise out of multiple holes.

This was a very pleasing lunch. I'm happy we discovered a good casual Hiroshima style okonomiyaki restaurant in Honolulu. There is another okonomiyaki restaurant in Waikiki, but it's a major rip-off.

Our lunch for 2 cost about $20. Dinner menu prices are slightly higher and begin at 5 or 530pm (I can't remember). It's a good thing we were willing to take a chance and try this restaurant. I recommend trying it if you like okonomiyaki or yakisoba. They also have fried rice or yakimeshi, but we didn't get to try that yet.

How do you interpret the sign? Are you a Japanese thinker or English thinker?

*Edit* Shochan OkonomiyakiThis is what the stamp card looks like. It's pretty funny with the pig face stamps! :8)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stimulating the Economy... new furnitureA few weeks ago, we decided to help do our share in "stimulating the economy". Everyone knows how badly the auto industry is affected by this situation. So what did we decide to do?? No, we didn't go out and buy a new car. I would think that is a foolish thing to do. We did decide to help support the home furnishing industry.

We took advantage of "Red Tag Clearance Sale" that was going on at the Honolulu Design Center next to the Moana Pacific condominiums. Actually, a couple weeks before that we tried to find stuff at their warehouse sale in Kapolei. That was an experience we'd probably never try again. It was hectic and not really organized. They probably plan it out that way so that people can't really get more than one "deal" during the sale. To make a long story short, we didn't find anything we wanted there.

This dark brown wooden cabinet that I am using for a t.v. stand with extra storage (much needed in a condo) is actually a buffet. It was a clearance item and when I saw it, I immediately pictured it working out for our living room entertainment center. It has three doors that enclose several cubic feet of storage and an open area above it with a built in light which I am using for the components of the entertainment center (dvd player, Nintendo Wii, etc.). What I haven't done yet is make some holes in the back of that area to run the wiring and cables out the back. That's why they are all hanging forward in this photo. The UPS Battery Back Up and my HP Printer will also call the cabinet space home soon. Another modification that I have already done to this buffet is remove the legs. This allows it to sit flush on the floor and also lowers it by about 6 inches creating a perfect height for the t.v.

Another reason why we chose this buffet is that it matches the color of our recently purchased coffee table and side table. Believe it or not, we found the coffee table and side table at Marukai 99 Cent Store. Unfortunately, it wasn't 99 cents, but the pair was just a little over a hundred bucks on sale. We couldn't find anything we really liked at the Honolulu Design Center and we were so excited when we saw these at Marukai. You can't see the side table in this photo, but it's under the lamp to the left, which we purchased from Target in the mix-and-match section of lamps.

Don't pay attention to the curtain (temporary), the white filing cabinet and black refrigerator. Those are only there until we figure out where to arrange them.

The white leather sofa and chaise lounge sectional was actually our first furniture purchase a couple months ago. This is what led to the other purchases. new dressersThese are the new bedroom furnitures that we just bought. It's a high chest and a wide dresser. The old furnitures we had were too low and narrow so we didn't have enough drawers for all of Kelli's... um our clothes and stuff. With these 2 pieces, we actually still have extra drawers with nothing in them... yet.

What have you done to help support the struggling industries?
日本語by Google Translate.
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