Hawaii Mom Blog




May 29, 2024

Visit Dallas: Ellen's

My favorite meal in Dallas was at Ellen's. This very popular brunch spot was packed on a Saturday, but it didn't take long before we got buzzed for a table.

Mushroom Garlic Scramble

I had the Mushroom Garlic Scramble, which included lots of garlicky mushrooms, bacon, eggs, goat cheese, avocado, and a buttermilk biscuit.  It was a plateful of many of my fave all-day foods, and I nearly ate the entire dish!

Joe's Gritty Balls
Joe's Gritty Balls consisted of grits, bacon, and jalapeno.  These were delish, with a spicy kick!  

Pancake Pot Pie

The Pancake Pot Pie was enormous - it included layers of pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, gravy, and cheese.

Sliced Brisket Sandwich


Buttermilk Pancakes with Bacon

The food and service were both fantastic.  Highly recommend Ellen's if you love brunch as much as I do!

*Note: as of this post they are currently closed, negotiating the lease with their landlord, so hopefully things work out and they can re-open soon!

1790 N Record St
Dallas, TX 75202

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May 28, 2024

Visit Maui: Olivine

The Grand Wailea recently went through a revamp, and the former Bistro Molokini is now Olivine - a lovely Italian-inspired restaurant, which a bunch of us were fortunate to have visited as Media.

Crispy Squash Blossoms
The Crispy Squash Blossoms were my fave dish.  Stuffed with burrata, and served with a mac nut pesto, local Grand Wailea hot honey, and honeycomb - the squash blossoms were perfectly fried, and the burrata so creamy.  It was such a fabulous combinations of textures and flavors.  
Warm Marinated Olives
The Warm Marinated Olives - such a simple dish, but so flavorful - were my next fave.  Marinated in Maui Olive Oil, local citrus, garlic, and star anise - these olives were addicting!

Classic Hummus

Grilled Italian Salad

Blue Ocean Oysters

Wagyu Beef & Malama Pork Meatballs

Grilled Shrimp Pasta

I was already full off of the food we were served, but last to the table were the meatballs and pasta.

The meatballs were huge and seasoned well, but I just couldn't stop eating the pasta, even though I didn't think I could eat any more!

The handmade strozzapreti made by Maui business Sale Pepe, really held the pesto nicely.  

I love the new concept and vibe at this Grand Wailea restaurant.

Olivine is a great option for Italian food in Wailea!

Grand Wailea
3850 Wailea Alanui Dr
Kihei, HI 96753
(808) 875-1234

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May 27, 2024

Kotetsu Chaya

Kotetsu Chaya offers comforting Japanese cuisine in the heart of Honolulu, with parking and lots of menu items to choose from!

If you want to dine in, they have table service, although entrees are served in take-out boxes. It's not very environmentally friendly, but since I usually take half of my entree to-go, it's perfect.

I've come here a few times - twice for dine in, and once for take-out. Every time, I've ordered the gyoza - their gyoza is very good!

Check out some of the things we've tried:

Taco Rice




Nori Bento

Karaage Chicken

 Everything here is delicious! They really know how to fry foods here - it's always crispy and not super oily.  I really like their gyoza and will order it with every meal. My friend who loves fried chicken said this fried chicken is really good, and even inquired with the cashier on the catering menu, because he plans to order a platter of karate chicken for their next office party. If you don't mind the food being served with disposable containers, you need to try Kotetsu Chaya!

Take out is available, and I recommend calling in your order one hour in advance of your desired pick up time. 


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Visit Oklahoma: Pops!

Pops! is a must-stop on Route 66 while in Arcadia, Oklahoma.  This gas station x restaurant x convenience store x soda ranch is such a fun place to visit, even if you don't dine there!

We decided to have dinner there, and although it was a bit of a wait before we got seated, we browsed through the immense selection of sodas at Pops!

There were sodas on shelves, in refrigerated cases, lining the walls - they were everywhere, and in every flavor imaginable (we bought a 6-pack of various flavors to enjoy later).  

As for dinner, we ordered: 
Country Style Chicken Strips
The Chicken Strips were served with black pepper gravy, mashed potatoes, and Texas toast. 
Pops Sampler
The Pops Sampler consisted of Queso Fries, Fried Pickles, and a Chicken Quesadilla.

Norman Burger

The Norman Burger had white queso, pulled pork, BBQ sauce, and onion straws. 

Oklahoma Burger

The Oklahoma Burger was topped with Thousand Island dressing, provolone, smoked bacon, and fried onion strings. 

Be sure to order one of their Hand-Dipped Shakes!

Service was excellent and the food was great!

Pops! was a super fun stop in Oklahoma!

660 OK-66
Arcadia, OK 73007
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May 25, 2024

Dell's Kitchen & Bakery and Mio Pastalogy

Dell's Kitchen & Bakery and Mio Pastalogy is a one-stop place for plate lunches, pasta, and fresh breads.  I love how the owner decided to create multiple concepts in this large commercial space, giving customers a lot of options to choose from.

You still need to go to separate cashiers if you want to order from either Dell's (for plate lunches or baked items) or Mio Pastalogy, but the dining room is available for all customers. 

Dell's Kitchen offers Japanese-inspired plate lunches at reasonable prices. 

Nori Chicken

Miso Salmon

Ahi Katsu

I really liked the Ahi Katsu and Miso Salmon! The seafood tastes very fresh here, and is nicely garnished. My friend liked the nori chicken. 

Dell's also has beef, pork, and vegetarian options.

Bolognese Eggplant

We also wanted to get some pasta for our lunch, so we shared the Bolognese Eggplant. All pastas are house made and the pomodoro sauce was very flavorful. I would order this again!

 I purchased this apple cinnamon pastry to-go and it was amazing even though I ate it the next day. The bread was still moist! 

Good for dining in or take out! 

Lots of customer parking right in front of the restaurant.

Online ordering is available!

Open daily 10:30 am - 8:00 pm


Website: mccully11x.com

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May 24, 2024

Visit Texas: Social House Arlington

While in Arlington, I Google-searched a nearby dinner spot, and one of the first places I found was Social House Arlington.  Reservations were available via OpenTable, so I booked a table, and we were ready for dinner!

Shrimp & Grits
The Shrinp & Grits was served in a Tabasco sauce broth, with Cajun cream corn, Andouille sausage, bacon, and mustard greens.  

Social House III Meat Meatloaf
The three meats in the Meatloaf were Ground bison, pork, and beef.
Sesame Tuna Appetizer

Smoky BBQ Burger

Irish Pork Nachos

The Irish Pork Nachos consisted of house cut potato chips, Ancho pulled pork, avocado mouse, creme fraiche, pico de gallo, and pickled jalapenos.  I thought the chips could've been crisper, and the pork a little more seasoned, but I appreciated just how generous the portion was (I actually ordered it for my meal, and barely made a dent in it!).

Our server was super friendly and efficient, but it seemed like he was a bit unfamiliar with the menu, as we asked a couple of questions and he had to go and find the answer - turns out it was his very first day!  He still gave fabulous service and was very enthusiastic.

Although the food wasn't outstanding, I thought the service was, and the portions for just about everything we ordered were very generous.  

Social House Arlington
1705 N Collins St Suite 101
Arlington, TX 76011
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May 23, 2024

Mitch's Fish Market & Sushi Bar

Thanks to the hubby for taking me (and the sons) to Mitch's Fish Market & Sushi Bar to celebrate Mother's Day. We didn't go on the actual Mother's Day, since that day is all about our mothers, but it was worth waiting a week for my special meal.

Mitch's is located in a very industrial area near the airport. You would never figure that one of the island's best places for sushi is located in this hole in the wall spot.

The restaurant has undergone a lot of changes throughout the years. It's a lot larger, which means it can accommodate a lot more customers.

There are no teishoku sets, noodles, or fried menu items here. It's basically sushi, sashimi, and grilled seafood. Since it was Mother's Day and the husband was paying, I went all out and ordered the Omakase. :). Unlike most Omakase experiences where you sit in front of the sushi chef and you are served each item one by one, Mitch's serves the items on plates grouped together by type (appetizer, sushi, sashimi, grilled, dessert) and it's delivered to your table.

Here's what was included in the Omakase on this particular evening:

Appetizer: Negi Toro

Grilled: Okra King Salmon Misoyaki (NZ)

Sashimi: (2) Bluefin Otoro, (2) Chutoro, (1) Hotate, (1) Ora King Salmon, (3) Shiromi, 

Sushi: (1) Bluefin Otoro, (1) Maguro, (1) Hamachi (1) Seasonal (I can't recall the name!), (1) Uni,
(1) Ikura

Dessert: Mochi Ice Cream (miso soup was an option)

My brother and sister-in-law ordered a sushi set, sashimi set, and a couple of rolls

10 pc sushi set


12 pc sashimi combo

salmon skin roll and negi toro roll

The husband ordered the Chirashi


And my son, who recently discovered salmon, ordered a couple orders of salmon nirigi and a salmon roll!

 I did not want to see what the bill came out to, but I will say that it was well worth it. The fish was super fresh and so tasty. It also came to our table really fast! I do miss the presentation and innovation that you can get at other Omakase experiences. But for regular sashimi and sushi, this THE place. And if that's not enough to persuade you to check out Mitch's, it's BYOB!

Reservations are recommended.

Open Daily: 11:30 am - 8:00 pm 



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