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July 18, 2019

Visit Hilo: Makani's Magic Pineapple Shack

Four words brought me back to Makani's Magic Pineapple Shack: Cookie Monster Ice Cream.

I saw it on Instagram and had to give this blue cookies & cream with cookie dough ice cream treat a try.
Cookie Monster Ice Cream
 Isn't it fun?

A friend of mine happened to order an Acai Bowl of the same name.
Cookie Monster Acai Bowl
The signature acai blend was piled high with granola, strawberries, bananas, and Cookie Crisp cereal, and drizzled with cookie butter and Nutella.  It was quite a sight!  And definitely something you need to share with a friend.  It's huge!

I always look forward to going to Makani's Magic Pineapple Shack to see what kind of magic they're creating!

Makani's Magic Pineapple Shack
54 Waianuenue Ave
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 935-8454

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Visit Minnesota: Charlie's Cafe

Charlie's Cafe is a popular eatery in the small town of Freeport, Minnesota.

We dined there for breakfast one morning.

Strawberry Pancakes
Eggs and Toast

Biscuits & Gravy

Everything Omelette

Breakfast Skillet
I ordered the Breakfast Skillet, which consisted of 2 eggs, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, cheese, and bacon all atop hash browns.  It was definitely a lot of food, and I loved all of the crispy hash browns on the bottom!

The Everything Omelette was stuffed with onions, green peppers, tomatoes, ham, cheese, and mushrooms.

In addition to the hot items, we ordered the homemade rolls:
Cinnamon Roll
Caramel Roll
They were so good!  I'm not usually a sweets person when it comes to breakfast, but I loved both rolls.  If I had to choose between the two, I preferred the Caramel Roll's sticky goodness.

Don't leave Charlie's Cafe without trying a homemade roll!


Charlie's Cafe
115 Main St E
Freeport, MN 56331
(320) 836-2105
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July 17, 2019

Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha at Ala Moana Center

I typically need to end my day with something sweet, and while at Ala Moana Center, I decided to go to Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha for shave ice.

I went to the original location in Aina Haina once before and knew the shave ice was yummy, but once I got to the Ala Moana location, I immediately changed my mind, and got ice cream instead.


I got POG flavor, and it was fruity and refreshing.  Perfect for such a hot and humid day!

I love that there is a cute set-up so you can take IG-worthy photos!

Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha
Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd\
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 377-6939
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Visit Minneapolis: Dick's Last Resort

We passed by Dick's Last Resort while in Nashville, and I had no idea it was a kid-friendly spot.  We ended up going to the location in Mall of America.

They deliver "service with sarcasm," and they make sure to tell all guests not to take anything personally.
Fair-Style Cheese Curds

Dick's Juiciest Lucy
Macho Nachos
The cheese curds were addicting.  The Juicy Lucy was a must-try, since after all, it was invented in the state (a Juicy Lucy is a burger with cheese in the middle of the patty vs on top the patty).  I had the nachos, but subbed in tots (because I just can't resist tots!).

A kids meal is available with nothing over $5.99.
Fry'd Chicken Tenders

Big Fry'd Shrimpies

Ma N' Cheez

A funny aspect of the dining experience at Dick's Last Resort is how the server will make hats and write statements on them to describe the wearer.  Everyone in my family got a hat.  My hat said "I put the 'pro" in procreate."  Two of my sons' hats read:

We thought the hats were hilarious and witty.

The service was actually a lot nicer than I had expected (I guess they were easy on us because we had little kids), but it was still a fun experience over all.


Dick's Last Resort
Mall of America®
402 South Avenue
Bloomington, MN 55425
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July 16, 2019

New at Ala Moana Center - Haus Supper Club


Located in the former space of The Brilliant Ox is Haus Supper Club, a lounge / bar / karaoke space with a speakeasy sushi bar!
Grilled Elotes

Nori Salt Calamari

HAUS BBQ Fries

Mozzarella Spring Rolls

Sesame Shrimp Toast

I met @incureablepicure there for Happy Hour, and ordered bites for $5 each.

We both liked the HAUS BBQ Fries (which were reminiscent of the classic Nibbits snack).

I thought the Grilled Elotes, which were smothered in a cilantro aioli, cotija cheese, and chili powder, were delish, and surprisingly, I really liked the Nori Salt Calamari (I usually never eat calamari).  It was nice and crispy, and served with a pleasant yuzu wasabi aioli. 

I enjoyed the Sesame Shrimp Toast as well, but thought the Mozzarella Spring Rolls were just okay.

The Happy Hour bites are a great deal.  I look forward to returning for some cocktails!

Haus Supper Club
1450 Ala Moana Blvd #3230
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 466-1888
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Visit Kansas: Free State Brewing Company

Our sole meal in Kansas was at the Free State Brewing Company.

Brewery Burger

Grilled Three Cheese Sandwich & Soup

The menu is quite extensive at this brewpub, but I went for something simple and satisfying - grilled cheese & tomato soup.  The sandwich was stuffed with Brie, Cheddar, and Provolone.  The soup was a creamy tomato and herb blend.  It was the perfect pairing!

A kids menu is available with nothing over $5. 

Grilled Cheese & Fries

Corn Dog & Fries

Cheesy Shells
We had great eats and great service at Free State Brewing Company!

Free State Brewing Company
636 Massachusetts St
Lawrence, KS 66044
(785) 843-4555
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July 15, 2019

Kaimuki Eats: Surfing Pig Hawaii



If you are looking to have a delicious dinner with amazing hand-crafted cocktails in a cozy, surf inspired atmosphere, then the Surfing Pig Hawaii is for you.  Located in Kaimuki, the Surfing Pig is the sister restaurant to Kono’s and serves Kono’s award winning 12-hour slow roasted pork on its menu.  

Recently, Gem and I were invited to sample the menu and since it had been about a year since our last visit, we were very excited to return.  We started with their most popular signature drink, the Smoking Pig.  It’s their version of the classic old fashioned using bacon infused bourbon.  The drink is smoked and served tableside.  It’s quite the presentation so get your cameras ready or just sit back and enjoy the show.  Normally, I don’t drink bourbon, but I am a now very much a  fan of the smooth and easy to drink Smoking Pig.         

For the eats, we got down to business and shared the back ribs (their most popular dish), smokey cheesy mac with porchetta, and the Surfing Pig burger served with truffle fries.  The ribs were tender and full of flavor, the mac and cheese was incredibly creamy, the burger was tasty and juicy, and we probably could have finished off another order of the truffle fries.  I’d say you can’t go wrong if that’s all you ate from their menu, but they’ve also got seafood, pizza, tacos, salads, and more!      

The Surfing Pig does it all by offering brunch and happy hour during the week, dinner daily from 4pm, not to mention their vegan options and catering availability.  Kaimuki is truly a gem with all the great neighborhood eats and the Surfing Pig shines in the heart of it.  Be back soon and hope to see you there!

For menus and more information, check out their website at https://thesurfingpighawaii.com/

The Smoking Pig
Smokey Cheesy Mac

Back Ribs.

Thank you so much Surfing Pig for hosting our dinner!

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