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December 7, 2016

Visit Maui: 808 Grindz Cafe

When I asked Olena of MAUIWatch.com for recommendations on places to eat on Maui, one of the places on the list she sent me was 808 Grindz Cafe, a place that specializes in breakfast.  It's no secret that I love breakfast, so I couldn't wait to dine there.

Corned Beef Moco with Fried Rice

Kalua-Pork Hash Loco Moco on Fried Rice

808 Grindz Attack
Pancakes with Mac-nilla Sauce

Reese's Chocolate Chip Pancakes

808 S'mores Pancakes
I had a special of the day - the Kalua-Pork Hash Loco Moco on Fried Rice.  It was one of the best breakfasts I had in a long time.  The fried rice was tasty, the kalua-pork hash was crispy and full of flavor (I could've eaten them on their own, just with rice on the side), and the eggs and gravy completed this amazing breakfast.  I do wish they poured on a little more gravy, but it was still a fantastic meal.  It's something I'd order again and again.

My middle son ordered the Corned Beef Moco with Fried Rice (extra charge), which was very similar to the loco moco I ordered.  He loved it!

The 808 Grindz Attack includes the Meat Lovers Omelet, 3 pieces of pancakes with Mac-Nilla Sauce, and choice of starch.  Talk about a lot of food!

Two of my kids had flavored / specialty pancakes (or "bressert" as one of my kids called it - breakfast / dessert).  One had the S'mores Pancakes, and another the Reese's Chocolate Chip.

We all devoured our meals.  No one had any leftovers.

It was the best meal of our Maui getaway.

Despite opening several minutes late (we were the third party to arrive just before 7am, and the restaurant didn't open until 7:07am, service was great.  The restaurant quickly filled up, and all of the employees were super friendly.

If you love breakfast as much as I do, 808 Grindz Cafe is definitely a must-stop.



808 Grindz Cafe
843 Waine'e St
Lahaina, HI 96761
(808) 280-8914
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December 6, 2016

Piggy Smalls

I have been wanting to try Piggy Smalls ever since Nat blogged about it a couple of months ago, so when Nat suggested the Hawaii Mom Blog team go there for lunch, I was all for it!

Laotian Fried Chicken

Scallion Corn Cake

Tajarin

Pho-Strami

Cranberry Orange Slushie
Milk & Honey

Sweet Avocado Doufu
I knew I wanted to try the Laotian Fried Chicken since Nat named this dish her favorite when it comes to Fried Chicken.  It did not disappoint!  The "money sauce" really makes the dish!

The Corn Cakes were good too - topped with anchovy XO sauce, pickled charred corn, avocado crema, and cilantro.

Nat and Nadia shared the Pho-strami - smoked pho spiced beef pastrami, sriracha onions, pickled mustard seeds, and awesome sauce; I opted for the Tajarin - smoked suckling pig, grilled cabbages, Parmesan, dill, caramelized onion, pickled jalapeno, and grapefruit.  I loved the contrasting flavors and textures.   

I really enjoyed the Slushie of the Week, which was Cranberry Orange.  It was so tasty and refreshing!  It would've been amazing with ice cream!

The Milk & Honey was very delicious. Sponge cake is soaked in four kinds of milk and served with honey comb candy, local bee pollen, whipped Frangelico, and edible flowers.

The Sweet Avocado Doufu - avocado + Mrs. Cheng’s maple soy milk, corn crumble, Hawaiian vanilla roasted strawberries, and a black pepper meringue, was such a surprising mix of ingredients, but it worked!  I was pleasantly surprised with how yummy everything was.

Service was great, and I'm so glad I got to try Piggy Smalls (although I still have to try The Pig & the Lady!).

Piggy Smalls
1200 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814
808) 777-3588
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Tio's Tamales!




I've never had a tamale before so I was anxious to visit this spot located next to Omega Mandoo House on Nuuanu Ave.  We lucked out and found metered parking right in front of the restaurant.  

My kids and I shared the smothered fries and the carne asada chimichanga.  The chimichanga was huge and very delicious!  While I was there, the owner and cook, Ray let me try an enchilada sample with a red sauce.  My goodness, it was so good!!!  Looking forward to ordering that for next time!

I ordered a dozen tamales to go and shared with my friend and sister who both love tamales.  They both said the tamales were very good.  When I finally tried one, I discovered that I really like them!  Both the chicken and pork are super tasty, but my favorite was the pork.   

They are open Tuesdays through Saturday from 7am to 2:30pm.  They serve breakfast burritos from 7am to 10:30am and then serve lunch.  The restaurant is bright and clean and the prices are reasonable.  Service was great! 

The smothered fries come with cheese and chili verde, but we had our on the side.  Kids.  :(


I loved the chimichanga.  It took me 3 separate occasions to finally finish it. 





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Dave's Ice Cream Parlor at Teddy's Bigger Burgers (Kapiolani)

Ah, Dave's ice cream. I have a lot of fond memories of Dave's ice cream from my childhood.  My parents used to treat us to Dave's ice cream way back when they were located in Sears Ala Moana and on Kapahulu Avenue, next to Tokkuri Tei.  Unfortunately neither of those locations are open anymore, but I can still get my favorite locally made ice cream at Teddy's Bigger Burger on Kapiolani Blvd. where the old Kapiolani Theater used to be.  

One of their most popular flavors is green tea. It also happens to be my favorite flavor at Dave's.



Other flavors on hand today were: cookie dough, blueberry, mint chip, pumpkin, cookies and cream, kona coffee, banana, haupia, rocky road, butter pecan, caramel mac, chocolate chip cookie dough, lemon custard, mango ice cream, pink cotton candy, rainbow sherbert, strawberry, strawberry cheesecake, ube, and vanilla.  

At $2.99 for a single scoop, it's the best deal in town for ice cream that is made from scratch and made locally on the island.  

Also on the menu are sundaes, banana splits, banan royales, halo halo, hand-packed pints, shakes and malts.  

When you do come here for ice cream, your first instinct would lead you directly to the ice cream parlor, which is fine since you probably want to see what flavors are available.  However, to get your ice cream, you must first pay for it at the registers to the left of the ice cream parlor (where people place their orders for their burgers).  Then show your receipt to the person behind the ice cream counter and tell them your desired flavors/options.


Dave's Ice Cream at Teddy's Bigger Burgers (Kapiolani)
1646 Kapiolani Blvd.
(808) 951-0000

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Top 10: Reasons to Book a Luxury Villa through Elite Vacation Rentals

Our first vacation rental experience through Elite Vacation Rentals at the Beach Villas at Ko Olina was a fantastic one.  If you're interested in a vacation rental for your next Hawaiian vacation, here are top 10 reasons why you should book a luxury villa at the Beach Villas at Ko Olina through Elite Vacation Rentals.

1. Service - From the moment you book or inquire about a vacation rental, service from Elite Vacation Rentals is amazing.  A representative will answer any and all questions, and will ensure you have a wonderful stay.
2. Cost - For less than what some nearby resorts charge for a standard room, you can book a luxury, penthouse villa!
3. Space - A villa at the Beach Villas at Ko Olina offers plenty of space for families.  
4. State-of-the-art full kitchen - Save money on meals by utilizing the kitchen!  Whether you only buy cereal, milk, eggs, and bacon for breakfast each morning, or stock up on meats, veggies, and all the fixings for gourmet dinners, you will easily save money since you'll spend less at restaurants.
5. Location - Being in Ko Olina, you have easy access to the beach, restaurants, shops, and even a convenience store.  Kapolei, home to numerous shops, grocery stores, and restaurants, is just a short drive away.
6. Quiet - House rules encourage guests to respect others and avoid excessive noise (there is even a quiet pool), and despite many others living or staying on property, it was very quiet while we were in our villa.  No city traffic noise, no noisy neighbors - just a general quietness!
7. Pools - A lagoon pool + kiddie wading pool, as well as a quiet pool are on property.
8. Beach and pool amenities - No need to buy or rent boogie boards, pool toys, beach chairs, or even a beach wagon.  Everything you need for a fun day at the pool or beach is provided!
9. Plentiful amenities - There are so many complimentary amenities at the Beach Villas at Ko Olina - use of grills, a fitness center, free Wi-Fi, and more!
10. Views - The views are stunning, and the sunsets at Ko Olina are amazing!

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December 5, 2016

Snickers Banana Mini Muffins

One Halloween treat that's often leftover (mostly because we get so many of them) is Snickers.

So I decided to put them in banana muffins!

I simply used this One-Bowl Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe, and instead of chocolate chips, I used chopped Snickers.

Since I had a lot of leftover Snickers, I decided to add some to to the top of a few of the muffins.
The kids loved them!
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Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen at Waikiki Yokocho

Waikiki Yokocho opened last week on the bottom level of Waikiki Shopping Plaza. Yokocho is a collection of casual Japanese eateries, offering tourists and locals a variety of Japanese fare all in one place.




We had no plans to come here so soon after their opening, but my sons begged us to ride the "city bus", so on the spur of the moment, we caught The Bus from Ala Moana Center to Waikiki, and got off at Seaside Avenue to check out the offering at Yokocho.

After perusing the floor guide and walking through the "alley", we decided to check out Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen


It was actually the busiest of the restaurants.




I ordered the shoyu ramen ($13) with an extra serving of noodles (+$2) for my boys. While tonkotsu style ramen isn't my favorite style of ramen, I enjoyed this ramen very much. The broth was rich but tasty. The char siu melted in my mouth.




 Bradley loved it too!  



Service was relatively quick considering they opened a few days ago. If you have littles like us, ask for small bowls and kiddie utensils for your little ones.

Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen
2250 Kalakaua Avenue
(808) 777-3547







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