Thursday, October 7, 2010

Beaches and Hula Pie

Despite a Friday night that involved excessive bar-passing celebrations, weekends in Hawaii are no time to sleep in and recover.  Saturday included more beach-going in Waikiki (but no surfing) and Hula Pie.  Duke's Restaurant and Barefoot Bar (here: is in Waikiki and has a signature "hula pie" that is made with macadamia nut ice cream on a chocolate cookie crust.  It is topped with hot fudge, whipped cream and more macadamia nuts.  Even if you don’t particularly care for macadamia nuts, they are not overpowering.  If you find yourself in Waikiki don’t miss out on this amazing dessert.  It is easily big enough for two people (and if you tell them it’s your birthday, it’s free).

There are not many better ways to celebrate anything than spending a day recovering on a beach with a stomach filled with delicious ice cream.  The food at Duke's other than Hula Pie is equally amazing.  I highly recommend the chicken quesadillas, the hot wings, and the Mango BBQ Bacon Burger.  The burger comes with local grass fed beef, white cheddar, ranch dressing and grilled onions.  The quesadillas have a special sauce drizzled on top with a pretty good guacamole on the side.
Following Duke’s and the beach, a group of people introduced me to the Yard House Restaurant, which is also in Waikiki.  The Yard House is a casual eatery known mostly for its selection of draft beer.  The place features a center island bar and a fleet of tap handles ranging from classic lagers to more obscure ales. The glass-enclosed keg room has as much as 5,000 gallons of beer at any one time.  Also, there are three to five miles of individual beer lines stretching overhead from the keg room to the island bar maintaining a constant temperature of 34-36 degrees.  However, it is also a pretty tourist-y place, and if your time in Hawaii is limited, I wouldn’t bother.  It gets really crowded and the food is, at best, average.  The nachos in particular are terrible.  The cheese was burned on both plates we ordered, the chips were soggy and overly salty, and the toppings were glopped on the middle without anything touching the outer-lying chips.  They did have a really good goat cheese/chicken pizza, but overall, it’s a mediocre place compared to other great options.  The only reason a person visiting Hawaii may choose to go to Yardhouse, though, is their amazing beer selection.

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