Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hawaii Part 2 - The Food

While I was a vegetarian for part of time that I was in Hawaii, I still had to really start exploring food like I do now.  So, I was really looking forward to trying a few new places, visiting a few new favorites, and picking up as much cool foodstuffs as I could.  

Oh, and I was successful.  Note to self, next time, bring a bigger bag.

I knew exactly where I wanted to go for dinner when I got into Honolulu:  The Big City Diner.  This place is about as vegan as it sounds, but I knew that they had a stir fry with tofu that I love.  One of the good things about Hawaii is that they have a really heavy Asian  influence (a lot of Japanese immigrants, specifically), so they tend to offer tofu more than some other places, where it is purely thought of as a vegetarian food option.  Sadly, I was in too much of a rush to even think about finding my camera and taking a picture, but I had the Mamasan's Vegetable Stir Fry, which is broccoli, bamboo shoots, peppers, carrots, onions, and tofu, over brown rice, with a little sprinkle of some kind of seaweed topping.  

After that, we walked to the grocery store, because my husband is sick, and needed some sinus relief.  For some reason....I seemed to think I had much more time in Hawaii than I thought.  I spent awhile in the "ethnic" food aisle, which had tons of stuff that I wanted to get, but I wanted to go back when we weren't rushed (we were on our way to the turtles).  That never happened, I didn't have an ounce of room for more stuff come Saturday!

I know, I know, no pictures yet!  But chill out, relax...this is a post about Hawaii, remember?

Okay, for breakfast, we stayed on the North Shore.  I knew I'd be able to create myself a filling vegan breakfast at Cafe Hale'iwa.  I had sauteed veggies, vegetarian pinto beans, and half an avocado.  If you ever happen to go here, and are vegan, be sure to ask for no cheese on the beans.    
Across from Cafe Hale'iwa is a natural foods store called Celestial Foods.  They had a pretty nice selection of stuff, some that you see at every natural food store, some that I have never seen before.  A good bit of it was local too, like the fruit that I bought, so that was awesome!  

Next was the Dole Plantation.  I know, ::cringes:: this is horribly touristy, and I have honestly never been there before without visitors.  However, since I have been there with visitors, I knew that they have lots of cool food stuffs.  

The loot from both places:

Organic baby pears, local bananas and tangerines

A stash of bars, of course.  I had never seen the Vega bars before, and tried them, even though I'm not a huge fan of the Vega powder.  They were both really good!  The Raw Organic Chocolately Chip I had already tried, when Heather sent me one on my Perfect Day, and I had to buy it again.  I was also super excited to try the Glenny's Marshmallow Treat, but I thought it was just okay...but it may have been the warm weather.  

These are both locally made.  The Spirulina Popcorn was really interesting, made with spirulina and nutritional yeast.  The raw crackers are made on Maui, and they had a mediterranean flavor, sun-dried tomatoes and whatnot.

Artisana raw Cacao Bliss.  This stuff is amazing.  If you ever find it, you should buy it!  The Mini Sesame Crepes are awesome also.  They are made of sesame seeds, brown rice syrup, pineapple, salt, etc, all good(ish) stuff.  The bag on the right is a mix of taro, purple sweet potato, and orange sweet potato sticks.    

After all that, we decided some relaxing on the beach would be nice.  We went to our favorite beach, Lanikai (which I posted pictures of yesterday), but stopped in Kailua for lunch beforehand.  Even though we shopped and then took the scenic route, I was still pretty held over from lunch.  So I stopped at Lanikai Juice and got a Da Kine smoothie:  Oranges, Bananas, Papaya, Pineapple, and Lilikoi (which is akin to passionfruit).  We also went to Maui Tacos, because my husband wanted something more substantial.  I just got a bean taco.  We ate on the beach!

Unfortunately, they kind of duped us.  They must have run out of beans or something, because my bean taco...was a tomato taco.  Yes, I asked for the to put tomatoes on it ALSO, but not instead.  This was later confirmed when my husband realized his burrito was beanless also.  Usually Maui Tacos is one of my favorite places, the Paia Burrito is my favorite, with beans, avocado, tomatoes, and rice.

We had dinner back up in Hale'iwa (the North Shore).  Hale'iwa Eats is a popular little Thai place, that I had been to once, back in 2006, before I really started to appreciate food.  I figured I had to try it again.  My dinner, a Panang Curry (of course) was fantastic!  It was really really good, and my husband had a Pineapple Shrimp Curry that was also good.  The lighting in there was really low, and I didn't get any sharing-worthy pictures.  

Sunday morning I was already excited for.  We got up early and I had some fruit and a Sesame Mini Crepe to tide me over until "lunch" (in quotes because we got up at 7, so "lunch" was at like, 10:30).  

We went to the Paradise Found Cafe, which is behind the Celestial Foods store.  They are really popular for their smoothies, which my husband tried:

I'm not sure what it was.  It tasted apple-y, and it was really good.  

I wanted "real" food though.  As far as I know, this is the only purely vegetarian restaurant on the island.  The downside is that it is DEFINITELY vegetarian, not vegan, there is a lot of egg and cheese on the menu, but it is a totally awesome, kind of hole-in-the-wall sort of place...and exact atmosphere you would expect on the North Shore.  The owner does all the cooking, and he is really friendly.  

As for what I had...well, if you've been to Hawaii, you may be familiar with "Drive-Ins" and the plate lunch.  Drive-Ins...well you don't drive in to them, drive up to them, anything like that.  You drive TO them, then park and walk to them, like almost any other restaurant.  Its weird.  Anyway, they are famous for the plate lunch, which is meat, white rice, and mac salad.  Its really gross..my husband loves it.  One of the sections on Paradise Found's menu was plate lunches, and I was hungry, so I went for it.  I had the Garlic Walnut Tempeh, which was such a nice change of pace after all the beans and tofu I had been rotating through.  
Marinated Tempeh with Sauteed Veggies (broccoli, peppers, carrots) and walnuts.  Brown rice instead of white, and a light green salad with sprouts, and some cilantro lime dressing on the side.  

Okay, this was fantastic.  I can't wait to go back for Spring Break so that I can eat there again.  My husband had a huge chili burrito, that he didn't believe was vegetarian until I pointed out to him on the menu that it was a "vegetarian cafe".  Silly guy.  On my way out, of course, I had to stop at Celestial Foods again, and I picked up something I hadn't seen the first time around...vegan gummy bears!

I just realized I photographed the French side!

Have I ever mentioned that in my pre-vegan, pre-healthy, days, I LOVED stuff like this?  I loved gummy bears, jelly beans, lemon heads, etc.  In high school, I would go to the candy store and buy a big bag of Jelly Bellies, and eat them throughout the day.  Oh to be young and have a metabolism that doesn't care.  It caught up in college, I gained 30 pounds.  Oops.  

The rest of the day, as I mentioned yesterday, was boring.  We got him a cell phone, we went to Borders, etc.  At the recommendation of the chef at Paradise Found, we stopped at Down to Earth, an all vegetarian, natural food store in Honolulu, to pick up some prepared stuff to bring on the plane.  While we were there we had some pizza (even my husband had vegan pizza, he is trying to stop eating dairy).    

I also found some sweet & sara marshmallows while I was there.  I found it odd that I haven't seen these in any stores near me (in MY, where the company is based), but I found it in Hawaii.  All in all...I think they're okay.  You may guess that, in my love of sugar, I loved marshmallows.  Well, you would be correct.  I was possibly Peeps' biggest fan.  No more.  So, these didn't live up to that, they were too dense, and just tasted like sugar to me.  I dunno.  I'll probably eat them anyway.   

For the plane, I had initially bought a bunch of fruit, but soon remembered that you can't bring fruit through the agricultural inspection.  Crap.  I got food from the prepared food bar.  I did take a picture, but I am lazy and didn't upload it yet.  I got some "Chik'n" style tofu, curries quinoa with currants, and a really awesome sweet and spicy veggie salad.  I soon learned that you also can't bring tomatoes, green peppers, and cucumbers in prepared food (I asked).  I didn't know this, so I had to eat it all out of the veggies before I went through, but they didn't even check it.

And then...I flew home.  I actually slept on the first flight, for almost all of it.  And I feel like I've been half-asleep ever since.  

I'm sorry I haven't caught up on everyone's blogs, but I'm at least caught up on the last few days!  And for those of you who asked for a CD, I *am* still sending it, I promise, I'm just a little backlogged :)   


  1. ohhh all the good eats....you are so lucky!!!

    what a wonderful vaykay and lovely pics.

    wonderful....just wonderful!

  2. What a great vacation for you! Enjoy!

  3. Hawaii sounds awesome , and all ur foods seem so tropical and yum!

  4. Oh. My. Yum. :| I want to reach in and eat the first dish, especially the avocado.

    So much yummy stuff!

  5. Spirulina popcorn sounds very cool and interesting. Lovely post! SO much awesome food.

  6. Beans and avocado? Nothing really beats that. Yum.

    I want healthy gummies!

    I tried the chocolate raw bar last week and thought it was delicious!

  7. Wow! You had a busy weekend. It sounds like you had fun. So is hubby staying in Hawaii or going on tour again? Sounds like the food was pretty good too. Those sesame crepes sound delicious. Can't wait to see them applied to one of your delicious recipes.

  8. wow your in heaven.... hawaii looks amazing... so does the food...

    im jealous :)

    (thanks for coming to my blog!!)

  9. Sometimes my brain doesn't compute things. Thanks for the heads up on the date. You are correct. I fixed it.

  10. I'm sorry about the tomato taco, but everything else looks delicious! The Cacao Bliss looks heavenly!

  11. Ah man, that stuff all looks so good...especially that beans and avocado breakfast!

    I love those Gummy Bears too! Someone gave me a box of those and they made me so happy. I always loved gummy candies the most.

  12. I'm so glad you found my blog, Gina, because yours is AWESOME!

    Sorry, though, that you also had to go through the torture of having your beloved Soyatoo become moldy :o(

  13. Garlic walnut tempeh - YUUUUMMM! Loving tempeh these days. I just really enjoy the texture and nutty flavor. Also, was that pesto all over your vegan pizza? Give me some pesto smothered crust any day over tomato sauce and cheese!

    Sorry about the beanless taco. :) Glad you had a good trip and some good eats. Welcome back Gina!