Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tango Contemporary Café (Honolulu, HI)

Given the fact that my friends live on the other side of the island from “town” and that I was on vacation, we had to make a concerted effort for the three of us to be up, ready and out of the house in time to make it to breakfast at Tango due to their short window for breakfast hours. After a couple of attempts, we finally made it.

Once there, I couldn’t decide between the Crab Hash Benedict or the “Loco Moco” Benedict. When I asked the server which of the two she would recommend, she said I didn’t have to choose, the kitchen would do one of each. Really?! Woohoo! I was embarrassingly excited about this revelation and most appreciative. The more flavours the better. Even though I loved the 5-spice braised beef on the loco moco, the crab benny was my favourite this day.

This café is run by a Swedish chef who appears to be running a tight ship, a little more refined than your average spot in town.

120-1288 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI
Breakfast hours:
Monday to Friday: 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Saturday/Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

He’eia Pier General Store (Kaneohe, HI)

The He’eia Pier General Store and Deli, located at the end of the He’eia Pier (I suppose that goes without saying), has re-opened to great acclaim. Having sat empty for 3 years, this truly out-the-way gem (though only 5 minutes from my friend’s house) was recently taken over by a group of high-end chefs and restauranteurs, the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. They plan to use the revamped deli as a vehicle for sourcing and serving up the best local grindz. This is as Hawaiian as it gets, super casual, where seating consists of a couple of outdoor picnic tables and benches overlooking the bay.

My friend and I had stopped by a few days previous and we were both impressed immensely with our lunch. My Ahi BLT and her Guava-glazed Chicken with Taro Mac Salad were fantastic. When they mentioned “open for breakfast”, you know we had to come back, and we did. Meaning we ate there twice before they had even had their actual grand opening. Because of this, they were still operating from a limited menu. Our breakfast plates were fried rice with 2 eggs and our choice of sausages, ham, or bacon. By now they will be running with their full menus.

This is one of those places I do not want to tell people about as I want it keep it a secret. However, it is out of the way enough, that only those serious about food will make the effort. See you there!

46-499 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI
Breakfast hours: 7:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., Daily

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cinnamon’s (Kailua, HI)

Yes, Hawai’i. I am here again visiting friends and, of course, they indulge me in my breakfast quest – quite happily, I believe. First up, Cinnamon’s, a local institution since 1985 and they have the decor to prove it.

When I’m not in Vancouver, what I am looking for are breakfast items that I can’t get at home. For local flavour, I ordered their signature Guava Chiffon Pancakes. They looked syrupy sweet, but the sauce was just right. In fact, I added coconut sauce on top. Quite worthy of their “signature” designation, I say. My friend, after living here for over two years, is local enough that she is past the novelty of it all. She just orders what she feels like eating, which was the Baja Breakfast.

This was a great start to our breakfast in Hawai’i journey.

315 Uluniu Street, Kailua, HI
Breakfast hours: 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Daily

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Griffins at Hotel Vancouver

UPDATE (01/04/14): Griffins is temporarily closed for remodelling. 
Today was another special birthday celebration for one of my closest friends, who happens to love Griffins. They serve an à la carte breakfast menu, as well as a breakfast buffet. We opted to go early for the buffet. I love a buffet for two reasons: one, the option of choosing from many different items; and two, the mini food.

The breakfast buffet here is what I would describe as family-style. Big dishes of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, hash browns casually displayed along with quiches, omelettes, and more. A make-your-own toast or cereal station plus a fruit station. We planned our strategy of starting out savoury first, finishing up with sweet, which included options of pancakes, waffles, crepes, cinnamon buns, pastries, and french toast.

We spent some of our time talking about her recent trip to Morocco, which she loved. We couldn’t help but discuss the contrast from how we live here. I feel truly grateful for the limitless choices that I have, in terms of food, and in life.

900 West Georgia Street, Hotel Vancouver
Breakfast hours (buffet only until 10:30 a.m.):
Monday to Friday: 6:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Saturday/Sunday 7:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mo:Lé (Victoria)

Another trip to Victoria, this time to celebrate a special birthday for my Mom. We drove out to one of her favourite ocean beach spots called Point no Point. She thought it would be funny to spend her birthday reflecting on the meaning of life while sitting at a place called “no point”. We had a good laugh.

We did make a point of having breakfast, however, at one of Victoria’s best breakfast spots, Mo:Lé. This trendy spot was busy, as usual, what they referred to as “controlled chaos”. I have to give the staff full credit, they handled the line-ups and the slightly high-maintenance customers (that being us) with enormous grace and genuine smiles.

Our food was on point, as well. My Mo:Lé Benny on a herbed biscuit with avocado and roasted tomato was served with their signature pesto potatoes. My Mom had the Creamy Sausage Omelette – rich enough for a Queen. Happy Birthday, Mom.

554 Pandora Avenue
Breakfast hours:
Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.