Hawaiian Birthday Getaway

My husband was sent to Hawaii for business around my birthday. He could NOT go without me unless he wanted to suffer the consequences.

Hawaiian Birthday Getaway

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by artbasement on June 16, 2006

Restaurants I loved, but haven't had the chance to review yet:
- Leonard's Bakery
- Pyramids Egyptian Restaurant
- Orancino
- Aiko & Matsumoto Shaved Ice
- Killer Taco${QuickSuggestions} In Waikiki, nobody crosses the street against the red light even if there's no traffic around for miles. They always wait for the "WALK" light. I heard that the police strictly enforce pedestrian laws and that the penalties are steep (although I cannot verify that).

Also, it's apparently important that you press the "Walk" button at least 5 times in rapid succession if you want the light to change in your favor. I saw everyone doing that.${BestWay} If you're staying in Honolulu/Waikiki, there are plenty of transportation options. There is no shortage of your typical trolley, bus, taxi or rental car, but you can also find many places in Waikiki to rent a scooter or a Segway.

I wish I'd rented a scooter for a few hours just to zip around. I spent most of my time in Waikiki/Honolulu walking, which was quite pleasant (and a bit sweaty), but the Honolulu Tower was a bit farther from my hotel than it looked on the map!

Cholo's Homestyle Mexican

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by artbasement on July 3, 2006

When telling people I was going to Oahu, everyone who'd been there before told me, "Get out of Honolulu. Check out the North Shore." So we took a nice drive around the island. When we got hungry, for some reason we were both craving Mexican food. Cholo's Homestyle Mexican fit the bill perfectly.

Cholo's is located in the back of the North Shore Marketplace, across from the Patagonia store. It should be easy to spot with it's ever-present crowd waiting to be seated.

While we waited our 20 minutes to be seated, we watched the diners on the patio enjoy baskets of chips and homemade salsa. We saw burritos, enchiladas, and some extremely large salads. Everything smelled and looked delicious. (We also discussed whether the guy on Cholo's sign was supposed to be Hulk Hogan.)

We were seated at a cozy table inside, near a window decorated with a string of tiny Mexican Day of the Dead skeletons. The walls were covered with other Mexican art pieces, a lot of which were for sale.

Despite having two rooms and a patio full of hungry people (most of whom just came from the nearby beach), the staff was friendly and efficient.

The mojito I ordered came in a pint glass and had more fresh mint and lime than I've seen in one drink for quite some time! The complimentary chips and salsa both seemed as if they were made for us the moment we walked in the door.

Every item on the menu can be ordered a la carte, as a "plate" (with beans and rice), or as a "dinner" (with beans, rice, salad, chips & salsa). I had the grilled veggie burrito plate and my husband had the spinach enchilada plate. Everything was very fresh and delicious. And the price? Amazing! Two very filling meals and two generously sized alcoholic beverages was less than $50.
Cholo's Homestyle Mexican
66-250 Kamehameha Highway
Oahu, Hawaii, 96791
(808) 637-3059

Cheeseburger In Paradise

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by artbasement on June 2, 2008

When I arrived in Hawaii, my husband picked me up at the airport. He took me to the hotel to drop off my bags. And, based on my exhaustion, he decided to take me to Cheeseburger, since it was just steps away from our hotel.

We were greeted by a perky host in a Hawaiian shirt and white shorts. He was immediately joined by an equally perky hostess who tied a grass skirt around the host's waist to complete his uniform. They gave us the option to sit indoors or out. I selected outside and we were taken to a nice patio area.

The patio was surrounded by metal fencing. There was a wide swath of tropical plants (I could identify palm trees and ginger flowers) between our table and the sidewalk. The landscaping also had plenty of Tiki torches which were lit as the sun started to set.

As a vegetarian, I was a little leery of eating at a restaurant who's first name is Cheeseburger. I expected the standard "Substitute a Gardenburger on any sandwich" option, and maybe a salad. I was pleasantly surprised! While the Gardenburger is an option, there is also a Tofu Burger. (As the menu says, "Don't make that face if you've never tried tofu!") The burger is a blend of tofu, spices, and (I think) macadamia nuts. It is fried to a wonderul crispy golden-brown that I've never been able to accomlish with tofu. This is the MOST DELICIOUS vegetarian burger I've ever had. I loved it so much I ate there a number of times during this trip and my follow up trip in September.
Cheeseburger In Paradise
1945 Kalakaua Avenue
(808) 941-2400

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by artbasement on July 3, 2006

Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 6am to 3pm at the Aloha Stadium: Don't miss the Swap Meet!

If you've ever been to a flea market or community bazaar, you've got the idea. But this place is HUGE. It's easy to get lost or disoriented here. And it's even easier to get a good sunburn here, so be smarter than I was and load on some sunscreen before you hit the stalls.

The great thing about the Swap Meet is that you can pick up almost any souvenir at STEEP discounts. Hawaiian shirts, which can cost $25-plus in most shops in Waikiki & Honolulu, can be had for $8-$10. (Sometimes less if you buy 2 or more.) We bought 2 adult shirts, a youth sized shirt, a toddler shirt/short set, and an infant-sized dress for about $45.

There were also stalls selling fresh local fruits, luggage, jewelry, bathing suits & sarongs, sunglasses, ukuleles, and knick-knacks. You want it? Someone here probably has it.

It was a hot and bright morning when we were there, so the shave ice stall was a very welcome sight. (Beware - this was the first place I saw a bee on the island and she really wanted my blue raspberry syrup!)

I highly recommend hitting the Swap Meet if you're in Honolulu on a Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday. Especially if you've been disappointed in the souvenir offerings or prices everywhere else. There's plenty of free parking if you have a rental car, or you can take TheBus. There is an admission fee to get into the Swap Meet -- a very reasonable $0.50 per person.
Aloha Stadium Swap Meet
99 - 500 Salt Lake Blvd
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96818
808 488 0924

Hilo Hattie

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by artbasement on July 3, 2006

Hilo Hattie: home to all the possible Hawaiian souvenirs you could want. Everything here seems to be of good quality, but their pricing seemed a little steep to me. I bought a few small souvenirs here, but spent MUCH less buying my Hawaiian shirts at the Aloha Bowl swap meet. For budget-conscious souvenir shopping, go elsewhere.
Hilo Hattie Nimitz Flagship Store
700 Nimitz Highway
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96817
(615) 514-4456


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