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Coverage: Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki Oktoberfest 2016

The Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki Oktoberfest took place on Friday and Saturday, October 14 & 15, 2016, in the luxurious Maunakea Ballroom. Since its debut several years ago, on behalf of The Tasty Island, Hawaii Prince Hotel has once again invited Yours Truly to attend and cover this year’s Oktoberfest event.

Following is photo coverage, along with captions and commentary. Enjoy. ;-)

“I’m much better looking than that Travelocity Gnome fellah” lol

Soft Pretzels, served (if you prefer) with Dijon and Grain Mustard. 2 scrips ($4).

Dijon and Whole Grain Mustard (offered as a condiment at all food stations)

Kassler Rippchen: Bone-In Smoked Pork Loin with German Potato Salad & Sauerkraut. 13 scrips.

Sauerbraten: German-style Beef Pot Roast & Gravy with Spaetzle (Bavarian-style Pasta) and Red Cabbage. 14 scrips.

Bockwurst: Veal Bratwurst with German Potato Salad, Sauerkraut, Crispy Onions and Brown Gravy. 9 scrips.

Bratwurst: Bavarian Sausage with German-style Potato Salad, Sauerkraut, Crispy Onions and Gravy. 10 scrips.

Kielbassa: Smoked Pork Sausage with German Potato Salad and Sauerkraut. 9 scrips. 

All entrees are served with dinner rolls and butter (latter of which not shown)

Sauerbraten (German-style Pot Roast), before having that AWESOME brown gravy smothered over it

Bratwurst with German Potato Salad and Sauerkraut, before the brown gravy and fried onions added to finish it off

Bockwurst: Veal Bratwurst with German-style Potato Salad, Sauerkraut, Fried Onions and Dinner Roll, with Dijon and Whole Grain Mustard, plus CHOKE buttah for da’ bread. This was my plate!

My Bockwurst “Money Shot”

Cherry Nut and Apple Raisin Strudel. 4 scrips ($8 each)

Camelot Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Callaway Cellar Selection Merlot 2013, Fritz Hasselbach Riesling 2011, Monchhoff Riesling 2011 and Heger Baden Pinot Gris 2011. 4 scrips per glass.

Jaegermeister ice shot fountain

Dunkel German Beer (tastes very similar to Guinness Stout, with same mouthfeel)

Maunakea Ballroom panoramic shot (click on image and use your browser’s horizontal scroll bar to pan across)

Stein-Hoisting Contest: whoever can hold up the 48 oz. filled stein with arms extended straight out the longest, wins! Note, you can’t spill any liquid, and your back must be kept straight. Click on video below to see who wins!

Sam Adams Octoberfest Märzen style seasonal craft beer 

Sausage-Eating Contest

Sausage-eating Contest Brats and Keilbassa WITH buns… OUCH! Hurt me! lol 

“What’s cookin’ good lookin’?… and you better not say it’s me!” **Punch line drum roll**

A Lederhosen T-shirt.. how cool is that! 

He reminds me of “Pogo Poge” of Checkers and Pogo

Edelweiss Trio (the trumpet player is a guest member originally from Washington State)

  “Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve always loved Sumo Wrestlers dressed in drag  LOL!

The beautiful lady to the far left is wearing an authentic Dirndl she bought in Munich, Germany

Chicken Lovers lol

“Honey, please massage my feet. After that Chicken Dance Contest, they’re killin’ me.” lol

Lederhosen traditional German men’s work and leisurewear

Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki Executive Chef Kirby Wong showcases their house-made German Apple Raisin Strudel

Hawaii Prince Hotel Oktoberfest guest Chef Guido Ulmann with Roy Wexelberger, Horn player for the Edelweiss Trio (the fourth member); note the authentic Lederhosen German leather shorts and suspenders he’s wearing, which are made of genuine German cowhide; he purchased the pair in Munich for around $500. Wow!

Roy shows off a traditional Bavarian Cowbell he uses as part of his instrument ensemble; must say, they did a rockin’ German version of BOC’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper”… more cowbell, please! LOL!!! Nah, j/k, they didn’t play that ;-)

The Edelweiss Trio + Roy, after finishing their set on Saturday night

Hawaii Prince Hotel Oktoberfest guest Chef Guido Ulmann with Pomai ~ 10.14.16

Ray Tsutsumi, a part-time resident in Hawaii and full-time resident on the West Coast, is a long-time reader and fan of The Tasty Island, who happened to bump into me at the Hawaii Prince Oktoberfest event this past Friday. Super nice guy!

Randi Fernandez, Hotel Manager of the Hawaii Prince Hotel with Pomai, CEO of The Tasty Island lol

Carra Sawai, Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki Catering Service Manager, and Joy Basuel, Food & Beverage Marketing Assistant (and Social Media Guru!) 

Summing it up, I had a BLAST at this year’s Hawaii Prince Hotel Oktoberfest. Which always kinda’ trips me out, being I was born on that very same property when it was formerly Kaiser Hospital Waikiki.

Speaking of born, it’s worth noting I’m 1/8th German from my mother’s side, who her dad was a Von Arnswaldt (half German, half Hawaiian).

Anyhow the Stein-hoisting contest was the highlight for me, as was the entire evening’s entertainment, always filled with fun by the antics and great traditional German music provided by the Edelweiss Trio. They’re such cool cats. Not to mention the dance floor always filled with eager folks getting into the Oktoberfest dancing spirit.

I had the Bockwurst plate (Veal Bratwurst), and let me tell you, just that, and I was FULL. In fact, I couldn’t even finish the plate. Needless to say, it was absolutely DELICIOUS. The Veal Brat had a distinctively delicate “white meat” flavor that almost tasted like pork, yet you know it’s veal, with a nice ‘n snappy casing, while that brown gravy was to die for! Ditto for the Sauerkraut and German-style Potato Salad! Everything on the plate, when combined together was so ono!

I also tried a glass of the Dunkel and Sam Adams Oktoberfest Beer, which were both excellent. The Dunkel tastes pretty much like Guinness Stout, while the Sam Adams Okoterbest was like a hoppy and very bold lager, with a woodsy tone. Very nice!

Most importantly, there was definitely SPIRIT there. Everyone was totally into the Oktoberfest vibe, as if we were all magically transported from Waikiki, direct to Munich, Germany. It was so, so awesome, and if you didn’t go this year, you really missed out! So definitely mark your calendar for next year’s Hawaii Prince Hotel Event, as this year was a total, nearly sold-out success.

Huge mahalos to Joy Basuel, Carra Sawai, Glenn Shigeta, Paul Shiroma, Randi Fernandez, and the entire Hawaii Prince Hotel Food & Beverage staff for warmly inviting me to yet another successful and fantastic Oktoberfest event right here in Waikiki. You all super-duper ROCK!

Related links:
Coverage: Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki Oktoberfest 2015 – The Tasty Island
Coverage: Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki Oktoberfest 2014 – The Tasty Island

13 thoughts on “Coverage: Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki Oktoberfest 2016

  • October 16, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Mahalo Pomai for posting my photo with you at the Friday night October Fest. It was very nice meeting you after all these years of reading your blogs – enjoyed them all and have tried a lot of the places you mention on your blog. Keep up your good informative work. By the way, I’m a retiree from doing graphic arts: worked for the San Jose Mercury News for 35 years! Enjoy!
    Aloha, Ray

    • October 16, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      Aloha Ray,

      It was really nice meeting and chatting with you! How ironic, as I’ve been a graphic artist for the past 20 years as well, working in Advertising for a private company. I’ve since left that, looking for greener pastures. ;-) One of the guys I worked with there, his late father Corky Trinidad was a famous political cartoonist for the Honolulu Star Bulletin.

      You definitely gotta’ check out the new Shirokiya Japan Village Walk, on the street level at the Ewa wing of Ala Moana Center. While there, you also should make it a point to check out the new Foodland Farms, which is right across the parking lo of Japan Village Walk. Just as EPIC in there!

  • October 16, 2016 at 6:56 pm


    I purchase all my pre-packaged German sausages and sauerkraut locally from Foodland Supermarket Boar’s Head Brand. For my high quality fresh German sausages and wrust you can’t go wrong with calling or emailing Usinger’s Famous Sausage in Milwaukee, WI in business since 1880: http://www.usinger.com/

    Usinger’s was proclaimed by Olympic Committee as “best hot dog in U.S.A. 1995” and selected to provide the hot dogs for the 17 day 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. Usinger’s provided 500,000 of their ¼ lb. Certified Angus Beef ® Frankfurters which sold out in the first five days! Usinger’s had to send another 200,000 hot dogs within a week which were also consumed. I can tell you when I place an order to Usinger’s I always include a 1 lb. order priced $6.89 of these franks as they taste like no other I’ve ever tasted!

    I have been ordering from Usinger’s for over 25 years and been to the main factory in WI twice. There is a 5 lb. min order and they deliver within three days to Hawaii.

    BTW; did you know Milwaukee, WI is nicknamed the “festival City”? They have one of the largest German Fests and Oktoberfest’s at their lakeside festival grounds built into the downtown city. Once winter breaks into spring, the festivals and block parties start and it is continuous every week until winter starts to set in. They really give Honolulu a run for the money on festivals and block parties plus in downtown are canals for you to drive your boat in to dock and go to dinner, shows, night club or shopping.

    For rest of German foods I make my own from recipes I’ve collected over the years. I just made my first loaf of Leberkäse also called Fleischkäse (a type of German meatloaf for sandwiches and sometimes served for breakfast) and it came out wonderful (I was finally able to get all the ground meats from Foodland Farms, Ala Moana Shopping Center). I make my own Red Cabbage, Hot German Potato Salad, Wienerschnitzel, Sauerbraten, Dumplings, Spaetzel and German Goulash.

    Now that I have cool granite counter tops to work on and a bread proofing oven I can start baking my own German Bread that you can’t find in Honolulu.

    • October 16, 2016 at 7:49 pm


      As always, very thorough and informative comment. I knew you’d have a lot of valuable info’ on German Sausages. I asked Chef Ulmann where he gets the sausages for this event, and he said several sources on the mainland, including one in San Francisco. I don’t recall him mentioning Usinger’s specifically, but maybe that’s one of them.

      I asked if he ever makes his own sausages, and he said he used to, but not anymore. Not enough time, with all the other logistics in a commercial kitchen going on. Chef Ulmann was the Executive Chef at at Oahu Country Club, as well as Outrigger Reef Hotel Waikiki. They bring him to the Hawaiii Prince specifically for the Oktoberfest Event, being he has experience in the cuisine, going all the way back to his culinary education in Switzerland. He has a very thick German accent.

      I did not know Milwaukee is a big German town. Any areas in New England with lots of Germans?  From what I understand, many of the Germans in Hawaii came here either as sailors, or to work as skilled tradesmen on the plantations, such as masons and blacksmiths. That’s one of the stories how the Goteborg Sausage made its way to the islands.

      We used to have a number of German restaurants on Oahu, however over time they all disappeared. Most of them should be listed on the “Oahu Eateries Memorialized” page. Not sure if there’s one right now. Haven’t looked it up.

      Next time I go to Foodland, I’ll keep my eye out for the Boar’s Head German sausages. I wasn’t looking that closely at each one the last time. So who’s bigger at making sausages (no pun intended), the Germans or the Italians?

      That Leberkase sounds pretty good. I bet you were salivating at that huge honkin’ slab of smoked Kassler Rippchen Bone-In Smoked Pork Loin. that cut was HUGE! I was close to getting that, but knew there’s no way I could have finished it. I didn’t even finish the Bockwurst!

      I want to try making my own German Potato Salad. It was fantastic! You really need to go to next year’s Hawaii Prince Hotel Oktoberfest. With all your knowledge on the cuisine and culture, you’d be in heaven!

      • October 16, 2016 at 9:01 pm

        In San Francisco there are a lot of sausage makers listed so I won’t even guess who Chef Ulmann is using.
        I use Usinger’s because it is old world German style sausage makers and has a great following and I never had a bad product from them and spent a day in their factory sampling product on one visit!
        I also used to make my own sausages back in New England where it was colder and also was taught sausage making by my close friend’s Italian mother who cooked old school. She made the most delicious Italian sausage and her husband made fantastic wine. To eat at my friend’s house was eat and drink wine till you fell down and then you got up and ate more! The amount of courses were no less than 7 courses for any meal all home-made! I would use up a lot of ice trying to keep my meat cold if I was making sausage in my Hawaii kitchen now but I’ll have to see as I now have cool granite counters.
        All of the northern central and Midwest states on mainland have high heritage populations from Germany and Scandinavia. In New England Vermont has a high German population because it looks like living in the Alps in some places. Captain von Trapp Family which the musical and movie “Sound of Music” was based on immigrated to Vermont when they escaped Nazis Germany (I’ve been to the Von Trapp Family museum). Northern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine in the mountain regions have high German and Scandinavia heritage populations due to the mountainous regions and Alpine skiing.
        The Germans have far more different style of sausages than the Italians do. Germans make a fantastic summer sausage that is big like Goteborg Sausage!
        The Leberkase is made with equal portions of ground beef, ground pork and ground veal and spices. Run the mixture through a food processor till emulsified. You bake it in a loaf pan and when done you slice it and brown it on both sides in a fry pan before serving. The Honolulu Wurst Wagon serves it on their menu.
        Hot German Potato Salad is so easy to make: fry bacon till crisp, remove to paper towel and when cool crumble bacon. Boil potatoes whole till almost done, drain and cool, slice potatoes 1/8 in thick, in bacon grease sauté sliced onion, add flower and stir, add water or chicken stock, stir till thicken, add vinegar and potatoes, stir without breaking potatoes to heat through and finish cooking potatoes, add bacon, stir, serve German Hot Potato Salad.   

        • October 17, 2016 at 3:05 am


          Wow, sounds like your Italian friend was a great friend to hang around the house with, thanks to the mom! One of my good friends while growing in my grades school years was Japanese, and his mom used to always prepare the most excellent traditional and local mix style Japanese dishes. That’s partly how I developed such a love for Japanese cuisine (not to mention my many travels there). Pretty cool how your friend’s dad made his own wine. Never knew anyone who did that. My Japanese friend’s dad made his own fishing lures. Does that count? lol

          Regarding the Von Trapp family, there’s quite an extensive list of famous German-Americans on Wikipedia here. Lots of people don’t know that Bruce Lee’s mother was half-Chinese, half-German. You can kinda’ see that in his looks. That said, many of his fans don’t know Eddie Van Halen’s mother is Indonesian (his father is Dutch). THAT said, Ken, I still say someone jumped the fence in your family, as when I first met you in person, I thought you were local mixed Chinese! Remember that? lol

          Ah, so the Germans have more sausage varieties. Well, of course two of the most iconic American foods are credit to the Germans: the Hot Dog and Hamburger. Obviously the western diet of “meat and potatoes” originated from Germany, as is so obvious by what’s shown above on this Octoberfest menu: primarily MEAT & POTATOES. Interestingly, research has shownn at least for Italians in Italy, regardless of their high fat and carbs diet (lots of meat and pasta), they have a very low rates of cardiovascular disease, which they give credit to the Italians drinking wine with their meals, which supposedly (in moderation) is good for the heart. For you Ken, we’ll give your good health credit to your beer hydro’ diet, plain ‘ole h20 need not apply. lol

          Interesting how you mention the Alps-like topography in Vermont being an attraction to immigrated Germans. I can see having the same frame-of-mind were I one of them. For me, naturally I’d want to live somewhere that looks similar to Hawaii, at least in climate. And I NEED the ocean. Need it. Salt water runs in my veins!

          Regarding Leberkase, this recipe here at KitchenProject.com sounds like the one you make. According to Wikipedia, by German law, products there called Liberkase, must include at least a small percentage of liver, which the name “Liberkase” means “Liver Cheese”. If it doesn’t have liver in it, than it must be titled “Bavarian Liberkase”.

          Regarding Wurst Wagen, I’m surprised those guys haven’t opened a brick and mortar restaurant yet. It’s also interesting that their main demographic continues to be those in the military. Many of the most popular mainland restaurant chains that operate here have a high percentage of military customers, being they’re mainland transplants who are already familiar with the brands (Chili’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Wendy’s, to name a few). It’s one of the reasons Applebee’s (your favorite salty HQ!) chose to open their first location in Ewa Beach, where many military and ex-military now call home.

          Thanks for the Hot German Potato Salad recipe. Sounds easy enough. Interesting that the “binder” is roux-based, using the bacon fat, flour and chicken stock. I love that savory element it has. It’s almost like a “fully loaded” baked potato salad, sans the sour cream element. I’ll definitely give it a spin!


          • October 17, 2016 at 12:15 pm

            My close friend Gino’s family was fantastic! His mother would work a 12 hr. day, come home and put together a 7 course dinner from scratch which Gino would invite me unannounced to his mother. His father would bring out all his home made wines which were very good! Problem was it was Ken try my red wine, Ken try my special red wine, Ken try my special white wine, Ken try my pink wine, Ken try my special pink wine, Ken try my after dinner drink and on and on all night till I would finally plead; “I’ve got to drive home!!!!
            Gino is now ranked 17th in amateur  winemaking in the United States. He has a nice large home on the top of a hill in western RI and he is retired. He has a large temperature controlled wine cellar in his house holding over 1,000 bottles of wine. In his basement he has 5ea. 100 gal oak barrels he uses to ferment the wine he makes for white or red wines. He has started making his own beer and he also teaches wine making at the local university.
            Your Japanese friend’s dad’s fishing lures count! LoL. I didn’t start enjoying Japanese food till after I visited Japan when I was in Air Force. My wife got interested in Japanese culture and that is when we started visiting Japanese restaurants. She took a class in Japanese culinary arts at the University. She was invited to Japan by the Japanese Ministry on their 5-star bubble for 6 weeks to teach Japanese teachers how to teach American style. After that a lot of our cooking included Japanese cuisine. This is why my cookbook library has a lot of Japanese cookbooks.
            In grade school my close friend was Chinese and his family ran a very popular Cantonese restaurant which helped me when I was visiting Hong Kong all the time in Air Force. After I left Air Force, got married and was living in northern RI my best friend John is also Chinese and his mom and dad owned the oldest Chinese restaurant in the city. His father would fly to Hong Kong every year to find new chefs. John has added on to the restaurant a Chinese style 1920s decor banquet hall which he uses as a jazz night club something like Blue Note here in Honolulu. My wife took a Cantonese cooking class at the University. I and my wife were allowed into the kitchens of both a Japanese and Chinese restaurant which to me was a very large honor bestowed on us by both chefs and owners.
            People look at me and they think I am this or that. I’m basically a heinz-57 mixture. American Indian, Dutch, English and Scottish. Mix them all together then add years and years of eating Chinese and Japanese cuisines and I’m what you get!! Someone who looks like the locals wherever I go throughout Southeast Asia, Asia and Hawaii.
            I grew up in RI the smallest state in the union with highest state point of just over 800 ft. high but most of the state is on the Atlantic Ocean so salt water is in my blood too! I need to see the ocean and feel the waves. As far as warmth is concerned, after I spent two years living in Vietnam going back to New England cold really hurt. Now after living in Hawaii for over 10 years, I’ll never leave.
            The Leberkase recipe is the exact one I used and if you go through that website all the German recipes are great!
            The Wurst Wagen Bratwursts are cooked very soft like they were just boiled in beer. Maybe That’s a German style of cooking they do but I like my sausages tight and browned. The way I do my Bratwursts is the way I was taught in Wisconsin; slowly poach sausages in beer and onion sauce, transfer to hot grill and do not let skin burst or blister which allows juice to run out. If sausage is getting too hot transfer back to poaching sauce. Do this till all sides of sausage is golden brown and still full of juices.
            I left out the Celery Seeds that are normally added to the Hot German Potato Salad recipe.

          • October 18, 2016 at 12:17 am


            Dang, that sure is dedication to family, working a 12-hour shift, then coming to cook a 7-course meal! And I like “YOUR excuse” for trying all his dad’s wine varieties. lol So I take it your friend Gino took over his dad’s winemaking prowess to become highly respected in the community himself. Home craft brewers are starting to become popular lately on Oahu. Enough so, that there’s a supply store dedicated to beer craft brewing in the Kalihi area, where they sell kits and the hops, yeast and grains needed to make it at home. The guy who owns it holds workshops every month.

            As you pointed out growing up around your friend’s Chinese restaurant in Rhode Island, apparently Japanese food (and restaurants) didn’t proliferate across the US until after around the 80s. I remember back then, lots of folks from the mainland didn’t even know what Nori or Arare Was, let alone Sushi. With the stigma back then that sushi didn’t even involve rice. All it was, God forbid, is RAW FISH. Ack! lol Now you can pretty much go to an “anywhere USA” supermarket and find all the Japanese groceries we’ve taken for granted for decades here in Hawaii (since before WWII actually). While Sushi bars are becoming as common as Pizzerias and Steak Houses in the big cities.

            I can’t imagine you having enough room in your place for those hundreds of cookbooks. You’re nuts. lol As you said, look at that Leberkase recipe you follow, which is from where? Online. No need hard copy cookbooks anymore! The again, I understand the educational part you get out of the cookbooks, more so than just the recipes. Footnotes that otherwise wouldn’t show up online.

            Speaking of which, I emailed one of the authors of that Korean cookbook you told me about with that incredibly addictive Pineapple Kimchi recipe, for approval to share it here, however haven’t heard back yet. I’ll try again with a different contact.

            I bet them Chinese cooks from Hong Kong must have been VERY HAPPY to come to the US to work in a kitchen in Rhode Island! What an opportunity at the time for a better life! The owner of On On Restaurant, who is originally from the Guanghzou province, China, which is very nearby, Northwest of Hong Kong island, told me she NEVER wants to go back to live in China. The people here are so much more friendly she says, not to mention the weather of course. The smog there is out of control. Thank your cellphone, and just about every other consumer product in your house for that. ;-)

            Pretty cool how they converted part of the Chinese restaurant to a Jazz club. I must say, it does remind of one of them cheesy Chinese Mafia Kung Fu movies, where “the boss” fights off thugs from both Chinese and US gangs in the streets of Rhode Island. You know, those kinda’ “B” type Kung Fu films. It’s like, “So you think you know Kung Fu, huh? Well meet me at Chan’s Jazz club, midnight, sharp, and I’ll show you a thing or two about the Crane technique. Got that?” lol

            Speaking of your American-Indian heritage, I’m kinda’ bummed I missed this year’s Powwow at Magic Island. Dang it! It totally missed me on the radar. But yup, you could walk into any local pub, and the guys would think you’re from here I bet. I wouldn’t be surprised you walk into a Chinese restaurant, and the waitress starts talking to you in Cantonese, you look THAT Chinese to me.

            I get a mixed reaction: the haoles from the mainland think I’m haole (some tourists react surprised when I tell them I’m from here), yet the locals know I’m local, mainly because I look more “Podagee” than anything else.

            I definitely have New England on my bucket list of places to travel, where I’d like to drive that main highway up the northeast coast where you said there’s all those lobster shacks and seafood purveyors. That would be AWESOME! to try a new Northeast coast lobster shack every day! When would be the best time of year to travel the New England area?

            I learned cooking hot dogs and sausages by boiling them in beer from my mom. Best way to cook them in  my opinion. I too also brown them in the pan afterwards for a nice crisp on the casing,  making sure it doesn’t burst.

            Ah, Celery Seeds, sounds crucial to the overall flavor. Will do. It’s interesting that the famous Chicago-style Hot Dog’s key “secret ingredient” is Celery Salt. I’m not familiar with the taste of it.

          • October 18, 2016 at 3:47 pm

            Yes Gino’s mother was a very dedicated old school wife to her family. That wasn’t me pleading to Gino’s father to try his wine but “Gino’s FATHER finding excuses” to feed me more of his wine and after dinner drinks! Gino’s father was old school and could really knock down the glasses of wine. If he had a glass in his hand you had to have a glass in your hand! Sadly both Gino’s mother and father have departed for the afterlife.
            I’ll never forget one 12 course Sunday dinner when Gino’s mother presented her golden brown stuffed chicken and Gino’s father stood up and started to carve cutting across the bird wing to wing into 1 inch slabs and you could see the chicken meat filled with a stuffing of Italian sausage meat, risotto rice, cheese and spices. Gino’s mother had completely took every bone out of the chicken and filled it in with stuffing sewing back together to look like a regular chicken and roasted it. My wife and I were both stunned! Amazing!!! Tasted sooooo good too!!!!  
            It is still the same in most parts of the mainland as far as exposure to other culture’s culinary offerings. My northern city of Woonsocket, RI was all French-Canadian, Italian, Polish and a small bit of Chinese and African-American. That was the extent of the cuisine you could find unless you went out of the city and if you did go out of city just about everywhere in the state was Italian cuisine until you got to East Providence which was Portuguese, Cape Verdean cuisine. You had to go into Massachusetts to find Russian, Middle East, Jewish, German, Japanese, Thai, Chinatown cuisine. The main problem is most all the cuisine found on the East Coast has been Americanized to some extent and not true to the original culture except Portuguese cuisine in Fall River and New Bedford, MA which has been able to keep their Portuguese Azorean traditions via all their ethnic restaurants.   
            My condo is about 1,000 sq. ft. 2-bedrood with only one person living in it. I only have one small cabinet in the new kitchen with 100 cookbooks of reference books and all the cultures I like to cook. In my den I have one open bookcase with another 200 cookbooks of reference culinary books and additional ethnic cuisine cookbooks. Fastest expanding cookbooks in my collection are Polynesian and Hawaiian cookbooks as I learn more about living and cooking here in Hawaii. A lot of my old cookbooks are signed by cookbook chef and authors and I’m not throwing them out!!!
            It was very funny and shrewd of John’s father who has passed on to afterlife leaving John his estate which was a lot larger than anyone thought! John still maintains his father’s tradition of sponsoring the chefs and family from Hong Kong to work in the restaurant. What John’s father owned was a number of three story houses called tenement houses as they dedicated a multi-room apartment on each level. He would put the chef and family up in one of his apartments and on Fridays pay them a salary for working in the restaurant and then on Saturdays collect rent from them for living in his apartment keeping them in debt to him.
            John’s father also owned the whole city block the restaurant was located on. John always loved American Jazz music and when his father and mother would leave John in charge while they left, John would quickly change the restaurant music over to jazz and when his parents returned and caught John playing jazz you could hear his father berating him in Cantonese and switching the music back to oriental background music. It was very funny and those of us in bar or restaurant always had a good laugh because we all knew what was going to happen.
            After John’s father died and the bank moved out John had the wall to the bank opened up and created the art-deco 1920s Chinese banquet hall and stage created which is now his jazz club. He left the bank vault untouched and put a table in there with chairs for private dining. Every week he has traveling jazz musicians perform there and also hosts opening night movie show dinners with movies shot in RI and first shown at theater one block away. He is pretty much mimicking the California Grauman’s Chinese Theatre with red carpet, movie stars and glitz. He is pretty much the celebrity star of the city. He has added to the name of restaurant which was “Chan’s” now being “Chan’s Egg Rolls and Jazz”. I had a chance to visit with him during my last visit as we had not seen each other in 10 years. I first met him when he was in high school (Chinese with an Italian short curly flip cut hair).
            You are talking about RT-1A which goes from Connecticut all the way up to Maine along the sea coast and you can’t drive 5-miles without bumping into a seafood restaurant or Fresh lobster/clam shack.
            In New England all seafood is either served raw, boiled, broiled, baked, poached, steamed, fried or battered and deep fried. All types of fresh fish, shellfish, roe, echinoderms and medusozoan are for sale freshly caught of cooked to order. Popular are fried clams, steamers, stuffies, crabs, raw clams, oysters, scallops and lobsters. Maine is known for its hard shell lobsters, cold lobster rolls and crab rolls, northern Massachusetts is known for deep fried soft shell clams and steamers, New Bedford, Massachusetts is known for scallops and raw clams, Rhode Island is known for calamari, stuffies, snail salad (Scungilli) and swordfish and Connecticut is known for crabs and creating the hot lobster roll.  
            I would say best time to visit is late summer last of fresh sweet corn picking into early fall fresh apple picking season during peak leaf peeping season just before the first freeze sets in and pure maple syrup first drips. Leaf peeping season is when all the New England green trees leaves burst into vivid colors of yellows, oranges, scarlet reds and indigo purples. To stand on a hillside looking down into a valley with Mother Nature painting the hillside and valley trees in all the colors is stunning. Occasionally is a broad emerald green pasture with cows grazing, a vivid red barn and white ginger-bread Hansel & Gretel farmhouse plus the white steeple of the local church poking up through the splash of color or a vivid deep blue river with a rocky river bed winding its way through the countryside with an antique weathered wooden covered bridge crossing the river.
            In Vermont and New Hampshire during this season there are a number of hot air balloon tours over the countryside and a lot of festivals and country fairs. Small towns near major ski areas are built to look like small Bavarian towns in architecture and there is plenty of German and Swiss Restaurants to be found. If driving you must be very careful of moose crossing the roads as to hit one will only crush your vehicle roof in on you with their belly and the moose will only walk away pissed off at you.
             In RI the famous New York System Hot Weiner can be found only made in RI and covered in Celery Salt.
            Please Note: There is no real New York System Company as it was a ploy by Greeks to associate with New York Coney Island. The weiner is made with veal and beef, thin and hand-cut short about 3-inches and slowly grilled in olive oil on a flat top grill (no preservatives or fillers, only made by 1 company in RI). Construction is as follows: steam bun, place grilled weiner in bun, wipe with bright yellow mustard, cover with Greek Sweet Chili Sauce, cover with finely diced white sweet onion and finish with Celery Salt.

  • October 17, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Mahalo Pomai – am posting that pic on Facebook. Also Shirokiya and Foodland is on my bucket list!

  • October 18, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Great pictures and that food looks so ono!  Nice nostalgic mention that you were born at Kaiser Hospital, people forget or are too young to know.

    Thanks Pomai!

    • October 18, 2016 at 11:22 pm

      Pomai, great for you born at Kaiser for my mom get taunted by sibblings

      for being only one born at home in the bathroom.  But I see it as a humble

      birth but later good person.  Which uncle and aunt were not really.

  • October 20, 2016 at 6:58 am

    @ Jerry – The younger generation of surfers probably don’t even know why they call that surf break “Kaiser Bowls”.

    @ Amy – Lucky back then my mom had health care benefits from my dad, who just started his career with the State of Hawaii at the Department of Agriculture.

    @ Ken – Gino’s mom’s stuffed chicken with all the bones removed reminds me of “Turducken” (boneless chicken, stuffed in a duck, stuffed in a turkey). Ever try that?

    Thanks for the thorough demo’ info’ throughout New England.

    I know how you feel about not throwing out cookbooks, as I have about 10 (far less than you) I refuse to get rid of, mainly because there’s recipes in there I still use (on very rare occasion, but still), plus others in it I want to try. I’d really prefer it ALL be in electronic form (PDF files), however I don’t have time (or will) to convert it. Essentially, I’m trying to be a “minimalist” as much as possible as far “things” stuffed and stored around the house.

    Sounds like your friend John inherited quite an estate the dad built from that Chinese restaurant. I wonder how many of his cooks from Hong Kong were able to permanently establish themselves there, as opposed to having to go back to the homeland. Politics were different back then in Hong Kong when they were a territory of Britain.

    My dad used to be a small business counselor for SCORE, and going over research, he discovered that the most successful restaurant businesses in Hawaii were Chinese restaurants, mainly because they had a sort of monarchy system, where all the staff are FAMILY MEMBERS; some of whom brought in to work for cheap labor from their homeland in China. Not sure about the immigration laws, on that, but that’s how he said they operate.

    “Chan’s Egg Rolls & Jazz” is actually quite catchy! Love it! If he opened one like that here in Waikiki, I’d bet it would give Blue Note a run for the money!

    Here’s that map of Route 1A you forwarded me from the Lobster Roll post…

    I’d be in heaven with all those exotic cold water shellfish you mentioned. It’s funny how here we are in Hawaii, in the middle of the ocean, yet shellfish isn’t a big deal here, other than your usual shrimp and lobster, most of which are all imported (other than the the farmed Kona Lobster and Kauai shrimp). All most folks here care about eating is Ahi, with the occasional reef fish and “snappers” here and there. Of course I paint that with a very wide brush.

    Wow, in less than a thousand words,you just described a beautiful landscape painting of a New England countryside. Well done! It’s that very reason many mainland folks who move to Hawaii say they love the weather here, yet they miss the distinctive seasons on the mainland, especially around that time when the trees leaves and hillsides turn color and that kinda’ stuff. Not so much for the snow though.

    Vermont and New Hampshire would be right up my alley, where you say the architecture are like small Bavarian Towns. LOVE that style! It’s like what those miniature “Christmas Towns” are modeled after.

    I imagine it’s a lot more challenging for auto insurance adjusters out there than here in Hawaii, as we don’t have Mooses crushing cars, hail damage, or accidents caused by ice-sleeted streets. Still, it’s interesting after did the math, determining that it’s cheaper to live here in Hawaii than in RI.

    Next time I see Hank Adaniya, I’ll be sure to ask him about the New York System Wiener. Perhaps he can come up with the “Honolulu System Wiener“! 100% Kualoa Ranch free range beef wiener, hand-cut 4” long, boiled in Honolulu Beer Works HIPA, then “Pulehu” grilled, served on a Diamond HEad Bakery split-top hot dog bun, swiped with Hank’s house-made “System Sauce”, diced  sweet Ewa Onions, and finished with a light sprinkling of Hawaiian Salt. Dang, I should email Hank that idea, stat!


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