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Grindz of the Day: Wailana Coffee House, Sam’s Club & Ken’s Kitchen

Wailana Coffee House Thanksgiving Turkey and Smoked Ham, smothered in Giblet Gravy over Macadamia Nut Stuffing, with Grilled Pineapple, Mash Potatoes and Corn on the Cob

We begin today’s “Grindz of the Day” at Wailana Coffee House, where on the evening of, I picked-up several Thanksgiving Turkey and Smoked Ham individual complete meals to-go.

Which was a GREAT deal, costing just $15.25 each, including roast turkey & smoked ham over a bed of Macadamia Nut Stuffing, all smothered with Giblet Gravy, and a Grilled Pineapple to boot. Starch of choice being mash potatoes, however you could also choose rice or a baked potato. It also included half a corn-on-the-cob, cranberry sauce and a side of either salad from the salad bar (if you dine-in), soup of the day, which on this day was Corn Chowder, or Fruit Cocktail, PLUS,  a slice of house-made Pumpkin Pie.

Wailana Coffee House Thanksgiving Turkey and Smoked Ham, smothered in Giblet Gravy over Macadamia Nut Stuffing, with Grilled Pineapple, Mash Potatoes and Corn on the Cob

Sweet deal, indeed! Sure beats cooking and cleaning up, especially in my small household. In my case, that’s also a relatively better deal than most complete, fully-cooked Turkey-to-Go meals, which I notice have really gone up in price this year.

Wailana Coffee House Corn Chowder and side of Cranberry Sauce (for the turkey of course)

And the portion and choices in the spread was perfect, being just enough to satisfy that Thanksgiving Day feast craving (you know what I”m talkin’ ’bout), yet not leave you all “turkey’d out”, as I quickly become, even after the second day of TKD leftovers, lilkely having made a Turkey & Gravy Sandwich. After the third day? If I haven’t made Jook by then, I don’t even want to SEE turkey for a whole year! Fuggetaboutit!

Wailana Coffee House house-made Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Pie

And Wailana totally nailed this, where the turkey and smoked ham was decently moist and tender, while that Macamadia Nut Stuffing and Giblet Gravy was total “Bomb Dot Com”!  The Corn Chowder also was spot-on, with that “restaurant quality” taste, while the Pumpkin Pie rounded out the meal perfectly. Overall 5 SPAM Musubi in my book, especially factoring in the work it saved me in the kitchen, not to mention wallet!

Here’s Wailana Coffee Shop’s most current dine-in restaurant menu…

For those of you who never heard of it, Wailana Coffee House is a very popular, super old school local & American style 24 hour diner that’s been in Waikiki (across the Hilton Hawaiian Village) since 1970. Truly a gem!

Sam’s Club $1.50 Nathan’s Famous Jumbo All-Beef Hot Dog & Drink @ the food court

Next up, we’re at Sam’s Club on “Koreamoku” Street to sample their take on the $1.50 jumbo hot dog and drink deal that Costco is also famous for. Like Costco, you can choose either Polish or all-beef, which on this visit I sampled their all beef dog. What sets Sam’s apart from Costco is Sam’s use of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, popularized by their national Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Sam’s Club food court $1.50 Nathan’s Famous Jumbo All-Beef Hot Dog & drink, fully loaded with ketchup, mustard, relish and onions

When it comes to hot dog condiments, I’m a “The Works” kinda’ guy, givin’ it a single line squirt of ketchup and mustard (not too much of each), a good dose of relish and as much chopped onions as I can possibly pile within what space is left in the bun. CHOKE da’ onions!

And? Well to tell you the truth, as long as Sam’s Club has been here, this was the first time I’ve tried their Nathan’s Jumbo All-Beef Hot Dog, and I must say, I think it slightly beats out Costco’s Kirkland brand Jumbo All-Beef Hot Dog from their food court. Mainly because I think the texture of the Nathan’s dog is just tad more course, while the flavor is slightly more savory and “umami-fied”. The buns between Costco and Sam’s are about the same, with no clear advantage to either, being they’re both steamed warm, not toasted.

Here’s Sam’s Club food court menu at the “Koreamoku” Street location (top level, above Walmart)…

Finally, we’re back in Ken’s Kitchen, where for prior to and for Thanksgiving he prepared Leberkäse, which is a German style “Meatloaf”, along with his mother’s Sausage & Sage Stuffing…

Leberkäse from Ken’s Kitchen

Leberkäse from Ken’s Kitchen

Leberkäse from Ken’s Kitchen

Ken notes, “This Leberkäse tastes like a mild baloney. Fried it up for breakfast. Could glaze it with Teri sauce and make a musubi, or dice it up and make a breakfast omelet, while also good for making sandwiches. Probably will be good on top of saimin, or added to fried rice. I might try breading it and deep frying it.”

Here’s the recipe Ken follows for his Lebekase: http://kitchenproject.com/german/recipes/leberkaese/index.htm

And this is Ken’s mom’s Sausage & Sage Stuffing he prepared this past Thursday…

Ken’s Mom’s Old Fashioned Sausage & Sage Stuffing

Sausage & Sage Turkey Stuffing
for a 12 lb turkey

  • 2 lb. Sausage
  • 4 diced onion, 5 diced celery
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tbs Bell’s seasoning
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Saute sausage till brown, add onion and celery and sauté till they give up water turn translucent, add butter, pepper, stir to combine, remove from heat, scramble eggs, combine sausage mixture, eggs, and bread together, sprinkle Bell’s over mixture and add chicken stock to adjust thickness. Stuff turkey with stuffing mixture at appropriate roasting time.

According to Ken, Bell’s Seasoning is THE SECRET “ingrediment” to his mom’s amazing Stuffing recipe…

Bell’s Seasoning ingredients: a blend of Rosemary, Sage, Ginger, Marjoram, Thyme and Pepper (no salt!)

Palolo Valley’s famous Pork Bowl with panko-crusted soft-boiled egg from Your Kitchen

Before signing off (kind of), just want to let you fans of the place know, as I discovered today, that Your Kitchen in Palolo Valley is currently CLOSED for an extended period of time until the “middle of December”, whenever that happens, while the owners are out on personal business (likely Japan).

P.S. Check out this $800 valued “downed” DJI Phantom Drone some diver recovered from the reef off Diamond Head Beach last weekend…

Oh man, I feel the PAIN the owner of this drone must have went through when it “hit the drink”. Ouch!

Finally, me and the guys were hangin’ out ‘n chattin’ at Mai Tai’s Ala Moana the other weekend, when two attractive gals decided to sit by us. One of the fellahz ended up talking with them, where it turns out one of the gals once worked as a scene double for Grace Park as “Officer Kono Kalakaua” in a Hawaii Five-0 episode. She let me snap a picture of her, which here she is on the right…

Grace Park (the real one) on the left and her scene double on the right as “Officer Kono Kalakaua” on Hawaii Five-0

Yup, she could totally pass on camera as Grace’s double! Pretty much same hair and facial features. IIRC, her name is Michelle, which to note, she’s Japanese, while Grace Park is ethnically Korean.

8 thoughts on “Grindz of the Day: Wailana Coffee House, Sam’s Club & Ken’s Kitchen

  • November 26, 2016 at 7:51 pm


    Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without frying up a big pancake of my mother’s sausage and sage stuffing with over easy eggs and ketchup for breakfast watching the Macy’s parade on TV (saw it in real life and it sucks with way too many breaks; all scripted for TV). If anything no matter where I am at, I will make sausage and sage stuffing for Thanksgiving morning breakfast.

    Bell’s Seasoning is sold by Whole Foods and Walmart. You can also purchase it on line at FamousFoods.com (cheapest) and through Amazon. The exact mixture ratios of herbs and spices have been kept secret since 1867. All I can say is a little goes a long way when flavoring foods. Because of raw eggs make sure stuffing is cooked to 165F degrees.

    BTW: I am working on a method of having a complete traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixing all year long anytime you want at the drop of a hat with almost no kitchen final cooking time for 1 or multiple servings. You know me, no longer than 30 min. in kitchen to cook meal without using microwave!

    • November 26, 2016 at 9:35 pm


      I don’t recall you mentioning turning the stuffing into pancakes. And with eggs and ketchup on it? Sheesh! What was I thinking?! I don’t suppose you forgot to add melted cheese, sour cream and a buttered biscuit on top of that to boot, would you? lol

      Sounds like the Bell’s Seasoning would make for a kick @ss fried chicken batter. Wouldn’t be surprised if it tastes like KFC!

      I caught the last hour of this past Thursday’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade live on TV, and while the floats and dancers were all fantastic, the songs the the musicians “performed” (mostly LIP SYNC’d!), SUCKED. Other than the few Christmas songs, the other song choices were totally irrelevant to the festivities of the parade, like sappy love songs or topics about revenge and stuff; not exactly, but somewhat to that effect. Totally ruined the mood, IMO.

      Not sure what you mean (without talking to you personally) about your “All Year Thanksgiving Meal”, but if you can pull off an entire TKD feast in less than 30 minutes, that would be AMAZING.  I did that by buying my meal to go from Wailana Coffee House for just $15! With 15 spare minutes to walk home and eat it! ;-P

      • November 27, 2016 at 12:48 pm


        Bell’s would make a good fried chicken batter but it has spices and herbs that normally not used plus because the recipe quantities are unknown trying to balance them for taste would be a nightmare. I have two recipes for KFC Original fried chicken and both are very close together (1 from newspaper and 1 from food lab). I use both recipes interchangeably to make my own KFC with full size chicken cuts (KFC has been skimping on size of chicken cuts and upping price) 6 min in pressure cooker (steam roast) and then 6 min deep fry till  golden brown juicy and crispy.

        BTW: Cookbook “Koreatown”  has the recipe for Korean Fried Chicken but it goes farther in that it expands to Spicy Hot Korean Fried Chicken Wings and the secret of how to get the glass shattering crispness and crunch to the batter and skin. I tried it and it works great!

        • November 28, 2016 at 4:34 am


          I think you’re complicating the idea of using Bell’s Seasoning as a batter flavoring component more than you should. lol You’re right, though, KFC is ripping us off with sub-standard chicken quality. And they need to fix that, STAT!

          Not a spicy chicken wings fan, so can’t elaborate on your comment about the Koreatown cookbook’s take on it.

  • November 27, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Wailana is most famous for their eggs benedict (they nail the sauce). But looking at the menu, I am baffled why I never tried the Salisbury Steak or beef stew. The Chop Steak is so-so, not nearly as good as Likelike. And this place is a pretty easy walk for me. You must be in vicinity.

    BTW, have you ever tried the Ihops? We have not.

    • November 27, 2016 at 4:21 pm


      Yup, tried Wailana’s Eggs Benedict a few times, and never was disappointed. They definitely nail the Hollandaise. Next time I wanna’ try the Chuckwagon Breakfast, which includes a grilled smoked pork chop, 2 macadamia nut pancakes, 2 eggs, horseradish and apple sauce, all for just $12.75. What a combo, and what a deal!

      Yes, I can walk to Wailana from my place within 5 minutes.

      Didn’t know Likelike Drive In was known for their Chop Steak, which I know you’re a fan of. I seen Chop Steak on the daily special menu at Rainbow Drive In recently for just $7.95. Came close to getting it, but ended up going elsewhere for dinner.

      There’s an iHop literally next door to Wailana Coffee House in the lobby of a hotel (can’t remember the name, but it’s also right across the Hilton Hawaiian). Never been there yet (not really a breakfast person to be honest). The franchise owners of that iHop are the same folks who opened Applebee’s in Ewa Beach.

    • November 29, 2016 at 12:28 am


      Ah, yeah, that’s what I meant. See what happens when the live band is playing too loud on the stage right behind us at Mai Tai’s? Steffi is misheard as “Michelle”, and Taiwanese is misheard as “Japanese”. LOL

      Thanks for the instagram link! That’s definitely her!


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