It’s been a while since I stopped by Rainbow Drive-In for a bite, which I did last Tuesday. On which one of their specials for the day was Chopped Steak, one of my flavah faves! lol
One thing (among many) you have to hand to Rainbow’s, is they’re the epitome of what a local style plate lunch drive-in should be, and always has been, in every sense of the definition. It literally is a drive-in, where you park your car within several feet of the front counter. And the workers there all could be your auntie or cousin. Most importantly, da’ grindz at Rainbow’s are as local as it gets. And the place is always PACKED. I bet if Rainbow Drive-In were to open multiple locations around the island, they’d do just as well as Zippy’s.
Brah, and spock dis’ out (check this out)… ‘day (they) still stay get da’ cardboard box wit’ da’ wax papah (paper) on top (on the) da’ plate inside, cuz! Truly classic! I really wish everyone would go back to doing this, as there’s so much nostalgia to it. While I think that box and wax paper just makes the food taste better in a psychological way, if you know what I mean.
And there it is, Rainbow Drive-In’s Chopped Steak plate, with the requisite two scoops rice and one scoop mac, packed to go in the classic cardboard box, all for a thrifty $7.95. Awesome sauce!
And how was it? Pretty good. Not the greatest Chopped Steak I ever had, but decent, especially while diggin’ the generous mixture of sliced tomato, celery and onions. It could have been a bit more marinated with Shoyu, while the Mac was still as usual for Rainbow’s, being too heavy on the Mayo’-to-Mac ratio, laddat (too “loose”). But overall, after a long day in the sun and surf at the beach nearby, she go!
Oh, in case you’re not aware of it, Rainbow Drive-In (Kapahulu Avenue, near the Honolulu Zoo) also has a “sister” restaurant next door (across 7-Eleven) that includes Shimazu Shave Ice (new!), the original KC Waffle Dog, Mike’s Huli Chicken and Poke Stop.
Next up, we’re back in Waimanalo, a.k.a. “God’s Country” (which it truly is!) at Ono Steaks and Shrimp Shack. Where you might notice they added a Tiger Shark on the roof. Which I suppose is apt, as I heard from a local diver in the area that Tigers are common to see, especially around Rabbit Island, where they’ll chase you if you have fish on your line (as a diver, that is).
First up from Ono’s out in ‘Nalo, is their signature steak plate, with some A1 Steak Sauce for dippinz’. Nice! And? Perfect. Choice-grade strip steak was seasoned and cooked to medium-rare tender perfection, and as good as a sub-$10 steak plate could ever be. Mac-Potato salad was also right on point.
Next up from Ono’s out in ‘Nalo, their Roast Pork plate, “almost” with “gravy all ovah”, but not quite, as it’s not covering the Potato-Mac’. And that brown gravy was stick-to-your-ribs KILLAHZ! The pork itself could have been a lil’ bit more tender, however, when in doubt? Dip ’em ‘dat killah’ rich and savory brown gravy and it’s all good!
Finally from Ono’s out in ‘Nalo, we have their signature Smoke Meat plate. And? Hmmm. It’s a bit more sweet this time, and not as smokey as previous takes I’ve had from them in the past. I’d almost go on to say it tasted more like lightly-smoked Teriyaki Pork. Which isn’t a a bad thing at all, however I think they need to go back to their original recipe. Too much sugar in the marinade for this batch. Still ono though!
I must also point out Ono’s Potato-Mac Salad, which is right on point. Absolutely one of the best of its kind you’ll find from any plate lunch joint. It’s kept simple, perfectly al dente with just the right amount of mayo’, and seasoned just right.
We move further on into Waimanalo, hanging a left at Shima’s Market, following that road until it reaches a fork, then hang a U-turn, where right from there is OK Poultry, formerly known as Kaneshiro Poultry. OK Poultry is a Japanese company who took over the farm as an investor, however the Kaneshiro family still runs the joint, including matriarch Carolyn Kaneshiro, who I had the pleasure to chat with on this most recent visit this past Thursday. She’s such a sweet lady, I love her! She didn’t want pictures of her, so sorry I couldn’t get that, however I did take photos of the new chicken coop they have out front….
OK Poultry (Kaneshiro Poultry) is currently working on expanding their production facility at this Waimanalo farm, where when I was there, they were pouring a new concrete foundation for a warehouse-like structure where that will be, just past the store in front.
This is the front of Kaneshiro Poultry’s Waimanalo valley store, d.b.a. OK Poultry.
Want fresh-as-can-get “TKG” eggs, hatched within one day of purchase? You got it! Get a tray of 30 large “TKG” eggs direct at the farm at OK Poultry in Waimanalo for just $8.25!
Next up, above, we have Pinakbet from Don Quijote Kaheka’s Okazuya counter. Dude, if you want kick @ss Filipino food, look no further, as the middle-aged Filipino cook who makes the grindz here at Don Quijote’s Kaheka location knows how to cook some seriously awesome Filipino grindz! Just as good, if not better than Naty’s in Chinatown, or the former Mabuhay’s on River Street. Or Bautista’s. Or Elena’s. Where evahz! His Pork Guisantes, Adobo and Lechon also kicks @ss!
Next up, I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been having this mean craving for Pizza, where my favorite of the “Big 3” has always been none other than Pizza Hut. Specifically their pan crust. As for toppings? My go-to faves are usually Pepperoni, Olives, Mushrooms and Bell Peppers. However this last time I did try it with what I didn’t know they had until looking at the topping menu closer, are Meatballs?….
Gotta’ admit, it does a look a bit weird with meatballs on it. So how is it? Excellent! They’re very lightly seasoned with what might be thyme and/or parsley, and it definitely went well with the pepperoni, which I was concerned might clash.It’s basically like eating a “pizza-fied” spaghetti and meatballs, which we all love of course!
If there’s any improvement, I’d say the meatballs just needs to be more “crustified” and not so “microwaved” in texture, where they’re kind of mushy. Other than that, this is definitely a meaty topping I’ll be going for more often now on at ” The Hut”!
Next-up, speaking of toppings, my go-to “binge” lately has been a fully loaded baked potato. The WORKS, cuz. I start by “nuking” my potato, which I find turns out better than oven-baked, in a fraction of the time and energy. From there, I pretty much drown it with melted butter and EVOO, then I smother it with fresh-grated sharp cheddar, then nuke it for a few seconds just to slighly melt the cheese. Then I hit it with fresh crack salt and pepper. Then hit it with a GLOP of sour cream, making sure there’s enough to make my arteries quiver, and my ribs stuck like glue. lol Not stopping there, a whole herb garden’s worth of roughly chopped green onions, which I much prefer over Chives. Finally, on goes bacon bits, made with Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon that was also nuked to get it crispy, to the point where I can sprinkle it over the sour cream.
Dude, baked potato heaven, right there!
We’ll wrap-up this edition of “Grindz of the Day” on a fresh note, strolling around once again at my favorite Saturday morning event, the KCC Farmers Farmers Market. Above are a flawless selection of Gourmet Select Kamuela Tomatoes, all vine-ripened, greenhouse grown and Food Safety Certified. Kamuela Tomatoes can also be found at most supermarkets, as well as Costco. They’re a product of Kawamata Farms LLC, in Kamuela on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Next up, give a holla’ to all da’ Filipinos in da’ house, as we have Calamansi, selling for $1 per pound, which is about a big handful worth. Calamansi are very small — about the size of a “bambucha” marble — and taste like a very tart Tangerine. They’re often used as a flavoring condiment for Filipino dishes such as Pancit (noodles) and seafood, such as Pusit (squid). Calamansi are also excellent atop a bottle of Corona or your favorite brew of choice. Also great squeezed in 7-Up or Sprite. Basically anything that lemon or lime is good with, Calamansi is an excellent, more flavorful option.
While we’re Talkin’ Filipino, $1 per pound is an excellent price here for Green Cooking Papaya. Typically green papaya sells for over $3 per pound in the grocery stores.
As you know, Green Papaya is the key ingredient (next to Malunggay leaves) in Tinola (Chicken Papaya Soup), shown above. I LOVE Tinola! Green Papaya is actually sort of flavorless, with just a subtle hint of Papaya flavor. It’s pretty much essentially a “sponge”, with a tender, yet firm bite to it after it’s cooked briefly, that really absorbs the ginger-laced flavor of the chicken broth in Tinola, while the high concentration of Papain in it helps to further tenderize the chicken in the soup. Of course Green Papaya is VERY healthy for you.
Finally, we have Nasubi variety Avocado from Kona. I got to sample some, and WOW, it’s VERY “Avocado-ee” and creamy! Gives Hass some serious competition! Man, this would make some AWESOME Guac’, or topped on a burger!
Until next time, a hui hou!