Truth from Dare: Ono kine grinds

May. 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

BY DERIN DEREGO / Special to the Star-Advertiser

One thing I’ve never been accused of being is a foodie. I’ve never really gotten into food, and except for a few home cooked meals from childhood, there are few things I crave eating — and those dishes are probably more about the nostalgia they conjure up.

Lately, however, I’ve experienced a bit of delight from the consumption of tasty dishes. It’s probably due to the myriad of options popping up not only in terms of eateries, but also in other sources of dining.

I recently tried a new service, HIfreshbox.com. The concept is genius and perfect for people who like a quick, easy, healthy meal. They deliver a vacuum-sealed box of three dishes for two that includes everything you need to make each meal. They also include a simple recipe card, complete with pictures.

You can’t screw this up. I’m a novice in the kitchen and the meals turned out perfectly. It’s a great option for people like myself who hate grocery shopping, standing in long checkout lines and can’t be bothered with tons of leftovers.

There are also a bunch of new openings on the restaurant scene. One of my favorite new spots is Meatball on Kapahulu Avenue. The name says its all. They basically specialize in meatballs and offer them in traditional beef, chicken, seafood and vegetarian. You can get them with a variety of sauces and sides. My favorite combination is kim chee marinara over traditional spaghetti. Aside from the tasty options, the spot is BYOB, so stop at Safeway across the street and grab a bottle of wine or some beers to enjoy the casual atmosphere with.

Even established restaurants are switching things up. Hula Grill at the Outrigger Waikiki rolled out a new brunch menu on the weekends. I usually hit up Duke’s when I’m in the area, so when I heard they’re now doing brunch I thought it was a perfect opportunity to check out Hula Grill. The options were mainly a local twist on traditional breakfast fare; my favorite was the Breakfast Bento that featured a sample of their most popular items.

Food offerings have also been popping up in places you wouldn’t expect, like your favorite little bar. I recently went to Mercury Bar in Chinatown and was pleasantly surprised to find the smell of pizza permeating Chaplain Lane. Its seems the live music venue has installed a pizza oven and is now serving pizzas with local, farm fresh ingredients. Great call, as nothing goes better with live music and a beer than pizza.

Speaking of Chinatown, I was a little bummed when I heard that there wasn’t going to be a big Cinco de Mayo block party like years past. It seems with Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day happening back-to-back, organizers of the larger block parties were wary to put together a big production on a Monday night. Still, various bars and nightclubs have come together to host a pub crawl and scavenger hunt on Monday. Eleven venues, stretching from Smith Street to Fort Street Mall, are participating in the festivities, giving those of us who enjoy any excuse to celebrate a killer option for one of the biggest party days of the year.
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When he’s not out and about at the hottest parties and other events in Honolulu, Derin “Dare” Derego works as an account executive at a local radio station group. Reach him via email at derinderego@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter.

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