Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Pah Ke’s in Kaneohe; Really Good Chinese Food

I had asked my friend if we could eat “really good” Chinese food at some point while I was visiting, and she knew just the place.

My friend is a very laid back driver, but she is puzzled, she has never seen the parking lot so full before. It is so full we have to park across the busy street and walk across. The lot is full of small busses, and vans, and there isn’t a parking space to be had. Even all the illegal spaces are taken!

When we walk inside, we are filled with horror. There is an event going on at Pah Ke’s. Does this mean we won’t be able to eat there? There are about thirty very large tables, ten or twelve people at each table, eating some of the most delicious looking food I have ever seen. The waitress ushers us to a table over at the side; there are maybe three or four tables for people not in this large group.

“What’s going on?” we ask the waitress.

“Special celebration for this retired group; Chinese New Years,” the waitress replied.

The place was packed, many of the Chinese women in traditional bright red silk.

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“It doesn’t look like much,” my friend said, “but everyone who loves Chinese food eats here. We have to start with their special salad”

 

The food came quickly, in spite of the large crowd. We got to watch the crowd depart as we savored our own delicacies.

I had never heard of a special Chinese salad before, but this salad is special Chinese-in-Hawaii salad, with tropical fruits and a sweet dressing, and watermelon. It is fabulous.

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Scallops and asparagus on a bed of spinach. Great!

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Our very favorite: Szechuan Eggplant and pork

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Huge shrimp with walnuts

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We ate it all. We didn’t take home a drop. We ate at Pah Ke’s again, on our way to the airport the day we left, and it was just as good. What a treat.

This is where we spent the rest of the day . . . 🙂

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March 14, 2016 Posted by | Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Friends & Friendship, Holiday, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Restaurant, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Hawaii Daze; a Sentimental Journey

My friend has been urging us – for years – to visit her in her Hawaii home.

I’ve been to Hawaii before. I wasn’t excited about going back, but when our long and happy friendship hit the 50 year mark, I looked at AdventureMan and asked if he would like to go to Hawaii. He really wanted to go. I booked the flights, and booked a car. Talking with my friend, she told me to cancel the car, we wouldn’t need one. We could use hers if we weren’t going to all go together.

Arriving was such fun. My friend was there to greet us with traditional Hawaiian leis, and we drove from the airport to Kailua, where she lives, stopping here and there to learn the lay of the land.

 

Her house is beautiful. She calls it her “happy place” and she had a firm idea in mind when she had her home built. She wanted it in a local style, and she wanted it to be able to sleep a LOT of people. My friend is the soul of hospitality. There is a gathering wing, with the kitchen, living room and dining room, there is the entry and her private living quarters, and there is a a very large guest wing.

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She looks out over the Pacific to the north of the island, and the sound of the waves crashing on her beach provides a constant, lulling background.

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“What do you want to see in Hawaii?” she asked me as we were planning our trip.

“I want to see your life,” I replied. “I want to see where you go, what you do, where you shop for groceries. I want to see what makes you happy.”

So our first day there, she took us to the Kailua Farmers’ Market, and to several places she shops. I loved it.

 

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This is the view behind the Farmers’ Market.

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Beautiful flowers, beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables, and exotic fruits, apple bananas, ugly oranges (but they taste wonderful). We bought food for dinner that night.

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In front of the Kailua Foodland, there were wild chickens, and she explained to us that chickens roamed wild everywhere. Once she pointed it out, we could see them, too.

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“You won’t see this in Seattle,” my friend said, and showed me the Poke Bar in the Foodland. Poke is a fish native to Hawaii, and the locals love it fixed a hundred different ways.

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They also had wonderful fresh vegetables.

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March 14, 2016 Posted by | Adventure, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Food, Friends & Friendship, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Relationships, Travel | , | Leave a comment