Posts Tagged ‘sandwiches’

San Francisco Eats

October 28, 2008

Though the stay in Cali was not all that long, I was able to sneak in a few bites here and there. Here are some highlights yo:

I arrived the day of the wedding (congrats again Tommy and Margaret!), so there was really not much to do other than help with the last minute wedding errands. The soon-to-bes were nice enough to treat us to lunch (custom sandwiches) from a place called Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery. Though they do have numerous locations in California, Seattle and Chicago, we hit up the one closest to us at 3399 Bowers Ave in Santa Clara.

Sandwiches from Specialty's Cafe & Bakery
Sandwiches from Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery

The next meal was actually at the wedding, so I didn’t really have much time to snap photos. I was able to sneak a shot at the venue’s pupu platter, which was served to the wedding party before we marched out to the reception area.

Pupu Platter from Freedom Hall and Gardens
Pupu Platter from Freedom Hall and Gardens

The Freedom Hall and Gardens was the site of the picturesque wedding, and, according to their web site, the dish was called the “Pre Buffet ‘Butler-Style’ Passed Hors d’oeuvres” (see menu). Awesome work guys. It was all delish on our empty, Heineken-only filled stomachs. *grin*

The next day, we made our way out to San Fran. For lunch, we ate at Crab House at Pier 39. A bit on the costly side for what you get, but we were hungry and wanted to rest our bones.

Bowl of Crab Chowder from Crab House at Pier 39
Bowl of Crab Chowder from Crab House at Pier 39

The “chowdah” was pretty good but the crab on top was cold. Then, as usual, my eyes were bigger than my stomach, so I ordered the medium Sizzling Iron Skillet-Roasted Mussels and Shrimp platter (see menu – PDF).

Sizzling Iron Skillet-Roasted Mussels and Shrimp (Medium) at Crab House at Pier 39
Sizzling Iron Skillet-Roasted Mussels and Shrimp (Medium) at Crab House at Pier 39

That evening, after checking out the Golden Gate Bridge, we went roaming around Chinatown. I looked up reviews on my phone for good Chinese Restaurants nearby and thanks to the power of Yelp, we discovered R & G Lounge Restaurant (see menu – PDF).

House Combination Chow Mein, Prawns with Honey Walnut, and Roast Duck from R & G Lounge Restaurant
House Combination Chow Mein, Prawns with Honey Walnut, and Roast Duck from R & G Lounge Restaurant

The eats was good, but the company throughout the entire trip was even better…

Talk to me!
* Have you eaten at any of these places (Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery, Freedom Hall and Gardens, Crab House at Pier 39, R & G Lounge Restaurant)?
* How’d you like it?
* Other San Francisco (Tr)Eats you’d like to share?
* A co-worker recommends Crustacean’s. Ever been?
* Where can you get a good bowl of “chowdah” here in the 808?
* How about good sandwiches or Chinese food for that matter?


The Best Local Style Saimin? Shige’s Fo’ Shizzle!

February 1, 2007

With the rarefied (cold) air we’ve been facing these last few months, I thought now was as good a time as any to feature one of my favorite local style saimin spots to help keep us warm…

All my life, I grew up a townie. Living in the Salt Lake, Pensacola, Punahou, Kahala and Hawaii Kai areas, I was spoiled by the sun and all its glory. With parks and beaches always just minutes away, cold weather was as foreign to me as mouthwash is to a Maltese.

After working in the higher elevations of Central Oahu for almost 10 years now, I’ve come to realize that there actually is this thing others refer to as seasons. Not quite winter snow, spring colors, summer heat and fall leaves, but “hot around June” and “cold around December” is about the extent of it.

Aside from “bundling up,” which in Hawaii means long pants and a long sleeve, the next best thing you can do to battle these “extreme” conditions is to eat or drink something warm. So why not do both with noodles and soup?

Shige’s Saimin Stand is just the place.

Shige's Saimin Stand Sign
Shige’s Saimin Stand Sign

Located in the heart of Wahiawa, Oahu, Shige’s is, to me, the best local style saimin around. Notice how I said “local style” though? There is a distinct difference between local style saimin and Japan kine rahmen and comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges. But on the real, Shige’s, on either list, is in my top 3.

Note: Apologies to those who love Hamura’s in Kauai or even some of the ones I haven’t been to yet like Sam Sato’s or Hanafuda in Maui or Nori’s in the Big Island… Shige’s rules and everyone else drools. 😛

At Ross and JoAnn Shigeoka’s shop, their trademark flat noodles are actually homemade and made fresh daily. Initially, I was simply in love with the saimin and tasty soup base, but after learning that the noodles were homemade, I grew another layer of appreciation for this island specialty.

Another one of the pleasant delights of Shige’s is their hours. They close at 10PM during the week and stay open ’til MIDNIGHT on Fridays and Saturdays. If you’ve got that late night craving/itch, they’re ready and open for you and if you’ve never tried Shige’s before, you now have no excuse.

Shige's Saimin Stand Hours
Shige’s Saimin Stand Hours

Alas, we’ve come to my favorite part… da grindz!

Shige's Menu
Shige’s Menu

Shige’s menu is quite simple. For saimin, you’ve got your choice of their regular saimin, wunton mein or vegetable saimin in two sizes: small and large. They’ve got other items including burgers, sandwiches, bbq sticks and select plate lunches, but to me, the saimin is the way to go. Going to Shige’s and not ordering saimin is like going to McDonald’s and buying a salad. Borrrrrrring!

My personal favorite is their large wunton mein. Unlike those other noodle shops around town who seem to dominate their saimin dishes with toppings rather than noodles, Shige’s is quite generous with their noodle portions. I find comfort in knowing that when I leave Shige’s, my hunger will be completely and utterly satisfied.

Shige's Large Wunton Mein
Shige’s Large Wunton Mein

If I am feeling really daring, I lose the battle of the bulge and splurge on a homemade hamburger as well. Dem buggahs probably raise my cholesterol by 50 points, but the soft, buttery bun and lusciously juicy patty lure me in with their inviting ways.

Shige's Hamburger
Shige’s Hamburger

The best part of the entire Shige’s experience is when you receive your bill. All dishes retain their old school prices and fall under $6, and, depending on the size of your party and your appetite, your total usually never exceeds $20!

To recap:

Shige’s Gem #1: Ono grindz fo battle da cold weather
Shige’s Gem #2: Homemade, fresh noodles l’dat
Shige’s Gem #3: Dey stay open late kine
Shige’s Gem #4: Dey geev choke
Shige’s Gem #5: Ho da cheap!

Delicious, keeps you warm, homemade, fresh, convenient, filling AND cheap??? I’ll drink (soup) to that!

Shige's Saimin

Shige’s Saimin Stand
70 Kukui Street
Wahiawa, HI 96786 (map)
(808) 621-3621
Mon-Thu: 10am-10pm
Fri & Sat: 10am-midnight
Closed Sundays