Sunday, October 25, 2015

I thought submarines were yellow!

Waikiki Beach

Day two wasn't quite as busy as day one, but my sister and I did hit the ground running at 7 am.  We had reservations to ride the Atlantis submarine, which she thought I would get bored with but it wasn't that bad. Besides the fact that we didn't actually get on the submarine until about 10 due to a cruise ship being in the way in the harbor, and us not being able to find any alcohol because the bars didn't open until 12, I'd say we had a pretty good time. 

A fake shipwreck 

A fake plane wreck

After our underwater adventure, we went to the famous Duke's for lunch. Has EVERYONE not recommended it, I probably would not have gone, but I guess it was good to check out an Hawaiian staple.

The service was a little slow, but helpful. The food was pretty good, nothing mind blowing in my opinion, but had a good flavor and was filling. I had the Cajun fish tacos and my sister had the fish and chips. We also shared the calamari as our appetizer. 

The rest of day two was me taking a nap until we went to watch "Hocus Pocus" in a park like setting on base. I did hit the town with my brother-in-law and sister, nothing too extravagant. We checked out a cool bar in the lobby of a hotel called The Study that had live music and had decor that reminded me of someone's book room or study. 

Me imitating the statues at the Hilton.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Aloha Hawaii from the Southern Fellow

Yes, I know you all have missed me. I have been a little busy and decided that my first post in 5 months should be something exciting. So, I'm writing from Kailua, Hawaii this morning.

I arrived yesterday, after missing my first flight 2 days ago, due to a very unfortunate event called oversleeping. It's ok though, I arrived with all of my stuff in one piece and didn't throw my sister's itinerary too far off track.

If you know anything about me and traveling, you know I hit the ground running. I typically land, check-in to my hotel and turn right around to explore the city. This trip was pretty much no different, except I got off of the plane, grabbed lunch and went for a hike with my family.  

My first meal in Hawaii was at Diamond Head Market and Grill, a small restaurant with no indoor seating attached to a small community market in the middle of a residential neighborhood, that unfortunately for my mom, didn't have chips. I was so excited when I found this little place. I ended up eating a miso ginger salmon sandwich with fries and honey lemonade, after debating between the BBQ Gorgonzola bacon burger, the teriyaki chicken sandwich, the teriyaki burger, and the mushroom burger. It was so good and quite a start to my dining experiences here. 

I'm not quite sure how I hiked 0.8 miles up the inside of a crater after eating such deliciousness, but I did. 

Diamond Head is volcanic tuff used in the past to house Fort Ruger, the U.S. first military reservation in Hawaii. Now it is a popular hiking destination with rewarding views of Waikiki, Honolulu, and Maunalua Bay. 

The hike starts in the middle of the crater and goes up one side, eventually offering some of the best views of the Pacific Hawaii has to offer. It wasn't a very challenging hike, but karma allowed my sister and I to reminisce brutal track practices with my mom "coaching" us as we returned the favor on this hike. 

These stairs are AWFUL!!!

We made it to the top!!

The inside of the crater. Our car is down there somewhere.

The rest of day one consisted of a quick trip to Pearl Harbor, the base not the monument, to pick up my brother in law's uniform, dinner at a popular hangout on the marine base, and a drive across a runway to the beach.

Well, it's about time I get dressed and get ready for my submarine adventure since Bob's underwater adventure was sold out. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Quick Little Catch Up

Aaahhhhh where has the time gone? I stay so busy and lost track of my posts. I'll keep this short and sweet because I'm currently sitting at dinner and eating. 

If you don't know, I love spring time. Everything just feels so fresh and renewed-of course, it's also my birthday season and a good time for outdoor activities and festivals. 

So, first of all. I'm an uncle! This is a first for me and appently it's a title I will carry the rest of my life. My little niece came 2 months early-bless her little heart. She came on Easter and I will forever tease her that she wanted to take family Easter pictures so she decided it was time for her arrival. No pics sorry, my sister and bro-in-law aren ready for the world to see her pretty little face.

I swear every year my first Saturday is overwhelmingly full. This year I barely got any sleep and was in a good friend from high school's wedding. It was so good to see people I hadn't seen in a while and spend her special day with her. 

Unfortunately, I had to scoot out of the wedding reception a little early as I had to get to the Red Party by Aid Upstate. This has become and annual thing for Mr Homewrecker and I. If you were wondering what was with all of the red togas downtown on that first Saturday night-it was us! We had a blast as usual!

Unfortunately, I didn't make it to Artisphere but I was downtown that weekend with my mom and sister for Mother's Day dinner. 

I did make it the next weekend to Bovinoche...well barely. I took a nap after working all morning and made it out there by 7. I missed all of the cool foods like yak and the bacon wrapped alligators. I did, however, have some goat, beef and pork. It was so good! Next year I will skip the nap!

Well that catches you up for now! Fun posts coming soon! Back to my dinner at Dive N Boar!

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Whig tricked me!

Lately, I've been seeing all of these posts about these cool prohibition themed bars through out the country, and I am dying to check one out. Now, this post isn't about one that I visited, although once I saw this restaurant's location and was greeted by a group of people who looked like flappers on my way in I really hoped it would be; but Dr Shrink took me to The Whig for our last meal in Columbia last weekend. 

If you didn't know what The Whig was beforehand, you'd not check it out of you just happened to walk by. It is located in the basement of a building right across from South Carolina's own statehouse. There is a sign, street side on a iron fence that lines the top of the stairwell leading to the front door.

Like I said previously, going in I thought Dr Shrink had surprised me with a prohibition style restaurant/bar, but no password was needed to get into this place. I mean they even had a group of flappers outside to greet me! The decor is very old though-I'm not even sure how to describe it. 

The Whig's website proclaims it to be North America's Greatest Dive Bar, which I'm still weary about. The menu seems to be that of a dive bar but with a little more fun to it with items such as gravy fries with mozzarella and a variety of burgers.

I had the three cheese grilled cheese with bacon. It was pretty good, but nothing to be overjoyed about.

Dr Shrink had a burger of some sort, but I'm not exactly sure what kind.

The Whig was satisfying and I feel it has so much potential, or I could just be stuck on it really playing on this prohibition theme and being a tad disappointed. I wouldn't put it on my must visit list, but I bet it would be fun late at night. I feel it would have a very hipster vibe, but I could be wrong.

Burger Tavern 77 hits the spot!

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Columbia and ALLLLL week I craved a burger and glass of red wine. I don't know why and yes, I do realize that is one heck of a combination, but I had it once and then I saw Olivia Pope do it and I figured I had done something right. I tell Dr Shrink this and asked if there were any gourmet burger places in Columbia besides "Red Robbin, yum!" We ended up at Burger Tavern 77.

Before this trip I had never heard of this place, but it may be one of Culumbia's little secrets. I slept on the way there, so I don't know much about it's location, except it's on Divine Street. The name however came from their 77 burger toppings along with what seems like a pretty good beer menu-not a beer drinker, just what I heard.

For our starter we had the 8 hour pork sliders. Oh my gosh, they were soooo good. Pulled pork topped with coleslaw, pickle and mustard barbecue sauce are definitely a hit for this place!

I had the Tahoe as my entree, which is Burger Tavern's turkey burger. This deliciousness is made with ground turkey, monzarella, baby spinach and Demi poached portobello mushrooms with a sundried tomato pesto.

I don't make it to Columbia often, but this has definitely made it onto my list of return eateries. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Birthday Shenanigans part 3

So, the third and final part of my birthday celebration was a weekend trip to Columbia, South Carolina with Dr Shrink. It wasn't my original plan, but a friend of his asked us if we wanted to go to the Carolina Cup in Camden, so it only seemed right to make a weekend out of it. In weeks, leading up to "Cup", as the Carolina Cup has been nicknamed, I picked out an outfit and did a little research on the event as I had heard of it, but never actually attended. 

After talking to coworkers, friends, reading blogs and stalking Instagram and Twitter to gain a little more knowledge about the event, I was sure I was headed to a college sorority girl event of the spring. Apparently, if a frat guy asks you to the even you are to dress up in a sundress and hat and make this man a cooler. You guys then attend the event, only to get plastered in the middle of a field without any clue as to what is going on outside of the infamous "College Park". 

Fortunately, I'm not a sorority girl and Dr Shrink isn't a frat boy. So I missed that whole other experience to which most people get to enjoy. My experience was completely different. I got dressed up in the usually preppy "Cup" attire, which I enjoy-blazer, bright colors and bow ties. We had a nice tailgate spot on the North Rail away from all of the madness. College Park was on the other side of the track from us and I could still hear it's chaos.

They say if you see a horse, you didn't do it right. Well, I guess we didn't do it right. We actually saw part of 4 out of 6 races. I also came equipped with all of my southern belle drinking gear. A koozie for a bottle, large plastic wine cup and some cute napkins.

While in Columbia, we also checked out some of his old stomping grounds as a grad-student at the University of South Carolina. From brunch at Cafe Strudel to drinking games with college girls, a random farmers market and drinks at Kelly's this weekend was pretty fun to be honest. Cheers to another fun birthday and great weekend out of town!

It was cold at Cup, come prepared!

Farmer's Market on Main

Crawling to eat for my 26th bday!

So, my birthday was this past Monday and unfortunately I had to work so I decided I'd span my birthday over the week with activities to celebrate me entering a new year. My first celebration was last Saturday when I met my friends and family out at Local Cue for a few drinks, late night barbecue and games. My second celebration was with Dr Shrink, doing the Greenville Small Plate Crawl.

If you haven't done the crawl, it is an absolute treat. In its second year, fellow blogs Gap Creek Gourmet and Carolina Epicurean got with a few local restaurants to participate in this foodie event. You pick out the participating restaurants you'd like to visit and in whatever order and you go with however many people, order from a select menu of items costing between $6 and $8, and some have cocktail specials as well.

Usually I'd take this time to explore places I haven't had the opportunity to check out and explore their menu. This year I decided to just check out some oldie but goodies.

Our first stop was Southern Culture Kitchen and Bar, a popular restaurant in the Cherrydale area of Greenville. This restaurant has become really popular for its bottomless mimosas at brunch, but dinner and lunch anytime is also delicious. I had the porkstada tostada- pulled pork, corn salsa, cheese sauce and a mustard barbecue sauce. YUMMY ! Dr Shrink had the deviled eggs-they weren't his favorite, but he said they were descent.

A great new feature to this year's crawl was the Six & Twenty challenge, where local bartenders where challenged with the tasks to make the best cocktail using Six & Twenty whisky made right outside of Greenville in Piedmont, South Carolina. 

Of course, I wanted to take the opportunity to try at least one of these cocktails, so we headed to Stellar Wine Bar for our next destination. Stellar has become a favorite of mine in terms of just chilling and having a glass of wine, but their food menu is pretty good as well. I had the truffle macaroni and cheese (soooo good) and Dr Shrink had the duck tacos after they ran out of lobster and potato croquettas. I had a bite of Dr Shrink's tacos and I wasn't a big fan. I could take them or leave them.

Their Six & Twenty cocktail was the cherry and Cocoa Manhattan. I will go on record and say I'm not a Manhattan type of guy, prefer Cape Cods, but the cocktail wasn't too bad. I would've prefer it at the end of the night as a substitute for desert with its chocolate flavor.

Our last stop on the crawl was Nose Dive. Nose Dive is Table 301's gastropub. It's never made it on a list of favorites of mine, but I keep hoping one day it will. For some reason I like the atmosphere and root for them. They've been a hit or miss for me in the past, and unfortunately this time was another miss. I had the Grit Tots-fried grits with roasted pork and chili sauce. 

Dr Shrink had the lobster sliders. He said they were descent. 

This was their second year doing the crawl and my second year participating. I guess I'll deem this a new birthday tradition. So, hopefully I'll see you all crawling at the Greenville Small Plate Crawl 2016 or maybe even at the Columbia Crawl coming up soon or next year's Asheville Crawl!