Friday, May 21, 2010

A dog day turns memorable

HONOLULU HARBOR -- Before you begin to think this blog is no more than a Bar Hopper's Guide to Hawaii, please know there is a bigger plan.  Not a well-crafted plan, mind you, but a sort of rough sketch of what could happen if we had an official tour guide.  But if you ask me, my sailor is doing just fine...

While Petty Officer Smith was in class yesterday morning I sat through an orientation to learn about the tours offered through our fine hotel.  There are some impressive activities like visiting majestic waterfalls and hidden emerald green isles, snorkling with the dolphins, hiking Diamond Head and of course the prerequisite tour of Pearl Harbor.  The Hale Koa's luau is supposed to be a spectacular event. Nowhere, however, is there a tour bus taking visitors to Try My Dogs, the best hot dog joint in all of Hawaii and possibly the world, if you believe the gushing reviews.

After a day of being a water dog, it was time to take the hot dog challenge.  We drove up to the Hawaii Maritime Museum and walked over to the adjacent Aloha Tower marketplace. Massive freighters -- imagine vessels twice as large as a Mississippi barge, stacked high with giant crates -- cut through Honolulu Harbor behind the historic Tower.  (Maybe it's the mother lode of iPads finally being delivered!)  These working ships give the harbor a distinctive nautical industrial flavor, which only spiked our appetite for a good blue collar meal.

Memo to Try My Dogs:  WE WOULD TRY YOUR DOGS IF YOU DIDN'T LOCK YOUR KIOSK BY 6 P.M.!!!   What's up with that?

Feeling dejected and betrayed, we wound up on bar stools at Don Ho's Island Grill, ordered pints of Primo and scanned the menu for Pupu -- an odd name for appetizers but somehow appropriate to this journey. The wait staff here wears commemorative T-shirts reminding us that Don Ho, Hawaii's most famous singer and entertainer, has been gone but not forgotten since 2007.  We clink our glasses to his memory, and give silent thanks to management for not insisting that "Tiny Bubbles" play perpetually through the restaurant speakers.  Let the man rest in peace.

It wasn't long before our Pupu order came out.  It may have been a strange twist of events that got us here, but we're delighted to report that Don Ho's serves the best quesadillas we've ever eaten.  How good are the Kalua Quesadillas? So good that I won't mind a bit if the guava barbeque stain on my shorts is permanent. It eliminates the need for a commemorative T-shirt.

PICTURED: The giant ship Nona takes aim at a bar patron's head. Who knew the dangers that lurk at Don Ho's?


  1. Enjoy the beauty of what a truely beautiful planet we live in, despite all the bullshit that life hands us, live each day to it's fullest. Be happy.....I wish u the best, precious moments are priceless.

  2. So we'll never know if they're better than the dog bites at the Salty Dog in Sarasota? Another of life's great questions remains unaswered ...