Friday, January 23, 2015

Hawaii Life: Side Street Inn

I never considered myself much of a foodie.  While I have grown to love cooking and the Food Network channel over the years, I would be lying if I said I was game for anything and everything in the food world.

With that said, I decided that I would take advantage of this new life in Hawaii.  As our time came to an end in Kentucky, I started to realize how much we didn't take advantage of the food and places offered in the bluegrass state.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't say there was a lot to offer but there were definitely some things.

Recently, I was asked to list my favorite restaurants/eateries on the website TheBesty.com.  I was excited to share and thought it would be nice to share in greater detail on my blog.

So far we have only tried a couple of places exclusive to Hawaii or are considered local.  The first local place we tried was the Side Street Inn.
While driving around Honolulu, I suggested we try something local and we came across this little hole in the wall.  Despite the appearance, the reviews were good and I was excited to try something that the locals ate in Honolulu.

Now, there are two locations for Side Street Inn.  We went to the one on Hopaka Street, so my opinions are reserved for that location.





Now to get to the good stuff....

Parking
Parking here is not exactly ideal.  If you are lucky, you can park on the street along the building.  But that parking is pretty limited.  There is a garage across the street.  The upper portion has a low ceiling so I would be careful if you drive a big vehicle.  There is no validation from the restaurant.  So the cost is roughly $6 for an hour.  After 5, the restaurant provides a valet for $5.

Atmosphere
When you enter, you will see it looks like a typical hole in the wall/dive bar.  The place is kind of cramped. There is some sports event/game on the tv and people just seem content.  There is nothing special to note about the restaurants appearnace.

Kid Friendly
While they do have high chairs and booster seats, that is really where it ends in terms of the restaurant being kid friendly.  They do not offer a kid menu or even a kid friendly cup.  The first time we went, they gave my son cranberry juice out of a liquor glass.  I must admit, that amused me quite a bit.

Service
Since coming to Hawaii, I have noticed with the exception of chain restaurants there is no sense of urgency when taking orders or bringing food out.  The servers have all been friendly, but I would not recommend eating here if you are in a rush to be somewhere else.  So just enjoy the game and just let the servers come when they do, because both times the servers were slow by mainland standards.

Food
The first time we went there, I had the Hoisin Baby Back ribs, my son had the popcorn chicken, and I don't quite remember what my husband had.  My next visit, I decided to get the shrimp scampi.  Both times I ordered the "award wininning" fried rice and topped it all off with the fried pound cake for dessert.  The hoisin ribs have a smokey/sweet sauce and are definitely something to try if you love bbq and Asian flavors.  Now I would not call them baby back ribs by any means but maybe there is just something I don't know about ribs.  The popcorn chicken is good but nothing unique.  The fried rice is what the restaurant is known for and the portions are HUGE.  It is enough to at least serve 4 people.  The Portuguese sausage and bacon give it something different than what you typically get with your Chinese takeout.




When we returned for a second dinning experience, I was highly disappointed (almost disgusted) by the shrimp scampi.  They brought out this mound of food on a plate.  Grant it, the portion was enough to feed 2 or 3 people.  It was a mound of zucchini and mushrooms with shrimp and parmesan cheese.  Nothing about it resembled what I have grown to know as shrimp scampi.  All of the food sat on top of a pool of liquid that I assume was made of butter and lemon.  The mushrooms and zucchini tasted pretty good but the shrimp was overcooked.  Needless to say, most of it went uneaten.
However, all is redeemed with the fried pound cake with ice cream.  It is so simple and just so good.  There is a light crunch on the outside and then the softness of cake on the inside and the ice cream just tops it off perfectly. It is a must try.

Overall, I do like the place and think it is a great place to try if you want to try something local and if you don't have small children.  If you are staying in a hotel, make sure you clear your mini fridge because there will be plenty of food to take home.





Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hair Experiment: Egg, Coconut Oil, and Olive Oil Hair Mask

I am not one for new year resolutions. However, this is my 3rd year being natural and now that I have moved (again) I figured it was time to really take care of my hair.

While I have gotten better over the years, I will admit that taking care of my hair has not really been the top of my priority list.....well not consistently anyways.

So before I left Kentucky, I started really looking at more natural hair blogs, Instagram accounts, Facebook pages, etc.  I then decided that maybe I should try some more homemade hair care.  Which brought me to trying my first homemade hair mask.
 My hair before I applied the mask

Bring on the egg, coconut oil, and olive oil!

Now I have used coconut oil and olive oil in my hair before but when I came across the egg recipe, I figured why not try something new.  Plus, looking over the other homemade hair mask this one suited me best for the time.  Because A.) I didn't want to go to the grocery store B.) My eggs were about to expire anyways C.) Didn't have to sit under the dryer which is something you can't do with egg in your hair (fried egg hair, anyone?).  The recipe was originally just for coconut oil and egg, but I decided to just add the olive oil as well.
                                                 
Before
 
                                                 
Before

If you are not familiar with the idea of using food items in your hair, you may wonder why would someone put egg in their hair.  That would be a very good question.

According to eHow.com:
Raw eggs contain a significant concentration of essential proteins and nutrients. Because of the high protein content, eggs can be used to strengthen hair follicles. Likewise, the nutrients work much like conditioners to add volume, shine and texture.
Raw eggs contain a significant concentration of essential proteins and nutrients. Because of the high protein content, eggs can be used to strengthen hair follicles. Likewise, the nutrients work much like conditioners to add volume, shine and texture.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_4569202_benefits-using-eggs-hair.html
Raw eggs contain a significant concentration of essential proteins and nutrients. Because of the high protein content, eggs can be used to strengthen hair follicles. Likewise, the nutrients work much like conditioners to add volume, shine and texture.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_4569202_benefits-using-eggs-hair.html
                                           
I used 2 eggs, though the original recipe called for only one.  Use what you think is need for your hair length and texture

Continuing on with the ingredient benefits ....

Coconut oil is used as a natural conditioner for hair. The molecular structure of coconut oil makes it easier to penetrate through the hair shaft and works with the natural hair proteins. Coconut oil is also used to treat conditions like dry scalp or fungal conditions like seborrheic dermatitis that cause itchy flakes. Ordinary shampoo formulation results in protein loss during washing. Coconut oil can minimize protein loss, as it contains the medium-chain triglycerides that can pass through the cell membrane and waterproof the scalp and hair.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_5244451_benefits-coconut-oil-hair_.html
Coconut oil is used as a natural conditioner for hair. The molecular structure of coconut oil makes it easier to penetrate through the hair shaft and works with the natural hair proteins. Coconut oil is also used to treat conditions like dry scalp or fungal conditions like seborrheic dermatitis that cause itchy flakes. Ordinary shampoo formulation results in protein loss during washing. Coconut oil can minimize protein loss, as it contains the medium-chain triglycerides that can pass through the cell membrane and waterproof the scalp and hair.
Olive Oil:
Olive oil is truly a powerhouse when it comes to hair, skin and beauty applications. Its rich, moisturizing properties make it ideal for use on your hair. While you may immediately think of olive oil for cooking, keeping a bottle of olive oil handy in your bathroom can help your hair look healthier, stronger and shinier. Whether you use it as your regular conditioner, a hot oil treatment or as a hair finishing product, your mane is bound to reap the many benefits of olive oil.

                                              

                                              
Heated olive oil and coconut oli with the 2 eggs

                                               
The coconut oil before it was heated with the olive oil

                                               
Me and my fabulous Walmart bag because I was out of shower caps

I ended up trying this hair experiment twice. The first time (which is when the pictures were taken), I couldn't figure out how to apply it.  So I just took the bowl, bent my head over the sink and poured the mixture over my head.  It was not the smartest application.

After washing my hair, I didn't notice much of a difference in my hair.  Now it may have been because more of the mask ended up in my sink than in my hair.  Below is the after result of my hair with no other products in my hair.

My hair didn't seem to be any different after the mask (at least no different than if I did a regular wash and condition), so I decided to try it again.  The second time I left the mixture on for about 30 to 40 minutes as opposed to the 20 minutes I did the first round.  I also used 3 eggs instead of the 2.

When I applied the mixture, I used a hair color application brush like the ones from my hair coloring experiments.  I felt I got a better application of the hair mask and thought there was a slight improvement to my hair but nothing extensive.  Despite my results it does not discourage me from trying this mask or any other homemade masks again. 

Once I have settled into my new house, I will try this experiment again.  Next time I will use a fresher and different coconut oil (the one I had wasn't expired but it certainly wasn't new) and make sure the mask is mixed better.  I think the coconut oil didn't break down well enough for the mask.

Before I wrap this up, I will suggest if you are to try this mask that you make sure you wash out the mask thoroughly.  The egg has a tendency to want to stay in your hair. 

Now that I have tried my first homemade mask, I look forward to sharing more of my homemade haircare attempts:-)

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