Happy Hour: Home Bar


Home Bar1

Home Bar and Grill is a little out of the way spot a few blocks down from the Hawaii Convention Center, and surrounded by a bunch of Korean restaurants and markets. It’s not even lit up at night. They don’t have a website, and they aren’t on Facebook or Twitter. You’d think nobody would ever know about the place, but all the tables are reserved every night. It’s packed all the time, and for good reason.

They have happy hour seven days a week from 2 until 8. The drink specials are up on a board near the front door, and they’re always changing, but generally it’s a dollar off all liquor and 50 cents off all beer. There are usually seasonal beers on special, as well.

Home Bar2

This time I ordered a Captain Morgan and coke, and Geoff got a Redd’s Apple Ale. The specialty cocktails are not discounted at happy hour, but there are several on the list that I would love to try. They feature some very creative combinations with an Asian flare. 

Home Bar3

They have lots of local favorites on the food menu, including seared ahi. But you know that’s not my game. We ordered tater tot nachos and ate them with chopsticks. They were killer. I’ve also tried the blue cheese burger and their house made mac salad. They’re both great. The food here is outstanding. Maybe that’s why they don’t need a website.

Home Bar4

The service is friendly and quick. The atmosphere is relaxed and quintessentially bar like. I imagine there’s always a game on. There’s no pretense. This place has a very fitting name. Home Bar makes you feel like part of the family. We’re thinking of becoming regulars, especially since Geoff works one block away. And since our check was under $20, it’s perfectly acceptable. 

Burgerology: Big City Diner

Big City Diner is pretty much our spot. It’s the place we go when we want to eat out but still feel at home. It’s the perfect place to meet up with friends because they have a little bit of everything. The service is always friendly and fast, and the atmosphere is always comfortable and relaxed. Yeah, it’s our spot.

Big City Diner1

I know I’ve told you about Big City Diner before, but today we’re going to talk burgers. BCD does not disappoint in the outstanding diner style burger department. There are several choices, including a classic burger, teriyaki burger, chili burger, and even a veggie burger. They’re all juicy and square. Don’t ask me why, but they taste awesome, so who cares.

Big City Diner2

This time I went for the Paniolo Burger. It’s got a spicy guava barbecue sauce and crispy bacon. Normally it comes with crispy onion strings, but that’s not my jam. Oh, and don’t forget the lovely slice of sharp cheddar. This is what I get when I’m feeling indulgent. The barbecue sauce has a noticeable kick to it. It’s pretty outstanding.

Big City Diner3

Geoff’s favorite is the BBQ Meatloaf Burger. It’s two slices of meatloaf, caramelized onions, and guava barbecue sauce. It’s a knife and fork burger for sure. The meatloaf is moist and well-seasoned, and the sauce really takes it over the top. We had to walk to the restaurant just to make sure he had earned enough calories for the day to eat one. It’s his number one choice.

The fries are nothing special. I’m not that into fries, so it doesn’t really bother me. You can upgrade to garlic fries, and I’ve heard those are pretty good. I’m so full by the time I’ve finished my burger, they don’t really get eaten. 

We went to BCD on a Tuesday, so we got 15% off our food for Twitter Tuesday. Follow Big City Diner on Twitter to get the password each week. They have great specials going on all the time. And they make a pretty good raspberry margarita. It’s totally my spot.

We’ve been to three of their locations on the island, and they’ve all been great. Get yourself to Big City Diner and enjoy some delicious diner food with friends. I know you’ll go home happy.

Pumpkin Scones from Awesome on 20
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Pumpkin Scones from Awesome on 20

Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin Scones from Awesome on 20

I have a hard fact that I need to share with you. Pumpkin puree comes in a can. It’s available year round, making pumpkin “season” completely superfluous. Guess what? You don’t have to only enjoy pumpkin treats in September and October just because that’s the only time Starbucks will dole it out.

The pumpkin season nazis need to get off my back. Okay, it is actually October, so I’m in the clear for right now, but if I feel like making a pumpkin dessert in April, who’s gonna stop me? The pumpkin police? Unless I’m using real live actual fresh pumpkins, which I probably never will, there’s nothing keeping me from eating pumpkin every damn day.

I’m glad I got that off my chest.

Pumpkin Scones from Awesome on 20

Are you a total sucker for coffee shop pastry cases? It’s so hard for me to resist all the delicious, carberrific treats they always keep stocked in there, but the prices are outrageous. $3.50 for a scone? Say what!?!?! The only ingredient I needed to buy to make these pumpkin scones was a can of pumpkin, which cost about $3.50. I made a dozen scones, and I didn’t even use the whole can, so I still have some left over to make something else, like pumpkin pancakes.

Homemade is definitely the best!

This recipe comes from the brilliant Brown Eyed Baker, and it’s moist and full of warm pumpkin spice flavor. These scones are also double glazed, and what can be bad about that? I took these to work today, and even on day two, everybody loved them.

Pumpkin Scones from Awesome on 20

Yes, it’s pumpkin season, and I will never try to stop you from eating a ridiculous amount of pumpkin treats. I’m just not promising I’ll be willing to stop once winter rolls around. Every day is a good day for pumpkin scones.

Pumpkin Scones
Yields 12
Better than the coffee shop pumpkin scones with sweet spice glaze
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
For the scones
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 7 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  9. 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) cold butter, cut into small chunks
  10. 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  11. 2 tablespoons milk
  12. 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  13. 1 egg
For the glaze
  1. 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  2. 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  3. a dash each of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger
For the scones
  1. Preheat oven to 425, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl. Add in pieces of butter and pinch the butter into the flour until all the large chunks are gone. The mixture will look crumbly.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, cream and egg.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula until everything is combined and the dough can be squished into a ball.
  5. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a rectangle about an inch thick.
  6. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut down the center lengthwise, then twice in the opposite direction to make six rectangles. Cut each rectangle in half on the diagonal to form 12 triangles.
  7. Carefully transfer scones to the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly brown.
  8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Place the wire rack back over your parchment lined baking sheet to catch drips when it's glazing time.
For the glaze
  1. This is glaze. It's not rocket science or the Sistine Chapel. Put some powdered sugar in a cup, and then add a little bit of milk. Just a splash at a time. Stir these together until you have a fairly drippy consistency. You can spend your time measuring if you want, but I assure you, it's not necessary. Just remember that you'll need less milk than you think. And if it ends up too thin, just add more powdered sugar.
  2. For the first round, spoon your thinner glaze over each scone and let it drip down the sides.
  3. For the second round, you can add to anything you have left over from round one. You'll want this batch to be a bit thicker, so take it easy on the milk. We're also going to add in a dash of each of the spices from earlier. This will give it an amazing spiced flavor and a lovely warm brown color.
  4. To get fun stripy action, spoon your spiced glaze into a zip top bag. Cut the tiniest of corners off one side of the bottom of the bag.
  5. Gently squeeze the glaze through the hole for stripes or swirls or criss crosses, or whatever makes you happy. You don't get to make an art project out of coffee shop scones, so go crazy and have a ball.
  6. These are best served right away, but still taste great on the second day if stored in an air tight container.
Notes
  1. You could use pumpkin pie spice in place of the spices added in this recipe, if you have it. I had all of these in my pantry, so I just added them separately.
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
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Mexican Lasagna from Awesome on 20
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