Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hawai'i Day Twelve: MacNut Pancakes, and Hawaiian Pizza

After over a week of waiting following my false-start with the Mac Daddy Pancakes at 24/7, today I got me some delicious macadamia nut pancakes. We drove into Hilo early so we could hit Ken's and I could satisfy this very specific, very unrelenting craving. The macnut pancakes at Ken's come as a 3-stack, with whipped butter and crumbled mac nuts on top (not in the batter). And to accompany them, they bring you a trio of delicious tropical syrups: guava, lilikoi, and coconut.

The experience was only slightly marred by the LA nutritionist at the adjacent table telling her friend what he could and couldn't eat - including most of the food he ordered. I was perplexed why they would come to Ken's, home of big plates for hungry diners, but perhaps it was an attempt to practice making 'good' choices in the real world. It definitely seemed like she lived a life of extremes and denial, and it made me a little sad that she tries to get others to do the same. The man wasn't of an unhealthy weight, by any means, and there were definitely some sad moments that pulled at my foodie heartstrings. After he put some ketchup on his hashbrowns, she made a point that she would never eat hashbrowns and would just leave them be. Later, I noticed him looking across the table at Dan, who was scarfing down a big pile of French toast, swimming in syrup and accompanied by a pile of bacon - and I realized that Dan was the antithesis of everything his nutritionist friend was telling him. Lean, healthy, and devouring fried bacon and toast topped with sugary syrup. Hopefully, the real world example in front of him revealed more about the truth of healthy living than did the list of 'bad' foods being presented to him by his friend between her compulsive cell phone checking.

One might think that I'm a total eavesdropper, but in reality it was as if we were sitting at the same table. Our small table and theirs were aligned side by side, with only a very short divider between us. So with the unlucky local man shoulder to shoulder with me, it was all I could do to not hear every condemnation of fat, flavor and food coming from the woman's mouth. It's probably clear I thought her advice was terrible, but perhaps there was something I didn't know about his health that necessitated such extremes. Perhaps he just recovered from a heart attack, or was just diagnosed with diabetes. Or maybe she just makes her living trying to get people to not enjoy their food.

The irony at the end of their meal was that he dutifully avoided his hashbrowns, and was done with his meal... at which point she started offering him food from her own plate - even pushing her unfinished platter of eggs over in front of him, after he'd already pushed the temptation of his own hashbrowns out of the way. As an occasional compulsive eater myself, I know that sometimes you have to push food away to avoid picking at it, hide it with a napkin, or even sabotage it somehow to make it inedible, so that you don't continue eating after you're full. The fact that she disregarded this and pushed more food on him after he was done seemed to disregard her own teachings, disrespect his attempt to stop eating when full, and seemed more a comment on her own food compulsions than his.

Despite the distraction, or perhaps partly as a result of me allowing my mind to wander, when our food arrived I was so excited I scarfed it down, not realizing I'd failed to take a picture until I was stuffed and only a few bites of food were left on the plate.

After our morning and mid-day in Hilo, we returned home pretty hungry, so I once again made us some little sandwiches of the remaining huli huli chicken and sweet bread buns.

For dinner, I made another pizza (the crusts came two to a pack) and topped it with prosciutto, red onion, garlic, basil, fresh pineapple, and some of the pork I made (though it didn't even put a dent in the supply, so we'll be eating it a LOT.

Having realized the kitchen knife is getting a bit dull, I decided I should try to straighten out the blade a bit using the steel included in the block. At home, I've been haphazardly swiping my knife against our steel, but never really took the time to make sure I was doing it correctly. Given this is someone else's knife I'm toying with, I hopped online and found a great instructional video to help me ensure I didn't do more damage than good.

(Dan's writing all about our trip over at our other blog, The Dans In Hawai`i, so I'll just stick to writing what I know: food.)

Ken's House of Pancakes on Urbanspoon

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