Tuesday, December 19, 2006 9comments No tags Permalink 0

This morning, I had breakfast with my favorite people in the world to have breakfast with: Steph, Shann and Kelly. I find that most people in the age range from 18-22 do not enjoy getting up before 11am on both weekdays and weekends. This is fine for weekends, when restaurants serve brunch till late afternoon, but when you want a good breakfast in the morning you must either go prior to 11am or go to a reliable all-day-breakfast place. But the morning is so pretty! So nice! Back at school I wait until the weekends for “real” breakfast fare or go out for pancakes on my own.

But back home during winter and summer breaks, I’ve got the wonderful Steph, Shann and Kelly. Yes, they are faithful breakfast food lovers and my closest friends for about as long as memory takes me back.

So this is how it worked today: at 8:30am Steph drove from Kaneohe to Kelly’s house in Kaimuki and parked it along the street. They drove down together to pick me up just a few streets down and then we headed on the freeway, off at Punahou and up Tantalus to pick up Shann. See how gas efficient we are? teehee.

We got there just at 9am, and made our way into the cozy little restaurant bordering Downtown and Chinatown. We were quickly seated by the hostess at a dainty little table for four near the open kitchen. The minute we all sat down there was a unanimous, “brrrr…shivershiver.” The seats were so cold! But we sucked it up like the brave warriors that we are and made do. Until we realized there were outside patio seats. That looked so picturesque and inviting! We kindly waved our waiter down and asked if we could move.
“Of course,” he said, and gestured us out.
And here we are!

Between the four of us, we had two orders of the french toast and two orders of the corned beef hash. That way, everyone gets half an order of a sweet dish and half savory. We are clever, no? :)

There are few places in the island, that do real breakfast-y foods you find on the mainland, like egg benedict, lavish pancakes and french toast, and that sort of stuff. Which explains why I am forever grateful that Grand Cafe opened up breakfast and brunch service about a year ago.

Our “sweet” dish was the Island Bananas Foster French Toast: French toast, New Orleans style, bananas sautéed butter and brown sugar ($8.50). Oooh, it was so decadent! Three thick slices of rich eggy bread fried in a sweet batter and finished with flambéed bananas and a rich golden caramel. I like my french toast thick and hearty, and this they did. It was soaked long enough so that the innards were soft, but never mushy. Perhaps the sweet caramel pool at the bottom of the dish was a little excessive, though it is hard to criticize a lovingly created dish at this local run restaurant.

We moved eagerly on to the Fresh Corned Beef Hash: Grand Cafe cured Corned Beef, topped with eggs to your liking with Potatoes O’Brien or rice ($9.55). We opted for sunny side up eggs and then realized our mistake when we didn’t have any toast to soak up the yolk with! But that was all oookay as soon as we took a bite of the corned beef hash. Fresh cured in-house, the mix of corned beef and grated potatoes were well season, not a touch too salty and pan fried till this wonderful paper thin crust formed on the outside. How did it come about? I don’t know, though shann suggested a thin egg batter? I still don’t know, but couldn’t care less. It was awesome. And then the potatoes! Each cut, oh-so-light!-oh-so-crisp! Just a sprinkle of salt was needed to tie over the red bell peppers and onions that rounded out the crunchy brown potato squares.

We lingered on the patio for a good hour and half. Taking out time, local style. All back from school for winter break. No obligations. No work. Just good food. And good friends.

Grand Cafe & Bakery
31 N Pauahi St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 531-0001

  • messyjessy
    December 20, 2006

    Corned Beef Hash & Sunny side up eggs are one of my favorite breakfast indulgences. A couple slices of rye toast and I’d be as happy as a clam. The breakfast meals I remember most when I lived in Oahu were Portuguese Sausage, scrambled eggs and rice or fried rice topped with a fried egg and a side of fried spam. Dang. Now I’m hungry for breakfast again!Enjoy the blog!

  • elmomonster
    December 20, 2006

    This post is so perfectly timed! This morning, I had to scrape ice off my windshield for the first time this year…and I read this and notice y’all are in shorts or tanktops! HAHA! Looking and reading about that breakfast just warmed me up a few degrees!

  • Kat
    December 20, 2006

    Hi Kathy! Welcome back to the 808! Hope you have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy as many Hawaii goodies as possible during your break!

  • anonymous
    December 20, 2006

    it is sad to say…but i will be going on a nutrition plan starting in january.i will drool to my heart’s content, and suffer as i visit your blog in 07~but dont let that stop you from all the food pornage…hahai enjoy your posts very much, even if i cant bite into my screen… =S

  • Alice
    December 20, 2006

    Yum! I can’t wait to have a breakfast that doesn’t consist of oatmeal and oatmeal and more oatmeal. Wow, how warm is it there?! I’m shivering in thick sweaters over here in the northeast. :P

  • Chubbypanda
    December 21, 2006

    Awww… Y’all look so cute! I have breakfast friends in my hometown too!- Chubbypanda

  • Kathy YL Chan
    December 21, 2006

    Hey Messyjessy!Those breakfasts you described were what I grew up on! Dad would whip up eggs, spam and rice every weekend. Once in a while we’d stop by for McDonalds for breakfast – where’d they serve the exacty same thing!Hey Elmo!SCRAPE ICE! In SoCal? I’ve never heard of such a thing, maybe I’m just hanging out in the wrong parts of town, lol. But man. It is nice and hot here! :)Hey Kat!Thank you! It feels SO GOOD to be back! So nice and warm…ahhh, home – nothing quite like it :)Hey Ed!Good luck with the nutrition plan! I’ll be rooting for you – sticking to it will definitely take some sort of stamina I dearly lack, but I’m sure you can do it!You could always try bite (or at least lick)the screen…I’m pretty sure it’s calorie free :)Hey Alice!No more oatmeal! Buy yourself a dark chocolate bar – you deserve it, especially during finals! And some good hot cocoa mix, or better yet, melt the chocolate bar into warm whole milk :) Good luck with the rest of your exams!!Hey Chubbypanda!Aren’t breakfast friends just about the best type of people in the world? Nothing smells of friendship more than people who are willing to wake up early for you :)

  • KirkK
    December 22, 2006

    Corned beef hash and eggs….so wonderful! Looks like you’re having a nice visit home.

  • Kathy YL Chan
    December 22, 2006

    Hey Kirk!I’m going to enjoy Christmas break while I can – it’s the last one before I start “real” work! :)

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