Monday, March 16, 2009

Obama Restaurant Watch

I'm not sure why this site is reporting on what Obama likes to eat in Hawaii, but it's interesting. I admit that I've neither heard of nor had a "plate lunch," nor does the description leave me longing for one:

I’m going to get a plate lunch,” Obama proclaimed, moments after arriving in Honolulu on his August vacation.

The name “plate lunch” doesn’t quite do it justice. It should be called: Heaping pile of rice and meat crammed into a plastic foam container that could feed a small family, costs about $6, will require a couple of Rolaids and induce a two-hour nap.

And if there’s nothing on the plate that’s deep fried, soaked in mayonnaise, smothered in gravy or doubles your bad cholesterol level, it’s not a true plate lunch.

. . .

Plate lunches have been a part of Hawaii for decades. They are believed to have originated in the 19th century plantation era, when sugarcane workers brought rice, pickled vegetables and other leftovers from dinner and took a lunch break together in the shade. Decades later, “lunch wagons” started delivering plate lunches to laborers, much like they do today.

Plate lunches reflect the state’s multicultural population, with Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian and American influences.

There are literally hundreds of combinations of plate lunches to choose from, and some places now offer gourmet selections and more healthy choices with brown rice and tossed salads, instead of the traditional white rice and macaroni salad.

Plate lunches are widely available from white lunch wagons parked around downtown and at many restaurants. The best spots don’t show up in tour books, but the locals prefer it that way, because the lines are already too long

And, for dessert: At one point during his last visit, Obama offered journalists a shave ice. Hawaii’s shave ice is a monster version of the snow cone, featuring fine-shaved powder with no icy chunks and a long list of tropical flavors.

“Guys, here’s your chance,” Obama said. “No? I’m telling you, this is really good.”

Photo found here.


clymela said...

My daughter spent her formative years on the island of Maui and to this day she will sometimes have to have a plate lunch. Sometimes i crave a shave ice or bag sushi.
This is all slave food or soul food and is the source of the outrageous level of diabetes 2 on the islands,
I don't judge people for the tastes they developed in their circumstances and this is one way Obama could show his solidarity wi†h people who are almost totally repressed and have been ripped from their traditions and forced to work in fields and don't even have that work now.
The Hawaiians who still have some land and raise gardens do better. Those who live "in town" do live on food like you have described and it is indeed poison

Meander said...

That picture looks rather yummy.

greer said...

It's comfort food from his youth. I can get with that. When I go home to Cleveland to visit my mother I *must* go to Hot Sauce Williams for a shoulder sandwich. I know the pulled pork slathered in bbq sauce, topped with coleslaw on Wonder Bread is bad for me - but, well I'm gonna die one day :)

Anonymous said...

If you get to the lunch wagon early you might score some manapua.


Anonymous said...

Teriyaki beef, kahlua pork, lau lau, lomi salmon

aren't fried and are typical plate lunches.

Manapua is a steamed dumpling. Not much in the way

vegetables tho. But not all fried.