Let's eat!

Hi. My name's Carol, and I love food. No, you don't understand. I love food. If I were on the Titanic, I'd be in the galley (kitchen) eating up the chocolate pudding and the roasted quail. I go to most events, activities and parties just for the food. The company and the conversation are secondary. Here, I'll try to document everything that goes into my mouth. Aren't we excited? Oh, hey, are you gonna eat that?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Byron Drive-in

The first place we hit when our Hawaiian Airlines plane touched down on Oahu (July 26th) was Byron Drive-in. Located near the airport, this plate lunch mainstay is the last remaining restaurant in a family chain of them (Andrew's, Fishmonger's Wife, Byron II, Orson's). It offers the cheapest plate lunches on the island. Their specialty is teri beef, which my husband -- a huge fan -- ordered. He liked it well enough, but thought they revised the recipe's marinade slightly, as it lacked a certain flavor he remembered.

Me, I went with the beef stew, which I never had there before. I usually go for the teri chicken. I'm glad I tried something new. This was the best, heartiest island-style beef stew ever--it puts L&L Drive-in's to shame. Compared to the others, Bryon Drive-in's is spicier, tomatoey, rich, yet light, filled with thick carrots, celery and onions. I'm only sad I didn't order the regular instead of the mini.

Really goes well with the rice and mac salad, mixed in, like I like it.

The only downside to this plate lunch establishment is it's really a dive. Meaning, no indoor, air-conditioned luxury, no enforcement of smokers in the non-smoking areas, too many friggin' pigeons milling about, and no public restrooms.

They almost proudly proclaim this when asked by customers. The nearest restroom is across a crowded, busy, car-jammed four-way--that is, if you know you must ask for the code from a vendor (it's a small business plaza with Starbucks, L&L and other anchor stores).

Next to the ordering window of Byron Drive-in is a newspaper clipping excusing this no-public-restroom practice. In it, you read that the state law allows for restaurants like Byron's to get away with not providing restrooms for its customers, as long as it provides for its staff. Perhaps part of this backward reasoning is to protect the restaurant owners from liability when vandals trash the place instead of using bathrooms properly. Still, in my view, it's wrong and stupid, and terribly unprofessional. Why not, for example, simply install the same lock and key of the business plaza, where customers had to ask for a code to use the restroom stalls?

My husband would go to any lengths to eat at Byron's, even suffer the inconvenience and indignity of trotting over to that business plaza if he had to all of a sudden go after his teri beef. Me, not so much. I would rather avoid Byron Drive-in because of fear I would have an accident, than risk it for their beef stew. Even if it is the best beef stew on the planet.

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