November 29, 2011

Flagstaff's new Aloha Hawaiian BBQ (includes full menu)

Aloha Hawaiian BBQ
16 E. Rte 66 (Across from Black Bean and next to Flagstaff Brewing Co.)
Flagstaff, AZ
Menu: see the bottom of this story
Aloha Hawaiian BBQ is Flagstaff's only current Hawaiian restaurant. This small but friendly fast food join puts everything in wasteful styrofoam containers, cups and uses all plastic silverware. That might be great for their cleanup but not so great for the environment. Most Flagstaff restaurants are very eco-concious so it is shocking to see a brand new Flagstaff joint have these types of policies that aren't really inline with community values. That said the food has a good flavor and is decently priced.
On our first visit, we tried the recommended (and one of the most ordered, along with the BBQ mix of chicken, beef and short ribs, we were told) Aloha plates: Chicken Katsu. It comes in two sizes - regular and mini. The mini is plenty big for lunch. The chicken isn't all white meat, which was disappointing but it was tastily breaded and fried. It comes with a tangy islandy-tasting sauce that compliments the crust nicely.
We also got the regular size of the BBQ beef. It has a wonderful flavor, which reminded us of Thai beef sticks. I'd definitely order that again. Both plates comes with a tiny scoop of plain jane white rice that is nothing to write home about and a scoop of macaroni salad that is basically mac pasta with mayo. It's only but again, nothing special. These seem like perfect dishes to serve some sort of fruit or vegetable with but most dishes don't come with either. The menu does show veggies with the bowls - so I would try that next time instead. Also for veggie lovers, they have an off menu plate of mixed vegetables with rice and mac for sides.
All in all, I like the friendliness of the folks at the restaurant and I like the unique (for Flagstaff) dishes but I'm not overly impressed with the restaurant. It will be a good occasional stop on the out-to-eat circuit but most days I'd rather go to one of the many wonderful Thai restaurants nearby.
MONEY SAVING TIP: Be sure to pick up one of their menus posted outside the doors. They have several good coupons!
Take a look at their menu below:

November 5, 2011

November national food holidays & where to celebrate in Flagstaff

November is *the* month when it comes to national food holidays – as it has the biggest of them all: Thanksgiving, a day dedicated to sharing delectable foods like oven roasted turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, stuffing and pumpkin pie. What’s not to love. There are several other food holidays this month too that you can eat your way merrily through. Here’s a list of a few of them and where to celebrate in Flagstaff…
Nov. 6: National Nachos Day – Go deluxe on your nachos today and eat the fire roasted jalapeno and bacon nachos at Criollo (16 N. San Francisco). These bad boys have cherry wood smoked bacon, asadero and jack cheese, roasted jalapeños, black beans, and house-made salsa. 

Nov. 11: National Sundae Day – While I think Sundae Day should always be on a Sunday, it’s not. That’s okay, try Flagstaff’s new sweet spot that lets you create your own sundaes with anything you want: YogurtU (1061 S. Plaza Way – behind Panda Express). This place lets you serve yourself to however much frozen yogurt you want (try the cake batter flavor) and top it with a salad bar of ingredients from sprinkles to gummy bears and everything in between. Genius!

Nov. 14: National Pickle Day – Celebrate right with a fried pickle from none other than Café Pickles (7 N. San Francisco). Order ‘em as an app for a different but delish dish that will satisfy the taste buds.

Nov. 16: National Fast Food Day – No need to go to a national chain, pop on in to the locally owned and operated Louie’s Chicken Shack (2116 E Route 66 and the new location on Milton). These guys do a nice job on their chicken strips. They’re fresh and well-seasoned. They just opened up their second location in October, about a year and a half after opening their first location, so they must be doing something right!

Nov. 17: National Baklava Day – Eat this Mediterranean dessert made with phyllo dough, nuts, butter, sugar and a sweet syrup at Greek Islands (109 E. Phoenix Ave.). This hole in the wall serves up a nice sticky layered dessert that makes the perfect ending to your meal here.

Nov. 21: Gingerbread Day – Have none other than a gingerbread man for a treat today. Bookman’s Café (1520 S. Riordan Ranch St.) sells soft, chewy and oh so sweet gingerbread men that will delight your inner child spirit and your taste buds.
Nov. 24: Thanksgiving – If you’re looking to give mom and break and go out to eat, The Cottage Place (126 W. Cottage Ave.) does a fabulous upscale Turkey Day five course feast. Do make reservations early, as they do book up quickly. Call 928-774-8431 to reserve.

Nov. 28: National French Toast Day - Being this falls on a Monday, celebrate a day early with Sunday brunch at Josephine’s  (503 N. Humphreys St.). Order the brioche french toast topped with bananas flamed in rum brown sugar sauce topped with pecans.

(This article was originally written by Angele for Flagstaff Live!)

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