Support Hawaii’s food trucks!

Support Hawaii’s food trucks!

Hawaii’s food trucks will go prime time on an upcoming episode of the Cooking Channel’s Eat Street, which is shooting on Oahu this week.

The show — a self-described “lip-smacking celebration of North America’s tastiest, messiest and most irresistible street food” — will feature four of my favorite trucks through Thursday: Camille’s on Wheels (Monday), FlipT Out Eats (Tuesday), Opal Thai (Wednesday) and Pacific Soul (Thursday).

The show wants fans — real fans! — to come out and support the trucks by attending the shooting, scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. I’ll be the featured blogger on Wednesday at Opal — eating my favorite pad Thai noodles, of course — so head out to Haleiwa if you can!

And don’t forget Eat The Street is this Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. in Kakaako!

It should be Food Truck Week!

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Today’s happy shot

Dog owners are fathers, too!

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Today’s happy shot

A box of Spanish rolls from Nanding’s Bakery don’t last long around here.

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FUUD: Chibo’s Happy Hour

FUUD: Chibo’s Happy Hour

Don’t expect to get a discount on the famous Osaka-style okonomiyaki during happy hour at Chibo Restaurant (@chibohawaii) in Waikiki.

Its signature pancake dish — usually consisting of flour, egg, cabbage and mountain yams and topped with a special plum sauce — starts at $21.50 for dinner, which can be a bit pricey when you’re just out with friends searching for cheap drinks and pupus.

But don’t let the price of okonomiyaki scare you away from Chibo.

If you don’t mind skipping the restaurant’s namesake, you’ll find a bevy of other options — all under $10 — that will satisfy your pau-hana craving.

Here’s a look:

Okonomiyaki Chibo Restaurant

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Known for its Osaka-style okonomiyaki, Chibo also has a great happy hour menu — both at pau hana and late nights on the weekends — that are worth checking out.

Okonomiyaki Chibo Restaurant, Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, 2201 Kalakaua Ave. Hours: Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; dinner, 3-10 p.m.; happy hour, 3-6 p.m.; late-night happy hour, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday only. Phone: (808) 922-9722

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Great Debate: Foodland vs. Walgreens

Great Debate: Foodland vs. Walgreens

I’m sure you’ve all heard.

Foodland in Hawaii Kai, which has been around for nearly five decades at the Koko Marina Center, will close on July 10.

Taking its place?

Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain with 7,714 drugstores in all 50 states, including 11 in Hawaii.

Foodland versus Walgreens. It’s actually not a fair debate. Foodland is primarily a grocery store; Walgreens is a drugstore.

But for this week’s Great Debate, I thought it was appropriate since one was replacing the other.

Here are some facts for comparison:

Foodland opened its first store on May 6, 1948 in Market City. It was Hawaii’s first modern supermarket and crowds were so large, the front doors had to be locked and workers allowed only a few people in at a time. Since then, the company expanded to 32 stores statewide, employing more than 2,500 people. (It was the first supermarket in Hawaii Kai when it opened in 1963.) It’s the largest locally owned and operated grocery retailer in the state.

Walgreens, on the other hand, is the nation’s largest drugstore with more than 7,000 stores across the country and Puerto Rico and fiscal 2010 sales of $67 billion. The Deerfield, Ill.-based chain services nearly 6 million customers every day. It plans to open between 25 and 30 stores in Hawaii, the first store opening in 2007 at the former site of Tower Records on Keeaumoku Street.

You can argue they are different — because they are.

But then how can one — namely, Walgreens — replace the other?

Foodland felt the competition with the the opening of Safeway and Costco in Hawaii Kai. But shoppers still chose Foodland for its commitment to local goods and customer service.

It’s hard to see local companies — once again — get replaced by Mainland chains. But this probably wouldn’t happen if we, as consumers, chose local in the first place.

I had a discussion about this with the son of the owners of the Crack Seed Center, which closed its Ala Moana Center location (though it operates online) last month. When I told him that I prefer to patronize local businesses, he asked if I shopped at Costco.

I paused. “Uh,” I hesitated, “yeah, I do,” quickly adding that I only went there for specific things like puppy pads, toilet paper and Diet Coke.

“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “That still hurts (small businesses).”

And he’s right. I’m guilty of shopping at discount big-box retailers to get a better price. And now local businesses, who can’t afford to discount the way these other companies can, get pushed out.

Is it worth it? Or is this just the way of life in a consumer-based, capitalistic society?

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