Plate Lunch - Eat 'til You Sleep

I was asked today what a 'plate lunch' is, which I mentioned in my last post. Plate lunches are an institution in Hawaii; there is no US mainland equivalent that I'm aware of. Anyway its a generic term, but the basics are the same: usually a styrofoam container containing one scoop white rice, one scoop macaroni salad (dressed only in mayo - you are expected to dash tobasco on this to liven it up), and at least one main item. Pictured below is one of my favorites, chicken katsu, based on the Japanese dish (I'd usually hit this with some tobasco as well). My other preferred sins: the chili dog plate (the best came from the Rainbow Drive-in; a hot dog drowned in chili, no bun); pork gisantes' (a portuguese tomato sauce based stew), and huli huli (spit roasted) chicken or kalua (roasted) pork.

Most plate lunch places give you more than enough to eat, and most locals take pride in polishing it all off. In fact one place had a great tag line, 'eat til you sleep'. Our favorite place was Keneke's, on the way to Waimanalo beach on Oahu. They have a bizarre mix of local and Christian weight lifting decor (really), and arguably the best pork gisantes in Hawaii. I used to order what I called the 'tri-pork' plate: pork adobo, kalua pork, and pork gisantes together; nothing like it. And yes I would definitely have to sleep it off afterwards...