Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cheeseburger in Paradise... NOT!

You know the saying W. has trouble with? That's right... "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on (??)..." OK, so we were feeling very foolish indeed for being suckered in once more to Cheesburger in Paradise, located at 2500 Kalakaua Ave. on Waikiki.

From the outside it looked nice... and even on the inside, it was inviting. The menu looked good, and the waitstaff, wearing grass skirts for some reason, looked interesting. We were seated for breakfast. We waited... and waited... and waited... and finally got our menus. We waited some more... and waited yet again... and were finally brought coffee. I turned to Nancy and said, "This reminds me of last time we were here." She agreed with me. The last time we were here, in 2006, we had come late in the evening for dinner (with our two college/high-school age kids) -- what else, cheesburgers of course -- which were pretty good -- once we got them, but the service was Oh So Slow... We thought we'd give it a second chance. But even for being on Hawaiian time, Cheeseburger In Paradise was slow to the point of really being irritating. By the time we got our food it was almost time for the next meal. And then, the worst part of the wait, waiting for the check so we could leave and go lay out on the beach... now, that was the worst and longest wait of all (it seemed).

CBIP needs to take a lesson on waitstaff teamwork. They still subscribe to the "every waitperson for hisself/herself" tradition, and the service suffers for it. (There were several staff milling around doing nothing we could see while our waitress waited on way too many tables).

So: Location - good; Decor - cool; Food - normal; Prices - a bit on the high side but not bad for the location. Service - polite but REALLY SLOW. Don't eat here unless you are really really patient and have a lot of time to kill.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Snorkeling Sharks Cove

Move over Hanauma Bay! One of our memorable experiences during our visit to Hawaii this time was snorkeling in Sharks Cove, at Pupukea Beach Park on the North Shore of Oahu.

Though our trip was near the end of the Winter season, when North Shore beaches are mostly rough with big waves, we took a chance to visit this area on a day when the surf was relatively calm.

Pupukea has a section of sandy/rocky beach on the left, a fairly protected system of coral and lava rock in the middle, and a more exposed, deeper area on the right. For this trip, we snorkeled in the center area, a network of coral heads and lava rocks with deep holes, teeming with colorful tropical fish. On this day there were maybe a handful of people visiting the park, and it was nice to have a relatively uncrowded snorkeling experience. We saw many triggerfish, Parrotfish, a few grouper, hundreds of sea urchins, tangs, jackfish, clownfish, and other varieties. The number and variety rivaled that of the protected Hanauma Bay on the southeast point of Oahu, a favorite of tourists.

If you have a day on the North Shore, and the waves aren't crashing over the lava wall, I highly recommend you take a dip in Sharks Cove... (no sharks!!)