Friday, October 09, 2009

Steak Plate at Times Market - Oahu's Best Known Secret

The plate lunch has been raised to an art form in Hawaii. An entree (or two) with two scoops of rice and (usually macaroni) salad is ubiquitous. There is no end to the possibilities. Gracie's Drive-In was and is known for their chicken katsu. President Obama took his family to Rainbow's on Kapahulu. L&L Drive-In is the most common these days.

A relatively recent phenomenon is the steak plate: a half-pound of steak, served with two scoops of rice, tossed salad, and a drink, all for about $7. You will see lunch trucks all over selling these plates, often with a side of garlic shrimp. Blazin' Steaks is probably best known by tourists and it's okay, although the steaks are cooked on a flat top grill. Blazin' Steaks offers different sauces and styles of cooking, such as Thai and Korean.

But for those in the know, hands down, the best steak plate in Hawaii comes from Times Supermarkets. The tender Sterling Silver brand sirloin steaks (according to one of the cooks they are seasoned with McCormick's garlic pepper and Hawaiian alae salt) are grilled outside of the stores on gas grills and the flavor is much better than those cooked on a flat top grill.

A bonus is that you can get a la carte portions of steak and shrimp for about $5 each. Our standard Friday dinner is two portions of steak and one portion of shrimp. We make rice at home and open a can of Niblets corn. All for about $17. It's a good and delicious deal. It is so popular that at noon and after five, the line at the Kailua location goes halfway down the produce department. I always see at least one person I know every Friday, and sometimes there are enough of my church members there that we could hold a decent worship service.

The catch is that you have to know which day Times is serving up steak, as each location offers steak once a week (most locations offer other items on different days, but the steak is the best, although I do like the huli huli chicken Wednesdays at the Kaneohe store). Here's the schedule of steak (and shrimp) plates by location:

Mondays: Kahala, Liliha, Royal Kunia
Tuesdays: Kaimuki
Wednesdays: Waimalu
Thursdays: Aiea, Beretania
Fridays: Kailua, Koolau, McCully, Waimalu
Saturdays: Kaneohe

You can check out the full menus at the Times website:

Grace and aloha,


P. S. I was in Nashville most of this past week for a meeting of the United Methodist Study on Ministry. It is a group evaluating various aspects of ordained ministry in this denomination.

One of the things that is at the forefront of the discussion is the need for the United Methodist Church (and its ministers) to rethink how it approaches doing church ministry. For the past several decades, the emphasis has been to appoint a pastor to a church, and the assumption is that the flock that is already in the church is the main emphasis, and the pastor takes care of the flock primarily.

There is a movement to change that understanding so that pastors are appointed to a community, of which the church congregation is a part, but not the only focus. Those who are not yet in the church are equally important.

It means a quantum change in how most churches function. The focus is more outward than inward, which will be difficult for many church members accustomed to their pastors at their beck and call. It will also mean pastors will need to emerge from their offices and spend time in the community.

This is, of course, the way it should be and even used to be. Somewhere along the line, many Mainline Protestant churches have evolved into nice but insular clubs. One pastor I know called it becoming "warm, spiritual Jacuzzis." It's no wonder that so many people outside it think that the Church is an irrelevant relic of the past.

I welcome this change of perspective on the part of church leaders to emphasize appointing pastors to a community. The Good News of Christ is something so great. Those in the Church need to make sure all know about it.

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