You know something’s going on when you get several recommendations for not just a place, but a particular menu item, all in a short period. It usually means something’s going pretty well indeed. In this case, in the last week, two different people both recommended Tuckerbox in White River Junction. And, more specifically, they recommended the BLT, since it was the “Best BLT Ever!” The Tuckerbox, for those that don’t know of it, inhabits one of those restaurant spaces that I consider mildly cursed, since, in my 7 years of living here, it’s the third restaurant that has inhabited the space (the first two were Karibu Tule, an oustanding African place; and Como Va, an Italian place). It has been reinvented yet again, this time as a coffee and sandwich shop. The coffee drinks are already well respected around the area (indeed, it’s one of those places that will still serve you drinks in actual cups and glassware), and I’ve heard several good rumors about the salads and sandwiches. So, Carol and I decided that today we’d go to Tuckerbox and try the BLTs.
Where Offbeat Eats has been:
After attending my friend’s wedding, we had several more days on Oahu wandering about and exploring. However, the splendid, sunny weather that had greeted us upon arrival turned primarily into… rain. Now, several tourism guides on the internet will tell you that it doesn’t really “rain” per se in Honolulu, just “drizzle and trickle”… but if that’s the case, we got almost 8” of “drizzle and trickle” our last few days there. So that left us with a lot of non-beach activities to do, and one of those was taking a food tour. In our case, we went with Hawaii Food Tours, who offer several highly-rated tours on Oahu. In our case, we opted for their “Hole-in-the-wall” tour focusing on “local” food for the Honolulu scene. So our first stop with them was in Chinatown Cultural Center at the edge of Chinatown, in a place called Royal Kitchen. While Royal Kitchen does serve up a lot of standard Hawaiian fare like plate lunches and saimin, what they are really known for is manapua, the Hawaiian version of char siu bao, those Chinese soft buns filled with meat. As I mentioned in my previous review of 7-Eleven, those little buns are available almost everywhere on the island, in a variety of flavors. But Royal Kitchen stands out, since most places steam their manapua, while Royal Kitchen bakes theirs.