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A ‘Spud-tacular’ Bite

Ono, You Know

November 25, 2018

Story By: Ellise Kakazu | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Editor Ellise Kakazu is ready to try Ruby Tuesday’s Loaded Potato Chips ($8.99).

Thanksgiving has come and gone too soon. But just because Turkey Day is over, it does not mean the holiday eating is. We have another month or so of festive gatherings that will involve food — hide the scale!

I have a laundry list of holiday favorites that I look forward to feasting on this time of year, and one of them is potato (in all forms, colors and sizes). As a local girl, I usually turn to rice as my side of choice, but once November arrives something in me changes and I happily skip scoops of rice and go straight for spuds.

Inspired by my seasonal adoration for the starchy vegetable, I decided to seek out some scrumptious plates of potatoes this week. And I must admit, I am very thankful I did.

NO PLACE LIKE RUBY TUESDAY

Holiday meals are typically enjoyed in the comfort of one’s home, but sometimes the hustle and bustle of pre-Christmas duties — shopping for gifts, decking the tree and everything in between — make cooking seem like a dreaded task.

A closer look at Ruby Tuesday’s Loaded Potato Chips

Thankfully, there are some comfy, cozy restaurants that can act as one’s second home. Among the handful of restaurants on island that can easily become a safe haven for families seeking a delicious bite is Ruby Tuesday.

With all-American classics like Full-Rack Baby-Back Ribs and Smokehouse Burger on its menu, Ruby Tuesday surely will put any diner in a jolly mood.

According to Ruby Tuesday Hawaii director of operations Eddie Arnold, Ruby Tuesday is a great place for ohana because of its diverse menu and great service. He also notes Ruby Tuesday is a place of nostalgia for many returning patrons, as many gatherings and celebrations are spent at the restaurant. “We are happy to be a part of that,” says Arnold. “It’s really all about family, especially during this time.”

Though Ruby Tuesday is a tried-and-true dining destination, it does not mean customers cannot expect new items popping up on its lineup. During my recent visit, I discovered a handful of items that I have never seen before, such as Bacon Deviled Eggs, BBQ Pork Meatballs, Southern Fried Chicken Salad and even Loaded Potato Chips ($8.99).

An order of Loaded Potato Chips comes with freshly fried crinkle-cut potatoes topped with a special-made in-house queso blend made of white queso, pimento cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, cayenne pepper and other seasonings, and sprinkled with diced tomatoes, green onions and red pimento peppers — this appetizer is pure potato perfection!

“With it all being prepared in-house, you really can taste that freshness,” says Arnold. “It’s definitely loaded with flavor.”

What’s more, this amazingly fun and enjoyable item is available for just $6 during Ruby Tuesday’s daily happy hour (3-6 p.m.).

A SWEET TREAT

Serving up culinary gifts that are both unique and unexpected is The Brilliant Ox, a restaurant known to serve New American cuisine with a twist.

The Brilliant Ox’s Okinawan Sweet Potato Croquettes ($12). PHOTO BY LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Take the restaurant’s beloved appetizer Okinawan Sweet Potato Croquettes ($12) for example. The Panko-fried croquettes feature a vibrant purple filling and are topped with chopped chives, fried rosemary, lap cheong jam and sambal aioli, which is made of garlic puree, sambal, mayo and lemon juice.

“The lap cheong jam makes it special, and I don’t believe there is another sweet potato croquette other than in Japan or Okinawa,” notes owner JC Moto Chow.

Biting into the croquettes, one will find the perfect harmony of savory, salty and sweet notes.

Okinawan Sweet Potato Croquettes is one of the most popular appetizers on the menu, so an order of it is a definite must.

Along with the delightful bites of sweet potato, dishes like Shrimp Toast, Ox Fries, Teriyaki Beef Shortribs and Ox Burger also can fill your tummy with deliciousness.

No matter what plates you choose to dig into, your meal at The Brilliant Ox will be like no other.

“Our goal is to provide Hawaii with a unique experience,” says Chow.

Whether you are a potato person or not, I hope you get to try these yummy dishes. I promise they will have your taste buds making a Christmas wish for more.

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