Monday, April 16, 2012

The Whole Ox Deli

Recently opened about 2 weeks ago, The Whole Ox is located on Keawe right across the street from the old Comp USA. I absolutely love the color scheme and the laid-back "country" feel (even though it's located close to downtown/the Financial District), especially with their cute wooden benches outside coupled with the breezy Hawaiian air. Lovely!

The food, however, needs a bit of work. Again, like I've said before, this place can be great, but they need time to get their routine down. Some have said on Yelp, and I agree, that the workers need to be trained better. When asked what was in the Head Cheese, the guy taking my order (he was really nice though! I give him that) had to ask another worker, who had to ask one of the Chefs/Owners that popped his head out, who discussed with another Chef/Owner just exactly what ingredients he used. Whoa!! They need to be more trained on the menu for one thing! And secondly, they were out of Pastrami, which meant they couldn't make 2 out of their 8 lunch items! Apparently, as stated on Yelp, the Reuben and the K&Z are two of their most popular lunch items. But, it was only 11am! And that's when lunch starts. Boooo.

While I really enjoyed the atmosphere, the food lacked taste. Everything was either really salty or bland in flavor. They had some cool concepts- homemade Head Cheese (though you can't beat Salt), Fried Potatoes, Watermelon and Tomato Salad, and what sounded amazing, their Foie Gras Eggs Benedict, but left me totally disappointed.

Hours: Breakfast served from 7am-11, Lunch 11-3pm. Beware, the lunch hour gets crazy! Best time to go- you can try their breakfast, but be there just when lunch we did!

I love the chalkboard menu!!

Spinach-Egg Tarte

Yelpers said these weren't crunchy, so I didn't give these a go.

Plantation Iced Tea @ $2.25 was probably the BEST thing there. But sorry, no refills!

Foie Gras Eggs Benedict. Definitely not worth $19. The Foie Gras was easily overcooked. Also, I didn't care much for the didn't go well with the overall taste of the dish. Maybe an English Muffin or something softer would do. And the egg! The egg was SUPER runny and barely seemed cooked plus drowned in Hollandaise. Just a messy dish, overall.

Definitely not as good as I made it look...

Porchetta'boutit, Doug- Pronounced Porketta. Apparently my friend Brian said the fennel was the best part of this sand.

Fried Bologna- the Lunch Special of the Day. Ryan said it was like a heart attack in a sand. Very light, but very filling....if there even is such a thing. We ended up making fun calling it "tempura bologna."

Fried Potatoes- bland, but crispy and crunchy. No taste to me, though.

Finally! My dish! The Dry-Aged Burger with Caper Aioli. Didn't realize it, but after tasting my friends' food, this was SUPER salty. The comparison with their food was unbelievable. Don't know if the meat was over-seasoned or the caper aioli took over. Either way, it was REALLY salty, and to me, not cooked enough.

And what is this?! Did I ask for a side of oil?!

Head Cheese tasted like star anise-flavored gelatin. A bit strange. The Chef said it was Pho-flavored.

As we left, lunch was busy!

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