AndyO Blog

Friday, August 31, 2012

Oahu Day 4: On the way to PCC: Romy's Shrimp Shack - Aug 31

There were two things Brenda wanted to do on Oahu: snorkel in Hanauma Bay and visit the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). So this was the day we visited PCC. 

Along the way, we stopped at Romy's Kahuku Prawns & Shrimp, one of the many recommended shrimp shack's on the island. Upon arriving, we opened our car doors and were blasted by a wave of GARLIC aroma. I've never smelled garlic so strong in my life -- as if they were roasting it in the fields. Brenda was in heaven.

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We joined the long line for shrimp. A sign proclaimed:

This is not fast food. It is good food, as fast as we can make it.

The sign represents an artifact of the sad, fast-food reality that we live in today. People expect McDonald's-level service speed everywhere they go. But as our 20-minute estimated wait time extended to about 40 minutes, I started to question whether good food should really take this long -- especially when you're sweating in the shade past the point of comfort.  

Romy's website explains:

Romy's Kahuku Prawns and Shrimp is one of the "must see" spots when visiting the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Harvested daily, Romy's prawns and shrimps are cooked live for the most succulent seafood on the island. Drop by for lunch or dinner when you are visiting the hot spots of the North Shore.
The food is four-star quality, but the roadside "shrimp stand" atmosphere guarantees a real taste of local culture.

When the shrimp arrived, it wasn't quite what I was expecting. We're so used to having our food killed, prepared, cooked, and packaged, it's a shock when shrimp and prawns show up with the heads intact. I started peeling away. The pitiful, small napkin I received with the meal was soon so full of mustard-yellow shrimp goo that I abandoned the idea of ever taking any pictures of this meal. And, really, why would I want to? 

After eating only one or two of these shrimp (which tasted wonderful by the way), I started to lose my appetite a little. Brenda was undeterred. She even offered to gut a jumbo prawn for me (full of even more guts), which I gladly accepted.

I totally admit it: I'm just a wimpy American male who's used to getting my food on a platter, ready to eat. It's a good thing to experience the messy reality of real food (and I didn't even have to cook it). It's not like this is cheap food. 

So, if you don't mind sweating outside and working a little to get to the delicious food, Romy's is your place.

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