Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Aku-Aku Who?

Another mid-week book find. I have not taken The Metiki out this week as schedule has not permitted so I'm doling out a little post about another of my Thor Heyerdahl book finds. Yet again credit must be given to Secret Agent Man who plucked this one off the shelf at the thrift store. He has the magic hands when thrift shopping for finding the best books. Luckily he shares and even hands some over to me outright. This was one of them.

This book came out in 1958 after Thor's Kon-Tiki Voyage. The back covers claims it is a Fascinating scientific whodunit. It notes that Aku-Aku means "guardian spirit" to the natives of Easter Island in the Southeast Pacific - the loneliest island in the world. On this barren and isolated island men of mystery built huge stone images - and then disappeared.
Sounds like a great read. There a multiple pages of fantastic pics like the one above of Thor and his crew exploring Rapa Nui and the great statues. What a fantastic find for twenty five cents at Goodwill!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

While Lounging at the Cabana

Our Metiki adventure this weekend took us to Cabana Shores in Palm Shores. Cabana Shores is a large tiki hut right on US1 in Melbourne. It's been there for a year now and is one of my favorite 'tiki spots.' It is not a true tiki bar - beer & wine only - but Cabana Shores has a great 'tiki attitude.' Upon driving The Metiki into the parking lot I was entranced but the large palm frond roof with wood beams jutting out. It overlooks directly onto the Indian River.
Some might argue this is actually a Florida Chickee Hut but in an area with less than stellar tiki offerings, I choose to view this as a tiki hut. So, back to the adventure - we pulled The Metiki in and were immediately greeted by an 'old salty biker type' who wanted to chat about The Metiki. He knew exactly what it was and fondly reminisced about his own old 49' Nash Wagon.
Secret Agent Man and myself decided on an 'outdoor table' although all the table are technically outside. The entire establishment is open air. But we went the sandy route and sat under the lanai area - this is what I like to consider 'roughing it' when dining at least. So with sand between our toes, we ordered our drinks (slight tear for lack of tiki drinks.)
Since there are no tiki drink choices I kept to the hard stuff- Coke and Secret Agent Man imbibed in a beer. We settled into our chairs, enjoyed the tropical breezes off the river and relaxed at the Cabana (Cabana Shores, that is.)
They boast a huge menu with many different food choices - tacos, nachos, fajitas, burgers salads and even a bunch of pasta dishes. Every offering has two variety's clean or dirty (healthy or not.) This is a great concept, I'm surprised more places do not offer. We ordered our food - Suicide Steak for Secret Agent Man and Blackened Chicken for me. Both came served with our choice of sides - we picked Squash/Zucchini Mix and a baked potato.
The food arrived just as the evening entertainment started. A local guitar player strummed some quiet mellow tunes - not bad but would have loved to hear some surf music. Anyway, the food was awesome. Even the side veggies were cooked and seasoned perfectly. Both the steak and the chicken wee moist, flavorful & delish (again left me lamenting for a nice Rum drink to go along with it.)
This proved to be a great stop and filled our need for a little tiki. I'll leave you with some interior shots of this fantastic Florida Tiki Hut - the construction is amazing. I forgot to ask who constructed it, I'm sure some locals know and will maybe drop me a line. Enjoy!

As I drove back home with Secret Agent Man I remembered why I love cruising around in The Metiki so much. Everything seems fun while driving a tiny, little car. People wave and smile even scary looking bikers! I also see why I love Florida so much - great places like Cabana Shores, Palm trees, the River - we are so lucky to live here. There is still alot of old, quaint and local Florida left to explore. Get off the main roads and I-95, you'll find some great treasures just in your backyard. And if they are not in your backyard, please come visit us, send me an email and The Metiki Gal will show you around!
Remember, keep your tiki mugs filled and be on the look-out for The Metiki Gal!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jade Palace Zombies

So Secret Agent Man & myself were ready for a little mid-week break and in the mood for a Zombie. This is Secret Agent Man's favorite of tiki drinks. It's usually a little too much for me and last night would not prove to be any different.
Jade Palace is a Chinese Restaurant in Indian Harbor Beach - just a mile down the road. They have a very unappreciated retro 70' bar in the back and a small menu of tiki drinks made with varying levels of success depending on who mixes them. But it is one of the few local places to get a traditional tiki drink made without a sugary mix or bastardized into a frozen concoction of crap.
So we cruised on down to Jade Palace and made good use of the deserted bar.
We were greeted at the door by a pair of menacing but lucky looking foo dogs. Then once inside the door greeted by the madame of the restaurant who quizzically asked if we really wanted to sit at the bar. We responded in the affirmative and were seated. We perused the drink menu & made our fateful selection - Zombies for two please.

We watched the waitress mix the drinks- she had an unusual method - dumped all the ingredients into the tiki mug with some ice then poured that into a cocktail shaker for a little swish around, then returned the entire mixture back to the mug & finished by topping it with a cherry, pineapple slice, orange and the umbrella.

The end result was very strong tasting of rum only. But we managed to sip and enjoy the retro feel of the bar.I enjoyed my zombie, not as much as other drinks I've had here, but halfway through the drink I really started feeling the effects of such a strong rum concoction. We ended our evening at one Zombie each and tottered back home(I was actually the only one tottering, Secret Agent Man provided a solid base to ensure I only tottered and did not tip.)

We will return to the Jade Palace soon and hopefully sit at the bar again - that much was fun. However, I will pass on a Zombie from them next time. I'll stick with something nice and fruity like the Pina Colada. I know this is perhaps the supreme of tacky tiki drinks but it is also superbly yummy and sweet too! So until next time - keep your tiki mugs filled and be on the look-out for The Metiki Gal!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

South Beach, Brevard Style -Weekend Blog Part II

Okay now for The Metiki Adventure. It was a beautiful Sunday and the sand was calling me. Secret Agent Man was headed for Orlando to engage in secret ancient activities (something akin to the He-man Woman Haters Club.) Anyway, I had the day to myself to do whatever I pleased. I pointed The Metiki south and enjoyed the ride. I left the garage without a destination in mind. I headed past the wonderful, yet metered parking beaches of Indialantic and drove south on A1A, enjoying all the beautiful houses along the way. I made the stoplight at Melbourne Beach and decided to keep heading south. I passed several crowded parks and Beach Accesses and kept heading south. Finally, the traffic thinned out and I came upon Coconut Point Park.

 I turned in, parked The Metiki, grabbed my beach chair & headed for the sand.

There was a meandering boardwalk leading the beach. Midpoint on the boardwalk to the beach is a little covered area with a picnic table. Note to self, next time bring lunch with and eat here. I kept on path and headed for the water.

In my 15 years living in Brevard, I had never stopped at this great little beach. The beach was beautiful and thankfully not too crowded. It was a nice sandy beach with no coquina rock in sight. I walked along the waterline hoping to score a piece of seaglass. I didn't find any seaglass but found a nice quiet empty spot to set my chair up. Relaxation set in quickly. I had a little nap, read a chapter or two of my novel, and people watched from behind my sunglasses.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Coconut Point Park but lunch was calling my name. I couldn't decide where to eat. I headed back north on A1A and thought I'll just stop at the first place that catches my eye. I returned to Melbourne Beach proper and noticed a little place I had never stopped at before - Bamboo Fish Company. It is a teeny-tiny, walk-up stand with a great variety of fish choices (and chicken for land-lubbers!)

Honestly, once I saw the little tables with the thatched roofs, I was compelled to turn in. It is such a cute little place! I ordered the Bamboo Shrimp Burrito - large, juicy shrimp with black beans, rice, tomato and a yummy guac sauce. The lemon wedge served with it gave it just the right amount of citrus kick. They also offer Sriracha sauce for the more adventurous diners. The lemon was enough for me, I gave it a squeeze and dug in. It was a huge burrito - too much for me alone. I wrapped up the other half and brought it home for dinner.

 As much as I enjoyed the burrito, it was the thatched roofs over the tables that had me fascinated. They were extremely well constructed and very solid.

After admiring the architecture and more people watching along the Mel Beach main drag, I hopped back into The Metiki and headed back home. Definitely another A+ Florida Beach Day. So in closing, keep your tiki mugs filled and be on the look-out for The Metiki Gal!

New Tiki Friends - Weekend Part I

Saturday night brought an opportunity to meet some new tiki friends. We were invited to a Pre-Hukilau Party by our new friend, George from Tiki Central. George and his wife, Chris welcomed us into their home tiki bar for the party. We met a great group of tiki & nontiki folks. George is a fantastic bartender & his mixology skills are quite impressive. Secret Agent Man and myself partook in his Scorpion Bowl - the bowl itself was handthrown by Chris.
We are so excited to attend Hukilau now & see all our new tiki friends again. I did not drive The Metiki to the Pre-Hukilau party so read more in Part II of this weekend blog for The Metiki adventure. Keep your tiki mugs filled (and do not drop them!!) & be on the look-out for The Metiki Gal.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Car Show Games

It's been a long week. I've been sick since Monday and am finally feeling more human but do not have much energy to travel about. I thought I'd post about a game Secret Agent Man & myself play at Car Shows. As we wander looking at Hot Rods, Rat Rods, RestoRods, Classics, and every other category you can imagine, we quiz each other. Given that money is no object, which vehicle would you most like to have? Happily, most of the time, we each say we like what we already have. But I know for myself, I long for an early 50's Studebaker. Other times, I'll spot an oddball and that will be my pick. Here are a few of "my fav's" from past car shows.

As I said, I'm a sucker for a Studebaker. But I also love this Henry J. It's not a well known or well loved car but every time I see one I'm drawn to it. An old lady I was friends with who has passed away used to tell us great stories of when she was a teenager and went out with a boy who drove a Henry J. She told me they were the first cars with reclining seats, she has great memories of dates in that car! This is a Henry J was saw in Orlando at the Groundhog Gala, one of our favorite local shows.
Another cool ride that would be a perfect Surf-Mobile is this Polaris Wagon. Aside from a touch of rust, it was in great shape. As you can see our "Car Show Game" has very little to do with the value of the vehicle but has more to do with the 'fun appeal.' And sometimes the pick is not a car at all. I have an absolute obsession with Canned Hams. Now I am not a camper in any sense of the word but I love the thought of camping in a cutie like this........ (it's even lowered, how sweet is that!)

Now those are just a few of my pics. I'm going to let you in on a dirty secret about my Secret Agent Man. He is a man of mystery and he has a secret love of one of the most useless and uncomfortable vehicles of all times - the T-Bucket. A most vilified of vehicles, even banned at some car shows.

And like me, sometimes his pick is not a car at all but other modes of transportation........

We do sometimes agree on our picks, this leads to another debate - who would get to be the driver????
Until next time, keep your tiki mugs filled and be on the look-out for The Metiki (when she's not spending her days in bed sick as a dog!)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Head North & Arrive in Pizza Heaven

As promised, I took The Metiki out for little cruise today. I headed directly north of Indialantic about three miles to beautiful Satellite Beach.
Now I know three miles in your daily driver is just a normal jaunt down the road. But in The Metiki even three miles is an adventure. I was ready for a bite to eat and was in the mood for pizza. Secret Agent Man is not a huge pizza fan but I am. And since he has not yet returned from parts north, I jumped at the chance to indulge in my guilty pleasure, New York Style Pizza. Thin, crispy crust, a little sauce, a secret blend of Italian Seasonings and yummy mozzarella. Such simple ingredients, yet so utterly delicious. My favorite pizza spot for miles around is Cibelli's Pizza in Satellite Beach.
They are the home of the 'Giant Slice' & the 24" Pizza (yes, two feet of pizza heaven.) However, as I was alone and I don't think the 24" pie would even fit in The Metiki, I opted for a 'Giant Slice'  with cheese only, no adulteration of toppings (that's just how I am, a simple girl of simple needs.)

 I also ordered a cold draft beer to keep me entertained while my 'Giant Slice' went into the giant pizza oven. Another bonus at Cibelli's is the rack of Beachside Resident Magazines (a local mag with bands, places to eat and quirky articles.) I think this is a great mag and the best for seeing which local bands are playing where. That was my bonus score of the day.

I sat outside enjoying beer, magazine and cute umbrellas on the deck outside Cibelli's. I watched the cars and bicycles pass on A1A. The umbrella's look like hula skirts and sway gently in the breeze. There's a friendly cement Manatee to greet you at the front door. I'm sure he's of Italian descent - possibly Salvatore the Manatee.

Before I lapsed into too much of an island trance, my slice was quickly delivered and I got to work.

No knife or fork needed. I do the New Yorker fold, it keeps all the yummy pizza grease in the slice. As I said earlier I love pizza and I love Cibelli's Pizza. There was nothing left of the 'Giant Slice.' when I was done. And I was ready to cruise home for a little nap.

  The Metiki and myself headed back south on A1A. We had a few people snap camera phone pics as we drove by. No, it doesn't have a lawnmower engine I had to answer to a car of local surfers, it is a REAL car. And no, it is not an Amphicar to another couple. You can't drive it into the lake and float. It is simply The Metiki, a wonderful mode of transportation, that makes even the most basic of task (grabbing lunch) a fun and exciting adventure.

So until next time, keep your tiki mugs full and be on the lookout for The Metiki Gal!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Headhunter Army

Since 'It's a Saturday Night and I Ain't Got Nobody' (Sam Cook, 1963) as Secret Agent Man is still away on holiday - I thought I would introduce my Headhunter Army.
I started collecting this Orchids of Hawaii mug called the Headhunter over 10 years ago. I found my first brown one at the Bellmore Train Station Flea Market on Long Island, NY for $2. It's not your typical style of tiki mug as he is more tribal looking. But it appealed to me and was really the mug that got me started collecting tiki. I love his face, it is so fierce. He is no doubt a warrior and not to be used for just any tiki fruity tiki drink. The recipe I have for a Headhunter goes as follows:

1oz. Lime Juice
1oz. Lemon Juice
3oz. Coconut Milk
1oz. Papaya Juice (optional)
3 shots Dark Rum
4 shots Spiced Rum
2oz. Orange Juice
4oz. Beer or Dark Ale

Obliviously this makes more than one Headhunter mug can hold so be sure you have 3 or 4 takers before concocting this drink. Do not garnish this drink with anything especially a drink umbrella - you will anger the tiki gods and will be cursed!

The dark green is my favorite. But the white one while most valuable, was the best bargain at one measly buck. I now have six although the light brown one appears to be some kind of homemade version & is slightly smaller. I think I will acquire only one more to make it an even 6 and then the smallie one can be retired somewhere else.

A little history on this mug. It was made by Orchids of Hawaii for years. They are now defunct but the mug is still sold by Dynasty Wholesale although it looks like a slightly different mold (maybe this is where the smallie one came from.) The Headhunter holds 16oz and is 7" tall.

All of mine, except the smallie, are Orchids of Hawaii, made in Japan(Japan denotes the oldest mugs, later ones were made elsewhere.) Below is a pic of the marking. They are sold pretty regularly on eBay for $10 and up. I think eBay kind of kills the fun of hunting for one in dusty thrift stores and at swap meets. I always get a thrill when I happen upon a tiki mug at a thrift store. I imagine it has sat unappreciated for months waiting for me to find it and take it home to tiki-mug land to live a life of happiness and tiki drink heaven.

Until next time (and I promise I will take The Metiki out), keep your tiki mugs filled and be on the lookout for The Metiki Gal!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Don The Beachcomber Trip (aka The 24 Hour California Marathon)

Back in February Secret Agent Man & myself caught the red eye for California and made a weekend visit to this Mecca of Tiki Bars. It was a long trip over and even a longer trip back but it proved to be nothing short of fantastic. Hands down, I had the best Mai Tai I have ever tasted there (actually I had 5 of the best Mai Tai's I ever tasted & at least one Zombie!)

Amazing drinks aside, we had a tikitastic time! We went for a benefit concert for surf music legend Eddie Bertrand of The Belairs. Now surf music knowledge is solely Secret Agent Man's territory. I just dig listening to it, especially live. We saw at least eight bands & just drank up on the groovy scene. I'll leave you with some of the tiki shots we took while there.

After several drinks over a few hours, we decided to partake in some tiki-fare food offerings. Being slightly intoxicated, spam sushi and fried calamari sounded absolutely delish to us so we ordered those with a side of sweet potato fries (does your stomach not ache just thinking about that combo.) From what I recall, Secret Agent Man & myself enjoyed our choices and polished off both plates.

Please be advised, many pictures were taken after several Mai Tai's so quality& technique may be lacking. But as I always say, keep your tiki mug filled and be on the lookout for The Metiki Gal.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mets, Margaritas & a Dash of Sand

After a stressful week and rain every day, along came the most perfect weekend. Sunny, mid-80's and no humidity. The Met was anxious to venture from the garage and have a little fun. We thought there would be a cruise-in down in Melbourne Beach on Saturday but upon arrival found that the Beach Street Eatery was no longer and there was no longer a cruise night. No worries though, we cruised over to Downtown Melbourne.

Setting out on foot we perused the various antique & junk stores. We found a fantastic used book store going out of business and scored an excellent book by the original tiki master, Thor Heyerdahl. You might remember him from the voyage of Kon-Tiki and the book of the same name. The Tigris Expedition is another of his journeys. This time he voyages in a replica of an ancient vessel used in pre-biblical times. Quite the find for less than three dollars.
 After our little shopping excursion, we (Secret Agent Man & myself) were thirsty and hungry. We cruised back over beachside to Catina Dos Amigo's in Indialantic.

 Starting with some homemade tortilla chips, salsa and a round of margarita's we finally started to unwind. Secret Agent Man had the Hornitos Margarita & I had the Millionaire's Margarita (girl cannot live on tiki drinks alone.) Both were excellent but I found the Millionaire's Margarita yummier - it has Grand Marnier in it which gives it a rich, luscious taste. The Hornitos had a strange zing to it - but Secret Agent Man declared it smooth and drinkable.

While enjoying our Margaritas, we debated over what to order. Cantina has a great menu of standard Mexican favs and some unusual choices. Secret Agent Man went with the Voodoo Chicken - moist grilled chicken with Mexican spices with peppers and onions in a pico de gallo sauce . I went with a Drunken Burrito - a lovely concoction of chicken, beans, lettuce& tomato covered with a tequila tomatilla sauce. Both dished proved to be excellent choices.
Upon finishing our meal, we cruised on home, parked the Met back in the garage and called it a night. All in all, this was a fantastic Saturday. And for the dash of sand....................

Sunday is my lazy day, I took a slow walk over to the beach (without Secret Agent Man, who has headed off to parts north of here to train in Secret Agent techniques.) Wriggling my feet in the sand and plopping back into a beach chair, I crack open an Elmore Leonard novel (a great read after exhausting everything Carl Hiaasen has written.) I lounge, read and get my toes wet. The water is too cold for this tiki gal to swim just yet. I'm used to the warm Polynesian waters of the South Pacific (I wish....Grew up on Long Island where Jones Beach was always freezing water even in mid-July.) Until next time, keep your tiki mugs full and always be on the look-out for the Metiki Gal.