Tasting Notes: Grass Shack Cafe

Cuisine and scene: Warm up in winter at a restaurant that could have been plucked from Hawaii and dropped in the Rogue Valley. Like so many in the Aloha State, Grass Shack Cafe serves stick-to-your ribs food in a casual setting with a dash of tropical kitsch. The specialty is authentic plate lunches of meat with rice and macaroni salad, as well as iconic island fare, such as "loco moco," over-easy eggs, hamburger patties, rice and brown gravy, and "chicken long rice," Hawaii's chicken-noodle soup.

Recommended: Plate lunch with slow-roasted and shredded kalua pork; "hula bowls" of chicken, pork or beef over rice for smaller appetites or budgets.

Alternative diets: Plates are healthier with brown rice or green salad instead of macaroni for an additional $1 each; homemade, gluten-free sauces; vegetarian burger, noodles and stir-fry.

Beverages: Bottled Hawaiian and other craft beers; local and other domestic wines by the bottle and glass; homemade pineapple and passion fruit iced teas; Hawaiian sodas, bottled waters and fruit juices; 100 percent and blended Kona coffees, hot chocolate and hot tea.

Price range: Entrees, $5.50 to $9.50; burgers and sandwiches, $5.50 to $8.50; desserts, $2.25 to $6.50

Extras: Pleasant patio seating; free Wi-fi; $5 happy hour plates from 3 to 6 p.m.; Hawaiian jam session from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday; other live music Saturday evening.

Serving: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

Info: The Shoppes at Exit 24, 205 Fern Valley Road, Phoenix; 541-512-8969; www.grassshackcafe.com

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