A New Ritual: Musubi & Whisky Tuesdays

It’s been some time now since my “once a week” location for cocktails, cigars, and fine dining has closed, but it is important to still have a way to indulge in these pleasures of life on a weekly (or at the very least monthly) basis. It’s the moment I look forward to and completely fall into- forgetting life’s stresses, frustrations, deadlines, and any other distractions. On this day, it is all about the simple things and giving them the respect and attention they deserve.

And so Musubi and Whisky Tuesday was born. A day that begins with a fantastic food truck, involves friends at a whisky tasting, and cigars which finish the evening either on their own or with the quest for more delicious food.

First- the “what is musubi” question.

I first discovered musubi from the Phamily Bites food truck. It is a popular treat in Hawaii and now an addiction I happily admit to. Musubi consists of spam (yes, I said spam), rice, and nori. The seaweed wraps the grilled spam and rice, keeping it together and making it easy to eat. Phamily Bites offers theirs with a fried egg in the mix. One of my rules with food is that if you can add an egg or bacon to a meal- you do it. This is no exception- do it, it’s delicious!

The traditional Musubi as well as the option of an egg or spicy musubi are consistently available on their menu @PhamilyBites. Every now and then they break out specials with their own twist, such as pork belly fat or tuna poke. They also have yummy Vietnamese eggrolls, banh mi sandwiches, and pho cups.

Once the musubi fix is taken care of, we move on with the day and get ready for some whisky.

Reserve 101 hosts a whisky tasting every Tuesday. These tastings are informative as well as delicious, and give you the opportunity to taste whiskies and spirits you may have not considered before. It helps develop your palate and find which styles are best for you.

The first photo from the set above was from the Balvenie tasting and had a special treat included: a barrel-aged cocktail the bar has been working on. The cocktail was a bacon infused Manhattan which was aged with wood chips within the barrel. This gave the Manhattan a distinct smokey flavor along with the sweetness and complexities of the bourbon and remaining cocktail ingredients.

Now, when it came to the Balvenie tasting I was already very familiar with the brand and can tell you there isn’t a Balvenie I don’t love. The 12yr Doublewood and 21 Portwood are two of my favorites. But what was really beneficial about this tasting was learning about the history of Balvenie, the people involved, and the details involved in the creation of their whiskies. It adds a whole new layer of appreciation to the experience. Even if it is a whisky you already know you enjoy, there is always something new to discover about it.

Every week is a different whisky or spirit, and on some occasions multiple brands and styles within a single tasting. The tastings are complimentary and a treat you will definitely want to be a part of.

Since they are located within the city limits they are restricted by the smoking ban, but are in the process of having a patio put into place which will welcome cigars to accompany your beverage. In the meantime we either enjoy a cigar outside or move on to the next spot in our evening.

Now, the next location brings together all three factors: great food, cold beer, and welcomes cigars. This would be Moon Tower Inn, a haven of wild game hot dogs and great craft beers. How can you not love a place whose site is “www.damngoodfoodcoldassbeer.com“? Their hours are “till we run out of food or it’s too late to sell beer” which makes it a great stop to finish the evening.

I adore wild game, and these certainly are not your typical dogs. You can select your own toppings but I always go with the “chef’s choice” since they know what they are doing. I’ve learned that it is best to order two right away. Halfway through the first one you will want another, and because this isn’t fast food you will have to wait for that second one, especially if there is a line. Remember, order two- instant satisfaction.

I like coming here on any day and at any time, but it’s really nice to finish off an eventful Tuesday with some great food, beer, and cigars with friends as we discuss the whiskies we just tasted and the ones we are looking forward to at the next event. As you can see from the first photo of the set, you walk up to order and all the tables are outside. Outside = smoking for now, so I will take advantage of it as much as I can.

Having said that, Moon Tower just announced that after this weekend they will be closing for 3 months due to renovations. Knowing them I’m sure it will be worth the wait, and in the meantime we have a new food truck to look forward to: The Moon Tower Meat Wagon.


Look for more posts soon featuring great food destinations that welcome cigar smokers. If you have a place to share or a ritual of your own, please include your stories in the comments! I know there are some great gems waiting to be discovered.

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  1. TriMarkC
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 14:33:45

    The Moon Tower Inn sounds like an awesome place!!

  2. Jim
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 09:10:14

    If your ever in Hawaii and want an authentic musabi and a herf with some Soldiers from Schofield Barracks let me know

  3. familystonebw
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 13:40:20

    Made musubi last night after reading this article. I enjoyed it so much I will be adding it to my list of quick and easy yet delicious meals.

  4. teresa
    Mar 02, 2012 @ 14:30:50

    Moon Tower Inn is *brilliant*, they will be even better soon as they incorporate a brewery into the mix 😉

    I will definitely have to have an authentic musubi in Hawaii, a herf with some Soldiers would make the experience a perfect one. I don’t know when I will be in Hawaii, but you can be sure I will send a message your way, Jim. Thank you!

    @familystonebw, that is too great! I love it! 🙂

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