We actually took this LONG awaited vacation in November of 2009. Brainstorming ideas for the blog, I came across some of the pics from our trip and remembered...We ate a LOT of good food when we were on the islands!
One of the main reasons we took the trip was to visit my aunt who lives on (The Big Island) Hawaii. She has a restaurant and coffee shop there, The Holuakoa Cafe and Gardens. (They don't have a website but the reviews kind of say it all!)
We flew in on Thanksgiving day and were able to share (their 2nd helping, our first!) some turkey and other traditional items with my aunt, her boyfriend (the chef) and a couple of their friends. The homemade pumpkin pie was a perfect ending. The conversation was pretty interesting as well, as one of the visitors is also a chef and was in Hawaii to scope out a possible new restaurant location.
The restaurant has only outdoor seating, which is really all you need in Hawaii! It is covered and shaded though. As with most island locales, everything is very casual and friendly here. But don't let that fool you when it comes to the food. It was definitely "fine dining" caliber!
Holuakoa Cafe is proud to be a "slow food establishment". Everything (and I mean everything) is locally sourced, organic, hormone free, etc. They get their proteins for local fisherman and farmers. No quick fixes here. Just fabulous fresh food cooked with lots of passion!
Unfortunately for my blog, I wasn't blogging then so I didn't get pictures at every meal. (Boo-hoo.) We had all 3 meals there more than once and were never disappointed. We had pork, fish, pastas, sandwiches, desserts....pretty much tried to have everything. And it was all delicious! I wish I could remember more of the details of some of the dinners.
On the day we went down into Kailua Kona we both had eggs for breakfast. (The french toast is awesome, too.) My boyfriend had the "Hawaiian Steak & Eggs" with a gorgeous Ahi steak. I had my favorite, traditional eggs benedict, and it was as good as I hoped it would be. The egg was perfect, ham and (locally baked) english muffin in perfect proportion, potatoes yummy and crispy, and the sauce...oh the sauce was soooo good, my mouth still waters every time I see the picture.
We explored the island, the town, the volcano road, the coffee fields,the southern most point in the USA! Blue Mountain Coffee Company is actually right down the alley from the restaurant.
On Saturday there is a small farmer's market that they hold in the "yard" behind the coffee shop (and next to the restaurant). There were maybe 10 stalls there, a few people selling crafts and artwork and such, but mostly people with awesome looking food! I have never seen so many fresh, exotic fruits! Some of them I had never even seen before.
We also met the baker who makes all the bread and pastries for the restaurant and the cafe. We took a loaf of his fresh bread with us to make turkey sandwiches for a picnic on our drive to the volcano! It was, of course, yummmm.
After spending 3 great days on the Big Island, we took the quick hop to Maui. While we were there I managed to crash on a bike ride and put myself out of commission for the last 2 days of the trip. BUT...we had some pretty damn good take out a couple of those nights. One night we had Maui Taco, which has a few locations on the island. It was REALLY good! We had fish tacos and a bean burrito and it was all delicious! (Being from San Diego, we know good tacos, and these were good.) One day rushing around we decided to stop in at an L&L Hawaiian shop. We have these in San Diego but for some reason the food was MUCH more tasty over there! The meat seemed better quality and the mac salad was really creamy and fresh. Maybe we were just high on being in Hawaii but I swear...
We also managed to make it to the Old Lahaina Luau (the night of my accident...before we realized how injured i was) that we had already scheduled and prepaid for! That was also REALLY fun and the food was not bad either, for a buffet. The large variety of drinks were yummy, had decent amount of alcohol, and they just kept coming. Watching the "ceremonial" unveiling of the pig was really fun. I loved all the dancing and music, too. This was our first trip to Hawaii and I am really glad we did the luau.
Overall the trip, and the food, was EXCELLENT! I really can not wait to go again. Aloha!