There’s a certain kind of person who recalls their travels according to what they ate, rather than what they actually did. I am definitely that sort of person. I mean, yeah, I did stuff. But mostly I was thinking about what I was going to eat next while I was doing it.
When my family went to the Big Island of Hawai’i this month, we did our best to eat at interesting local places. (For some reason, my mom really wanted to go to the Macaroni Grill by our condo, but we managed to steer her away. This happened several times during our trip. She’s usually so classy, too.)
As the resident control freak, I was elected to be the food guide. I spent a ton of time poring over Yelp and our copy of the Fodor’s Guide to plan out where we were going to eat every day. Some guesses were better than others, but here are the results!
My mother, sister, and I got stranded in Captain Cook, HI after an adventurous bus ride that didn’t turn out to be as “round-trip” as expected. Parched, exasperated, and annoyed with each other, we stopped at L&L Barbecue, which was serving up breakfast. My sister ordered a banana lumpia, which was basically a piece of banana wrapped and fried just like an egg roll. The banana got nice and melty inside, which we really liked. Some kind of sauce would have helped, though.
Malasadas are a Portuguese export; they amount to sugared doughnuts. There were a bunch of flavors available at the Punalu’u Bake Shop, where we stopped en route to see a black sand beach, but we settled on taro due to its distinctiveness. I loved it! It was yeasty and not terribly sweet.
When my cousins’ family flew in to meet us, we went out to Waimea for dinner. I thought it’d be cool to go to Fujimama’s, but the restaurant wasn’t there! In its place was the Red River Cafe. Since everyone was going insane from hunger, we tried it out. And it was great! The decor was a little chintzy, but the staff was a genuine bunch. I tried the shrimp and housemade noodles with oyster sauce and truffle oil. It was a surprising flavor match-up, but it made its own kind of sense. I loved it, especially when I ate the cold leftovers for breakfast the next morning.