The Great Eight: ‘cuz Top-Ten lists are tacky
Let’s face it, I love food. Particularly when someone does something special with it. Here’s a list of Great Eight restaurants that have repeatedly made me happy. The things I look for to qualify a restaurant for this list include: consistency across visits, diverse menu, fair value, deliciosity (yup, that’s a made up word for how delicious something is), atmosphere and service.
Great Eight listology of food:
1. Kountry Kitchen – Kapa’a
There are two things I do really well: breakfast and ice cream. That being said, Kountry Kitchen might very well be the best breakfast place OF ALL TIME. There’s usually a line out the door for this tiny little gem, and I will wait hours to get my hands on some Hawaiian sweet bread french toast. I am so in awe of the breakfast genius in the kitchen that I can totally ignore the decorator’s rooster problem.
2. Brenecke’s Beach Broiler – Poipu Beach
Happy Hour with a pitcher of mango guava coladas with a beautiful view and a great staff. FRESHEST FISH. We love Brennecke’s!
3. Java Kai – Hanalei
Great local spot for lunch-delicious Panini sandwiches, magnificent smoothies and an extensive coffee menu. It’s extra yummy because you’re supporting a quaint local business!
4. Olympic Cafe – Kapa’a
One of the biggest menus I have ever unfolded. Almost too many choices. Then I realize, there’s no such thing as too many choices! Go here for beers, laughter and appetizers. Dinner’s great too, if you have room after the awesome Pupus (appetizers).
6. Scotty’s BBQ – Kapa’a
Love the setting, a beach-facing second story building with awesome roll-up garage doors. The BBQ’s excellent, but be prepared to pay a little more than you might be comfortable with if you’re on a tight budget. The portions are huge though, so splitting a meal is definitely do-able. We do Scotty’s as a splurge and eat our faces off.
7. Duke’s Canoe Club – Lihue
No trip to the Hawaiian islands is complete until you’ve made it to Duke’s: the quintessential aloha eatery. Located in the Marriott, Kauai Duke’s is gorgeous. They host a salad bar -such a rarity in restaurants these days- and I always encourage ordering fish for the main course. Don’t forget dessert: Kimo’s Hula Pie is a mile high, and legendary.
8. Lappert’s Ice Cream – Princeville
Anyone who knows my Mom and sister and I are aware of our status as ice cream professionals. We don’t mess around. Really good ice cream is hard to come by on these islands, and Lappert’s does it right. Sometimes I get such a craving for Tutu’s Anniversary that I dream I’m eating it in my sleep. It’s a dream-worthy combination of coconut ice cream with swirls of raspberry and lilikoi (passion fruit) sherbet. “Heaven, I’m in ice cream heaven!”