Eat well in Hawaii we did

Where are we going to eat?

We faced that decision several times daily on our dream family vacation to Kona.

Well, a few times we spared ourselves by shopping at the Sack and Save and munching sandwiches or salads at the suite at Kona By the Sea.

Pineapple at home.

George used his knife skills to treat us to a fancy presentation of the pineapple Elisabeth purchased at the first Farmers Market.

One sunrise, I walked over to the grocery store in the strip mall next door and discovered it mostly sold beer and wine. Still, I managed to locate four decent muffins in a case located way back for our breakfast that morning. Elisabeth followed up with return trip later in the week.

Breakfasts were pretty good out, though.

No fish for me.

There was the interesting ambiance of The Fish Hopper, where the five of us stopped at 7 a.m., to fortify before our day drive to the Hilo side.

I win.

All week long I urged our foursome to walk up the stairs to Pancho and Lefty’s.

Before heading out to the airport on our very last day, we were attracted to Bongo Ben’s.

Cant’ beat it.

All were drastically different in their breakfast offerings.

White rice with breakfast.

I went with a Western Omelet at the Fish Hopper. They answered my curiosity about what type of rice was served with breakfast with a scoop of clumpy white.

Singular strawberry.

My dear wife Karen took some issue when her Pancakes with Berries special came with just one. She thought plural.

My Mexican breakfast.

I think I went out on the limb at the Mexican joint by actually eating refried beans and rice at 8 a.m. The eggs with chorizo and cheese tasted great on my fresh tortilla. I had to ask for hot sauce, though. I wished that it came with salsa.

Spam underneath.

George, bless him, truly went local here by ordering spam in this Loco Moco. Yeah, the canned stuff is under that brown gravy.

Sweet waffle

Elisabeth went for the coconut covering on her waffle at Bongo Ben’s. It was thick, sticky, sweet. She liked it.

French toast, island style.

George was still in Hawaiian mode, going with pineapple-and-banana French toast.

Hover over a gallery photo for a description. Click on an image for an enlarged slide show.

As soon as it got past 2 p.m., we didn’t know where lunch ended and dinner began. We were always hungry for one and full for the other. That formidable six-hour time difference waylaid the Syracuse contingent.

So we were the odd-time eaters when we were on our own, searching for an interesting-looking spot.

Outside mall setting.

We headed to the big, outdoors mall.

Tropical sandwiches?

Paydirt on the first day at the sports pub.

Pulled pork, Hawaiian style.

I thought the pulled pork’s local touches sounded pretty good, with mango added to a salsa on top.

Hover over a gallery photo for a description. Click on an image for an enlarged slide show.

George started his later-meal trend by going with the first of many fish tacos. Karen also went seafood with fish and chips.

Good anywhere.

Elisabeth went for a favorite: Burger-and-fries.

We all ended up full and happy, if confused at what meal we’d just finished.

At the Dolphin Watch, the kind captain told us a return trip to said mall area was worth it for a visit to Sam Choy’s.

Shopping, then ocean.

We arrived around 4 p.m.

A new life.

The converted Wendy’s offered open-air dining and one of the finest views ever.

Birds flew around the tables.

The time of day afforded us only the Happy Hour menu, our waitress informed us. So I ordered two items: the babyback ribs and the chicken wings. Also coming to us Karen and George both went with a Poke salad, a version of fish on greens. George went with the true raw while Karen got hers grilled. Elisabeth went with two as well, wings and Brie wontons. We were so hungry we ate all the food before I could take photos of it. I don’t think we left any crumbs for the birds, either.

Kona Brewery’s cozy cafe.

Our early arrival for lunch at the Kona Brewery was worth it. The atmosphere was comfortable even on an 88-degree early afternoon.

Meat and peppers.

They proved to Karen and I that they can make delicious pizza in Hawaii. I thought my three slices went perfectly with my two draft Wailua Wheat Passionfruit beers.

Elisabeth and George were in a sandwich mood, turkey and shrimp salad, respectively. The homemade chips with Elisabeth’s were significant and considerable.

Upstairs for two dozen.

We managed to get two dinners with everybody together. The first came for Kevin’s birthday, a barbecue at the suites rented by Lynne at the start of the family reunion. The Arkansas continent did the cooking on a grill. It was magnificent. I did so much socializing I neglected to take photos.

Later in the week, everybody went out to Splashers Grill.

Excellent location.

Finding a spot on Ali’i Drive that everybody agreed upon was a wonderful trick. Everybody but Kevin showed up by 8:30 p.m., on a Sunday night.

No, we could not get a table for 18. But within a half-hour, they did seat us at two tables (on opposite sides of the packed second-story restaurant).

The harbor.

Syracuse sat with Alaska. Dacia, on the outside row, took my iPhone 6s and took this shot of the Harbor across the street for me.

My shrimp alfredo.

I went with shrimp again. The pasta and sauce were wonderful.

My wedding stir fry.

(Lest I forget, I had very much enjoyed the shrimp stir fry above at Drew and Maritza’s beach wedding.)

Shrimp ahoy!

Karen went with the shrimp platter, which were bigger and more plentiful than my plate. Yes, I had shrimp platter envy.

George’s fish tacos.

George ordered fish tacos. I like his style.

Elisabeth’s exotic choice.

Elisabeth went wild with chicken pasta pesto.

We all were quite satisfied. And full. It was 10 p.m. by the time we’d paid the bill, or 4 a.m. Syracuse time. Need I say what I did when I got back to the suite at Kona By the Sea?

Tomorrow: Drinks went with food

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