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May 17, 2008 07:12 AM

Please critique our planned choices on Big Island

After reading the posts and looking online, here are our planned meals on The Big Island:
(breakfast will be open a lot because we are in a time share and can save a little money by buying our own kona coffee and having breakfast there before we head out for the day. If there is a place we shouldn't miss for breakfast plese let me know.)

May 24th arrive 2pm dinner is still open

25th - brk at Coffee Shack, lunch - open, dinner - Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill

26th - brk open, we are doing ATV tour in Kapa'au starts at 12:15, any recs for lunch in that area around 11am, dinner - Merriman's

27th - brk - open, lunch - Cafe Pesto I love pizza :), dinner - Kenichi Pacific

28th - driving to Hilo for farmers market tex drive in on the way, lunch open, dinner - Thai Thai Restaurant

29th - brk - open, lunch - open, dinner - Sushi En Fuego

30th - brk - open, lunch - open looking for some thing lite, dinner - Lu'au at Koan Coast Resort

31st - brk - open, lunch - open, dinner - FUJIMAMA'S RESTAURANT & SUSHI BAR

1st - brunch - Kamuela Provision Company at the Hilton, dinner - open

Choices to for dinners two open nights - Roy's & ?

Choices for open lunches - BaLe, Teshima's, and Habahero's

Please give honest feed back that is recent, I am not looking for reviews from 2 years ago. Since I have seen here that there have been changes in chef's that have made the later ones outdated.

Thank you so much for your help.

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  1. Interesting Vacation Schedule...
    Not sure which part of the island you are staying , but am sensing maybe south of Kona Keahou area?
    We have been to the Big Island recently, say 3 times in the past year for a total of 8 weeks.For all visits , we stayed in the Waikoloa Beach resort area
    We have done a fair bit of dining out, however really enjoy the local produce and favor cooking in as well.

    Cafe Pesto: Great choice either Hilo or Kawaihae. All the pizza is good as well as smoked salmon fettucine.
    Jackie Rey's: Good choice for either Lunch or dinner. Fresh ingredients. Frequented by the locals....always a good sign
    Bale: Right next to the KTA supermarket in Kona, good sandwich shop and bowl of saimin.
    Roy's: Can't go wrong, very good food, however the noise level here is off the richter scale.
    Coffee Shack: Super views, small place but good food , fresh ingredients.
    Merriman's: Focus on fresh Hawaiian locally grown produce. If distance is an issue , the Merriman's market cafe in WBR (King's shops) is also a choice.

    A few recommendations I could make that you didn't mention would be:
    Waikoloa Beach Grill: Located at the clubhouse of the Beach course. Quite thoughtfully prepared meals, beautifully presented. A real find. Personally would trade out meal at KPC at Hilton for this one. Do visit the grounds at the HIlton. Something to see, but all the restaurant offerings are sub par.
    Kona Brewing Company: Great spot to try the local beer (Wailua Wheat, lilikoi) is a favorite. Try the sampler of 6 different beers for $8. Gives you a good idea of variety.
    Their pizza is quite good as well.
    Manago Hotel: In Captain Cook, a real institution, serving up family style meals,especially known for their pork chops. A real flash back to the 60's, original dining room. Locals and tourists alike return to this spot.
    Nori's saimin: In Hilo, after a morning of exploring the Farmer's market, a visit to Nori's for a big bowl of saimin would complete the experience. Local flavor at it's best

    Generally avoid Lua'u anywhere. Overpriced, food mediocre at best, aimed at tourist's dollar. You won't see many local families at Hotel /resort lua'u. Local residential lua'u does exist( Usually church fundraiser) and this is what you should seek out if you must say you went to a Lua'u while in Hawaii.Less than half the price as well.
    Puzzled by the structure of your itinerary , but hey to each his own.
    I know you will love the Big Island... Enjoy!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: easily amused


      Thank you so much for your feedback, exactly what I was looking for and your recs were right in line with my temptations. Example being Nori's, but not sure we will have time, we have a helicopter tour at 11:30am. Maybe we can get it to go, and take it to VNP? Also appreciate your input on KPC and just going to look at the Hilton locaiton. I agree on the Lu'au and maybe with your feedback my husband will agree since this the one he wanted to do.

      As to our itinerary, it revolves around FOOD of course. My husband hates it but usually forgives me about half way through our vacations, because of all the good food, and we are always open to change if we get there and it doesn't work with what we want to do.

      If thsi is the only response I get, could be this board is slow, it will be worth my post because of your response, Thank you so much.

      1. re: LunasMom


        Happy to help. It sounds like you have everything covered for a great time and adventure on the BIg Island.
        Forgot to mention a couple of things.

        Big Island Candies: A fabulous spot in Hilo where you can purchase something lovely gifts to bring home. You can take a little mini viewing tour of their ultra- clean facilities. All of their offerings ie Chocolate dipped shortbread cookies , brownies etc are packaged in the most stylish wrap.
        Click on their spring specials to view many items. 685 Hinano St, Hilo

        Waikoloa Beach Grill has a website where you can preview a few of their offerings. Renowned pastry chef.

        I wouldn't bother with Nori's(Extremely casual local place) the day you are set up for a Heli, maybe Cafe Pesto afterward if time allows.
        Another resource for restaurant reviews on the Big Island is Kona Web.
        Not sure if you have heard of it.

        Once again . Enjoy

        1. re: LunasMom

          If you really must do a Luau, do it at Kona Village Resort - food and entertainment of much higher quality than elsewhere.

      2. Jackie Rey's is pretty average...Holuakoa Cafe is much better (in Holualoa)...the last time we were at Merriman's it was quite a disappointment...the Canoe House might be a better choice...we like Fujimama's...Sushi EF is a touristy rip off...lunch at Bangkok House in King Kam Mall is very good...Kona Brew Pub has pretty good gormet pizzas and excellent award winning beers...if you mean Habenero's rather than Habahero's then it's very good...also, you might try Keii Cafe...lunch or dinner at Original Thai will be a treat...Kenichi is excellent...good luck

        2 Replies
        1. re: S Marquis

          If you have time when in Hilo, consider Harrington's. Great seafood, good service, dining area overlooks a pond, the windows slide open, cool summer breeze, lilikoi cosmo's... *sigh* wish I was there again :). Also, if you go to the farmer's market in Hilo, make sure you buy some mangoes - they're unlike any available on the mainland.

          Have a great trip!

          1. re: caliking

            Glad to see the Hilo recs. coming. Also, thanks for jogging my feeble memory. I have been trying to think of Harrington's for some years now.

            Both it, and Cafe Pesto (Hilo, as I have not dined at the other loc.) were very good, with excellent food, fair prices, and real "aloha spirit."

            It is such a shame that too many folk miss Hilo, and most of that entire section of Hawai`i (Big Island), as it has a ton of charm. Yes, we end up spending more time towards Kona, but still try to get to Hilo, about every four trips to the Big Island - been too long...


        2. I was refered to Huggo's in Kona a couple of times, and I thought the food was quite good. The open air setting right on the surfline was great too. Somehow it seems to be poo-pooed in here, I'm not quite sure why.

          1. I go to Kona every summer. For cheap food and a casual dining experience, Big Island grill is great. For breakfast, lunch, or dinner... it's cheap and fast. I see you have a higher end of selections and that's great. The Kona Coast Luau is fun, too. Have fun.