- Vacation Rentals
- Kauai Info
- About Us
Well, I’ve been dieting for a month now, and I’ve been REALLY good. While I’ve written about the great food here on Kauai, I’ve not gone out to eat too much and I’ve been sticking to the fresh fruits and vegetables found at the local farmers markets.
The results?? … I’ve lost 10 pounds!!!!!! I can buy the dress I want in the size I want! Yea for smaller wedding dresses!!!!
Thank you to everyone who sent me words of encouragement. I truly appreciate your support. And you know what? I think writing about the food really helped me to work through my cravings; especially that day I wanted tacos. Seriously, I almost broke down and drove to Pats several times during lunch that day. But writing got me through it.
Life is like that, you know? Each person struggles with things, things they can share publicly and things they can’t. And if we live our lives thinking about others, then our burdens seem smaller. For instance, telling you guys about the amazing food here on Kauai made me feel better about my dieting. And, in turn, I’m hoping that my blog helped you to find a great place to eat while you’re on the island. So it’s a win-win!
So what’s next on my list of things to do? Well, first I’m going to go and pig out at one of Kauai’s fantastic restaurants! (I can afford to gain back a pound or two.) ☺
And then, we move on to more exciting information about Kauai festivals, cultural days, events, concerts, plays, beach parties, sporting events, places to go, people to see, things to do, and Aloha to experience. It’s going to be a fun summer. So stay tuned!
Okay, the full title of this post should be “Fully Equipped Kitchen on the Beach,” because that is far more accurate when talking about the Hale Ola Guest House. But I went with the shorter title, since that’s the main point of this blog. ☺
As you know, it’s May Munchie Madness this month. So what better way to talk about the munchies than to mention that you don’t have to stay in a hotel! After all, hotels offer you a bedroom with a bathroom. Not much space at all really. But if you want to be able to make your own food whenever you want in the privacy of your own home-away-from-home, then this is the house for you. Hale Ole’s Guest House has a fully equipped kitchen that is just perfect for the foodie on the go.
The cabinets are a beautiful white that offsets the countertops perfectly. And, not only is the ambiance nice, but the kitchen is set up with a coffee maker, tea pot, blender, microwave, oven, dishes, utensils, pots, pans, serving trays, and everything else you’ll need to cook whatever you want. That is what I mean by “fully equipped kitchen.” We’re talking about all of the comforts of cooking at home, along with a beautiful window that features the one thing you can’t see from your kitchen at home: the beach!
Yeah, I suppose I should tell you about the rest of the house, right? That’s only fair. Well, this guest house is on the property of another house, which must be rented separately. But the property more than makes up for the shared space. This house is right on the water! Seriously, you can open your door and walk across the lawn to the beach. It’s that easy. Just wait until you see it. While this might not be a largest house in the world, it’s location makes it worth its weight in gold.
In addition to a great kitchen and beachfront placement, this home sleeps 4 comfortably, with two bedrooms equipped with king-sized beds. Plus, it comes with some great amenities like cable TV, DVD player, stereo with CD player, high quality furnishings, hardwood floors, and more. And while you can probably find a nice hotel on the beach, let’s face it – it will cost you a fortune. You might be spending close to $1,000 a night just on a room with a bathroom! But with this rental home, you get the comforts of home located right on the beach for only $2,400 a WEEK! (Not a night, folks. A week! That’s 7 days of staying in the best place on earth for only $2,400!)
Okay, back to the kitchen. ☺ Because this house is located in Hanalei, you will also be very close to a shopping center, several smaller shops, a farmer’s market, and more. So you will be able to go out daily and pick up fresh fruits and vegetables (grown right here on the island), fresh fish (caught right here on the island), and anything else you desire. And then you can come back to the house and cook!
OR, if you don’t really feel like cooking for the evening, you can always stay in town and enjoy one of the great restaurants, frequented by locals and visitors alike. Don’t you want to give this place a chance? With your family, or together with another couple, you could make this place into a dream vacation get-away.
Okay, I’ve been getting some comments from friends about the fact that I constantly talk about meat when I write about food. (Clearly, they missed my post about farmers markets and the wonderful fruits and veggies on Kauai.) So, I decided to write a post about good vegan options on Kauai. After all, there are many individuals who have wonderful reasons for not eating meat, and my addiction to bacon (mostly because my diet says I can’t have it) should not cause them undue stress when eating out.
So, for my vegan and vegetarian readers out there, this one is for you.
There are a few good options if you want to eat vegan and still enjoy a meal in a nice restaurant here on Kauai. And my favorite place (yes, I am typically a vegetarian who eats a little fish here and there) is the Garden Café at Common Ground. This place is located on a farm! So I guess there’s no doubt that the veggies and fruit were grown locally and picked fresh. The atmosphere is great, as it’s an open-air café, allowing you to see all the beauty of Kauai around you. And the food is delicious. I don’t know how they make their salads so full of flavor, but they manage it. And if you leave without trying the taro fries, you will be extremely sorry you did later. They are out of this world.
Another great place is Postcards Café. I think I’ve written about this place before, so I’ll make this brief. (Well, relatively. I do LOVE to talk about food.) Postcards is right in Hanalei and they serve only fish and vegetarian fare. (Vegan too, if you were wondering.) No beef or chicken will grace their menu, as they are dedicated to providing meat-free (other than fish) food for the vegans and vegetarians of Kauai. They also don’t use any refined sugars, so diabetics might find a gold mine in this place as well. The food is SO good that you hardly notice you’re eating healthy.
The last place I will mention is the Caffe Coco. This place can only be described as quaint. It’s a small vegetarian and seafood restaurant in Kapaa that a lot of people miss (here is a link to their website), but they have one of the best vegan/vegetarian menus on Kauai. Four words: Thai Curried Pumpkin Soup. OH SO GOOD! Seriously, you need to try this place. Not all of the food is “to die for,” but this will give you the most options for your money and your dietary lifestyle. Plus… Thai Curried Pumpkin Soup! Am I right?
So there you have it – 3 places you can eat if you don’t eat meat. And if you do eat meat, they are still really good. Postcards and Caffe Coco have good seafood menus, and the atmosphere at each place is just perfect.
Do you like deep-fried breaded bacon?
I know, I know… Who doesn’t, right?? And if you like bacon (and just about any other breakfast or brunch food), you need to visit The Tavern on your journeys through Kauai.
The Tavern is located off Kuhio Hwy in Princeville and is a great place to stop for breakfast, lunch, or dinner while you’re in town. Why? Well, they serve breaded bacon for starters! And to be honest, they are one of the best places to grab breakfast while you’re in town.
Many places on Kauai are open for lunch and dinner, but The Tavern is open for breakfast as well. So you don’t have to eat at the hotel restaurant (where you will be overcharged) or in your rental home (though fresh fruit in the mornings is a great choice). You can choose to go out to a nice breakfast, eat a perfectly proportioned meal, and leave satisfied to start a big day of sunbathing, hiking, swimming, snorkeling, surfing, horseback riding, touring, tasting, etc.
Of course, if you’re expecting a 5-star formal restaurant, you will be sorely mistaken. As with my last post (about a food truck), this place isn’t exactly the type of place to put out nice tablecloths and call you sir when you order. This is a tavern. The tables will be sturdy, the food will be good, the drinks will be perfectly mixed, but there will be no fluff and no finery. These people mean business, and the business of the day is a good time.
So, what should you order? Well, that’s a good question. The last time I was there (aka. before the diet), I was there for dinner, and I ordered the fried chicken. It was SO good. Home-style cooking with all of these gloriously fluffy mashed potatoes served on the side. Mmmmmmm… just thinking about it is starting to make me hungry. Oh and I splurged and had the “pie.” Now, I’m not going to give much about the “pie” away, except to tell you that it’s wonderful, it’s not really a pie, and you will LOVE it.
Of course, that isn’t the only good thing on the menu. I’ve had the calamari, the greens, the burger, and the ribs before, and I’ve loved them all. So I recommend going for just about any meal and ordering whatever fits your fancy. I’m sure you will find something on the menu that sounds fantastic, and that it will be every bit as good as you imagined.
Today, I’m craving tacos. Seriously. It’s bad. It’s a big craving. Tacos. Mmmmmmm.
The problem, as some of you may know, is that I’m dieting. I’m supposed to eat only healthy, organic, locally grown vegetables and a bit of lean meat. And so I’m sitting here, at my computer, longing for tacos while eating carrots and pouting.
My solution? Tell you all about my favorite place in Hanalei to get tacos! Then, you all can go out and eat tacos for me and I can live vicariously through you. Okay? Good. It’s settled then. Let me introduce you to Pat’s Taqueria.
Okay, first off, I know that Taquerias typically sound much more authentic without the name Pat attached. I get that. But if you think that detracts from the amazing flavors of a Pat’s taco, then you are gravely mistaken. The tacos here are a local craving, and just about all tourists who try them end up falling in love. They are that good.
Now, this place is a lunch truck located near Black Pot Beach Park. (Yes, I’m sending you to a food truck. But it’s cool. Trust me.) Ask any resident of Kauai and they will tell you exactly where to go. Because they all know what I know – these tacos are good. But here are some things you might need to know to eat here:
1. Because this is a big favorite, get here early for lunch. They serve one meal a day (except Sundays) and they start at noon. The line forms before then. So if you want to eat sometime around noon, get there about 15 minutes early or so.
2. You will probably meet more people here than anywhere else you go. Seriously, a lot of residents eat here on their lunch breaks, and tourists learn that this place is fabulous pretty quickly. So if you want to make some new friends, this is the place to go.
3. Tacos will cost you $4-$5 apiece. This will seem a bit pricey… until you see them. The portions are good. The first tacos, for instance, have big pieces of fresh ono, grilled to perfection and served in a warm tortilla. You won’t be hungry later. You will be happy. These are good tacos.
Pat’s Taqueria is definitely one of my favorite places to grab lunch. And my favorite things to order are the pork tacos. Seriously, Kalua Pig in a heaven-sent tortilla is a wonderful treat. I could eat 10 of them, which is why I’m staying safely in my house and talking about them instead of driving over to eat there. (Carrots are good too. Keep eating carrots, self.)
So if you are on Kauai and want tacos, please don’t go to some expensive restaurant or try to find a Taco Bell. Come to Hanalei and eat real food. And when you leave our shores, you will leave happy.
With Mother’s Day almost here, I though it would be a good idea to give a shout out to my own mother. Mom – You taught me so much about how to be a woman and how to live my dreams and love my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you!
And now, for the rest of you reading this, let’s talk brunch.
If you don’t know, brunch is the magical meal between breakfast and lunch, the perfect time to take your mom out for a bite to eat. And this year, I recommend Tortilla Republic for your meal needs. Here’s why.
1. Tortilla Republic is yummy. Seriously, their food is really good. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten something there that I didn’t like. They are a “modern Mexican grill,” which means that their Mexican food is grilled to perfection and has a signature flavor that I simply love. In fact, I’m craving it right now just typing about it.
2. They have drinks! Their margaritas are just about famous in both Hawaii and Hollywood. Plus, they have a plethora of other options for you, including their Mother’s Day “Mom-osas”. These are sure to be a big hit.
3. For Mother’s Day, they are featuring a “Mom-osa and Bellini cart.” And they are serving brunch from 9am-3pm. So you can bring your mom down for food and drinks, enjoying your time together with the assistance of a little alcohol. (Which is sadly a necessity for some of you and your moms.)
Now, here is my question: will you be on Kauai for Mother’s Day? Cause if you are, this is a great choice for a brunch, lunch, or dinner date with Mom. And if you are on Kauai but your mom isn’t here, why not go anyway? You can take pictures of your great time and send them to your mom as a Mother’s Day present. ☺ Or you can take me and I can watch you eat all of the amazing food while I try to stick to my diet. *sigh*
So, every few posts or so on this blog, I throw in some information about local vacation homes for rent. This way, if you are reading along and my words are convincing you to come visit, you will know about all of the good places to stay! It’s my service to you. ☺ And that’s why I’m going to tell you about Hale Ylang Ylang in Hanalei.
Now, this month is all about food for me. (Yes, mostly food I can’t have now that I’m on a diet, but still…) And so I wanted to showcase a gorgeous house that also had a fully set-up kitchen and was a short walk away from some nice restaurants. Hale Ylang Ylang is that vacation home.
Actually, it’s a town house, located right near Hanalei Bay. The view is beautiful, which is probably why the house has so many large windows. In fact, the dining room has a long table situated between two extremely large, wide windows. The result is the feeling that you are eating outside in a tropical garden.
And the house itself is exquisite. I know that’s an odd word to use for a house, but this house has such appeal for me. It has hardwood floors, wood paneling that offsets the lighter shades of furniture, a quaint little stairway, a cozy window seat (really more of a window bed) with a bookshelf, and intricate little details that make it all at once cute, spacious, light, respectable, and perfect for any family.
There are two master bedrooms downstairs with King-sized beds, private bathrooms, and all of the privacy you could want. So you could bring your best friends and easily have enough space. Plus, there is an outdoor shower for after swimming in the ocean, cable tv, a DVD player, high speed internet, a washer/dryer unit, and, most importantly, a kitchen to drool over.
The kitchen has granite counter-tops, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, a small island for prepping dinner, and all of the equipment you’ll need to make a great meal. All it’s missing is some food, which local markets can easily provide. And speaking of local markets, now we’re getting into the heart of this post: walking distance.
This town house is walking distance from town. That means you’ll be walking distance from a great beach, yes. But it also means that you will be walking distance from several stores, a farmer’s market, and a bunch of wonderful restaurants that serve great food all year round! In other words, you will not only have a great kitchen for cooking your own gourmet meals, but you can also go out to eat at a number of gourmet restaurants without having to rent a car!
So, if you like food the way that I do (or if you just like being incredibly close to a beach and a great shopping center), then choose Hale Ylang Ylang for your next vacation rental here on Kauai. You will absolutely love it!