Monday, May 16, 2011

Eat Like a Local on the Big Island: The Strawberry Patch

I get so many nice emails from all of you asking where we locals go on the Big Island of Hawaii, so I thought I'd start sharing my favorite restaurants. I want to make sure none of you come visiting and end up paying $15 for a mediocre hamburger. (That's the opposite of Aloha!) Added bonus? I get an excuse to try every place in town.

So, in that spirit, I present my new series "Eat Like a Local on the Big Island of Hawaii!" My four criteria are food quality, ambiance, service and value. I thought I'd kick things off with a charming new bistro called The Strawberry Patch.

This sister owned restaurant is outside of Kona on the way to Kealakekua Bay (perfect since you'll want to go snorkeling with dolphins there!) It's located in a charming little building surrounded by coffee farms with a patio that (unfortunately) faces a busy road. (My tap dance class meets at The Dancing Tree right next door too!) They have done a great job cheering it up with a plethora of potted plants, succulents, urns and beautiful cloches. There are also lots of herbs and while we were there, the cook came out to snip some fresh basil for our lunch orders!

Eric had the Margareta pizza which he deemed light, crisp and delicious.

I had the Picasso Panini. It was fresh and clean tasting and the red peppers were the perfect accompaniment to the pesto and turkey. (And I'm always a sucker for potato chips and a nice pickle spear!)

I also loved the country touch of iced tea served in jelly jar glasses and wildflower arrangements in a collection of vintage milk glass containers. All told, I think the Strawberry Patch deserves 3.5 stars. It has wonderful food, thoughtful, friendly service, great value and aside from the busy highway zooming past the outdoor seating, charming ambiance as well. I definitely recommend it when you visit the Big Island!

Have you tried any great new restaurants lately?

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