Monday, April 09, 2012

Pau: Eat Like a Local on the Big Island of Hawaii

Living in Kona means getting stuck in restaurant ruts- the options get exhausted quickly and we find ourselves cooking in constantly because we can do it better (and cheaper!) at home ourselves. We found ourselves in Waimea for the afternoon recently and had fun checking out Pau, a charming new lunch spot.

Waimea is about 45 minutes from where we live, which keeps us from popping over as much as we should. I've resolved to do more exploring there. You can hardly believe you are still in Hawaii when you visit the lush green mountains that feel more like Ireland. It rains often and low hanging fog creates a haunting atmosphere as you drive by red barns and horses munching in tall grasses dotted with wildflowers.

At Pau, the specialty is pizza, but we enjoyed a simple chicken sandwich and salad with crispy candied walnuts, sliced apples and blue cheese, all locally sourced. The sandwich was moist and the house made foccacia was perfectly light and toasty. I loved the relaxed but polished atmosphere and the food was well made and reasonably priced.

The coconut cream pie had been sitting in the cooler a bit too long- the crust not really as crisp as it could have been, and the filling not as richly coconut-y as one might hope, but all told, I would absolutely recommend a stop to this little neighborhood haunt.

What do you look for in a perfect lunch out?

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