On our last full day on the Big Island we decided to just relax. We took a walk down Ali'i Drive then back around Kuakini Highway.
It was a quiet day, so we just drove around a bit and talked about lunch.....yes, you know us. Teshima's"old school Japanese restaurant" charm had really gotten to the Missus. So with not much else to do, we drove back up to Kealakekua and stopped by Teshima for lunch.
The Missus was craving fish so She immediately went for the "Fresh Catch" Sashimi Tray ($17.50) which was ahi.
For some reason, the Missus really enjoys the old fashioned tsukemono and sunomono. Ditto the old school miso soup.
The fish was very, very fresh, and the Missus scarfed up all twelve pieces in no time.
I went with the "Monday Special" ($12.75). Now I've read some complaints about the prices and portion sizes at Teshima.....but take a look at this for $12.75........
Five slices ahi sashimi, the teri beef was very "local" a bit chewy. The fried fish here is quite good as well.
The makizushi and inari sushi take me back to "small kid" time...though combined with a chawan of rice....man, that's more carbs than I usually consume in a whole day, or two, nowadays.
The Missus got the fried fish, tsukemono, sunomono, and miso soup.
So I had an order of the famous shrimp tempura($7.25) as well.
If you like crunch, these will fill the bill. The tempura is surprisingly light and crisp.
We both thought that it tasted a bit of old oil that needed to be changed though. There seemed to be a bit of an off taste and even some greasiness to all the tempura.
So in the end a good meal, but not wow'd by the tempura.
Teshima Restaurant 79-7251 Mamalahoa Hwy Kealakekua, HI 96750
We spent the rest of the day "just cruisin' around". Went to various stores, including a couple of health food places and walked around a bit.
After a very typical afternoon nap, we went out and took another walk around......through Long's, Hilo Hattie looking for gifts for the Missus's relatives and friends.
As it was getting to late afternoon, we discovered we were still pretty full. So we thought we'd go for some poke and beer for dinner. We walked back to the KTA and the pre-packaged selection looked terrible, so we went across the street to Sack n' Save. The poke selection there was better. I eventually settled on some ahi limu with inamona and of course boiled peanuts (not pictured), which went well with the Mehana Humpback Blue, which was the best of the three we gried during this trip.
This was ok. Not the best quality fish, the ogo kind of tough and dry, but passable.
I'm not a big fan of seaweed salad, but the Missus likes it......
As evening settled we saw a good number of locals who seemed to know each other parking in the back of the King Kamehameha. It seemed like there was a big party going on. So after eating and a quick shower we headed downstairs and strolled over to Kailua Pier.
That's Ahuʻena Heiau in the foreground. I guess some company was having their Christmas Party....yes, it was that long ago.
The chatter and laughter brought smiles to our faces as we just sat and took in the wonderful Kona evening. We had a great time in the Big Island. It had been too long since we were here last. We'll be back again soon......
We left for Hilo on a Saturday morning, so we decided to drive back to the Keauhou Shopping Center on our way out of Kona. We had read a banner about the Keauhou Farmer's Market on Saturdays and had decided that maybe doing a bit of self catering might be the way to go for dinner. Of course there's still the Hilo's Farmer's Market, but the Missus was really enjoying the local produce...so why not? Also, I thought I'd grab something for breakfast as well.
The market is located in the "Long's side" of the shopping center and didn't seem very large.....but we enjoyed the range of merchants.
The stand that seemed to be getting the most attention was this one.
And with good reason. We bought a bag of tomatoes and a couple of cucumbers...they would be the best we would have on the trip.
Most of the folks here seemed to be regulars....the vendors knew a lot of them by name.
In the end, the Missus and I split up....She went to find some kale and other stuff, while I decided to get something to eat from here.
We didn't have anything in the way of a cooler or anything, but the weather wasn't particularly hot. I decided to buy a saussicon, a cured sausage which would hold up for dinner.
This shop made a nice variety of charcuterie, so I thought why not grab something for breakfast? The had an Asian influenced sausage and made something called a Banh Mi Royale.....I know, I'm not a fan of sticking anything in a roll and calling it a banh mi, but thought why not.
So while th Missus had cucumber, tomatoes, and other stuff, I had the banh mi royale.
The sausage itself was pretty tasty as was the chili mayo, but there was just too much of it slathered all over the rather routine roll. Way too much cilantro as well. The saucisson, however was delicious and would be a nice part of our dinner.
The Missus had found a stand selling this.
It's called a tamarillo, also known as tree tomato. And is also from the nightshade family. It has a very thick skin, which is slightly bitter, the pulp is very much tomato like, nice acid and a bit sweet. We would see this fruit several more times while on the island, so I guess it's being grown here now. Apparently, the fruit, native to South America, is now being grown, harvested, and exported from New Zealand as well. We may start seeing these more in the near future.
We really enjoyed the short time we spent here and will return when in the area in the future. We were eating, sitting on the parking lot wall, and admiring this view........
Talk about a nice morning......
Keauhou Farmer's Market in the Keauhou Shopping Center Saturday 8am - 12pm 78-6831 Alii Drive Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Even though we'd eaten and done the coffee tour thing, it was still pretty early. So I decided to head over to what I'd recommend for a quick first stop in Kona....it's close to the airport, you can stock up on water if you're staying for more than 3-4 days....Costco....yep, Costco. My friends know how much I dread going to Costco, the crowds, the insanity....but here I was going of my own accord. This being the Big Island, meant that Costco might have some interesting items.....
Rambutan seems to be much more popular than I recall......though I hadn't been to the Big Island in almost a decade. They even sell it at Costco.
It was great to see local products being sold at Costco. You can even get local poi!
Or even Hamakua Mushrooms......
And what other Costco has its own Guard-Rooster??? Pretty aggressive little fella'. Make sure you don't take his "reserved space"!
We then headed off back to Kona and was able to check in at the King Kamehameha....which was a good choice for us. Nothing fancy but the location, at the top of Ali'i Drive worked for us. The interior of the hotel is much nicer than the exterior which looked a bit dated. The staff was also very nice, especially the parking lot ladies who always smiled and waved us and in and out.
That taken care of.....means it was time for lunch, right? We headed up Palani Drive to Kuakini Highway, then back down to Ali'i Drive and a small shop called Da' Poke Shack.
The little shop with a couple of parking spots and tables outside has about a dozen varieties of poke...which you can get a la carte as a bowl or as a plate (with two sides).....though the plate seemed a bit steep at $20, we decided that it was something we could share as a rather light lunch.
I ordered the "Shack Special" which was a mildly sweet furikake poke and the "Wet Hawaiian" which was some kind of award winning version of poke....brown rice with kimchi and seaweed salad as our sides.
The portion sizes of the fish seemed to hover around 4-5 ounces. They told me, this was ahi......it seemed like tombo ahi - albacore, or even A'u as the fish seemed a bit mushy. Regardless, it was fresh, the flavors not too bad, maybe a bit on the salty side.
We shared our table with this momona (chubby) dove, who has obviously been eating well.
Not the best poke I've had, kind of pricey, but probably the best in the area.
Da Poke Shack 76-6246 Alii Dr Kailua, HI 96740
Open Daily: 10am - 6pm
We then attended to the next task at hand.....trying to figure out what was for dinner! Since the room had a decent mini-fridge, we decided to check out KTA in Keauhou, which we recalled as being pretty decent. We did make a couple of purchases and headed back to our room with a self-catered meal on hand.
After freshening up, we took a nice stroll up Ali'i Drive a bit....which basically looked the same, except for the lack of tourists. We watched the sunset from the back of the Kona Inn.......which never, ever, gets old.
We then walked up a bit further, cut over to Kuakini Highway and made our way back to our room........and dinner, which was pretty simple. The Missus loves boiled peanuts.
And smoked ahi.......
I really enjoyed the local grass fed pipikaula poke, which I thought was really tasty....didn't like the look of the poke on sale, and frankly, if you don't have a fish counter, I ain't going to buy it.
The pipikaula had a nice chew and the flavor was nice and beefy; this wasn't too salty and was really enjoyable. Totally dinner on the hotel lanai food....and just like old times.......
We enjoyed the pupus with some Mehana Beer, which even the Missus enjoyed. We had decided to boycott Kona Brewing Company. The brewery and restaurant were mere yards from our hotel. However, when we walked over just to find out about the tours, the Hostess/Server was really very rude and condescending......so was another Server I asked. So no more Kona Brewing Company for us......
We got to sleep early....we'd be heading out to Hilo side in the morning.