Restaurant Guide: 25 Reasons to Eat Breakfast
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Hawaiian Style Cafe
We heard Hawaiian Style Cafe portions were huge, but in person “Da Tita Mok” was almost as intimidating as the name—a hamburger patty, two slices of Spam, chicken cutlet, a fried egg, grilled onions, fried rice and gravy. Stand-in-line popular and no-frills, this café is as comfortable as your favorite uncle’s kitchen. Southern transplants will be shocked to see biscuits and gravy just like Gramma’s, only super-size. Open daily, 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Sundays till noon. 64-1290 Kawaihae Road, Kamuela, (808) 885-4295.
Kawaihae Harbor Grill
Chef Darcy Ambrosio and Kawaihae Harbor Grill have a reputation for ultra-fresh fish and seafood at other times of the day. But at breakfast with the girls, we discover a softer side: “Orange Blossom French Toast,” a sensuous set of thick Punaluu-style sweetbread slices, soaked in egg batter and stuffed with orange zest-cream cheese, a perfect choice with mimosas. Open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. 61-3462 Kawaihae Road, Kamuela, (808) 882-1368.
PHOTO: KIRK LEE AEDER
In Kailua-Kona, U-Top-It chef Curtis Masuda’s original taro “PanCrepes” are piled with or wrapped around sweet and savory combinations of 57 ingredients to suit whatever you’re ono for. We started off with a Grilled Veggie PanCrepe, loaded with organic greens and fresh veggies, then rewarded ourselves with “Berries Royal,” three crepes with vanilla crème, whipped cream, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, raspberry drizzle and powdered sugar. Open 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily except Mondays. 75-5799 Ali‘i Drive, Coconut Grove Market Place, Kailua-Kona, (808) 329-0092.
Ken's House of Pancakes
On the Hilo side, landmark Ken’s House of Pancakes deserves its own red alii marker. Open 24/7, Ken’s has authentic leatherette booths, a lovingly worn counter and spinny stools, a celebrity photo wall and a mega-menu—with surprisingly good heart-healthy, sugar-free and meatless options. Carnivores go for “Sumo Moco,” with three eggs, six scoops rice and gravy over either four Spam slabs, a 5-ounce beef patty or 6-ounce mahi, served with big bell ringing and staff bellowing “Sumo!” Open 24 hours a day. 1730 Kamehameha Ave. (808) 935-8711.