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Big Island Roundup

New options, old favorites and a lot of rental-car miles in between.


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Photo by Olivier Koning

Neil Murphy’s food at Merriman’s is simple, direct, full of Big Island flavors, like these roasted Hamakua maitake mushrooms with Parmesan.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has decreed that we can no longer call the Big Island the Big Island.  It's the Island of Hawaii.

OK, except for two things. First, the inevitable confusion between the name of the island and the name of the state.  Second, everyone who lives here still calls it the Big Island, especially people who live on the Island of Hawaii.

So, if you will excuse my sloppy nomenclature, my problem with the Big Island is that I seldom spend enough time there.

Recently, however, I got a chance to stay long enough to put some serious miles on a rental car, from Kona to Hilo to Volcano to Waimea. My travels took me far from the Kohala Coast resort zone and its high-end eateries. Instead, I found a number of smaller, less expensive restaurants, some new to me and perhaps to you.


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