2012 Hale Aina Awards
You voted, we counted, and here they are, the best 128 restaurants in Hawaii. On these pages, you’ll find a complete list of the winners and a closer look at some of the specific, delicious dishes that put these eateries on top.
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Best Breakfast, Gold
Here is one week of pancake flavors at Cinnamon’s: carrot, red velvet, guava chiffon, lilikoi chiffon, peanut butter and jelly, oatmeal raisin, blueberry corn, banana, gingerbread, pumpkin, pumpkin crunch, pumpkin cranberry. That’s the way it’s been since Carsie Green (with other partners) started Cinnamon’s 26 years ago. Green’s philosophy is: “If it’s a cake or cookie, it can become a pancake.”
The flavors are comfortingly familiar, refashioned in pancake form. In the pumpkin crunch, pumpkin sauce and whipped cream crown pumpkin pancakes that hide nuggets of crushed-up pecan cookies. Guava chiffon pancakes arrive as pink as a girl’s birthday party present: Plain pancakes are blanketed in two guava sauces, one almost airy, the other a clear, tangy glaze. For the red velvet, a red (of course) pancake is drizzled with a vanilla white chocolate. In the carrot pancakes, fresh-grated carrot and raisins are folded into the batter and the stack of cakes arrives with whipped cream cheese butter.
Green also has a German chantilly pancake (a chocolate pancake with chantilly topping), aimed at taking down Liliha Bakery’s coco puffs. Undoubtedly, the experimentation is fun for Green, but he sees pancakes as an improved form for sweets. “Our pancakes are very fluffy, moister and more delicious than a cupcake or cake,” he says. Meaning, you can have your dessert and eat breakfast, too. 315 Uluniu St., Kailua, 261-8724.