One of our favorite restaurants on the Big Island, Hawaii, is Mai Grille by Chef Allen Hess. The restaurant is the “Home of Bacon” cured in-house. We invited a woman sitting by herself to join us and learned Arianna was from Sicily, Italy. Arianna is working on her PhD in bioengineering and was on Hawaii attending a conference from her university in Pittsburgh. She was happy to practice her English with us and we talked about simple Italian food and of course, cannoli. Next time I see Arianna, I hope it’s in a trattoria in Sicily!
Pineapple upside down cake and mandarin orange cake, island favorites at Pomaikai’i Cafe in Kapaau, Hawaii. I like an old fashioned pineapple cake, baked with butter and brown sugar until it gets hot and caramelized. This brings back memories. Nearby is the statue of King Kamehameha I and not to be missed on the Big Island scenic drive.
Chocolate grown and made into delectable delights on the Big Island are high end. Owner Adam of Puna Chocolate poured me cocoa nectar produced from colorful cocoa pods like that I’m holding and the taste was sweet. The store has an enticing selection of chocolate bars, teas and soaps made with cocoa. A little souvenir shopping using the rule, one for you and one for me!
Mai Grille Waikoloa, Hawaii www.maigrille.com
Pomaika’i Cafe Kapaau, Hawaii www.pomaikaicafe.com
Puna Chocolate Company Hilo, Kona and Chicago www.punachocolate.com