Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Where to Eat Authentic Local Food in Kona

For a true taste of local color, visitors can experience authentically local dining destinations at several great places in Kona, some of which are actually historic venues. From homemade Hawaiian laulau and a side of lomi salmon, to a plate of sizzling pork chops sauteed in the same pan grandmother used, the menu offerings at these best-kept secrets keep customers coming back for more.

In Honalo, just a few short miles from Holualoa Inn, Teshima's Japanese restaurant has been in business since the early 1900s. Grandma Teshima, age 105, still visits customers in the dining room, where she and her extended family have been serving such favorites as sashimi, fried fish, shrimp tempura and plenty of tasty sides for decades. A visit to this historic restaurant is like stepping back in time, so be sure to stop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner any day of the week.

A few miles up the road in Captain Cook, the Manago Hotel restaurant, founded in 1917, is owned and operated by the third generation of the Manago family. Another throwback to an early era, the restaurant maintains its old-fashioned, laminate furniture and funky menu board on the wall. The Manago Hotel is famous locally for its pork chops, but be sure to try the sauteed ahi, freshly caught, as well as the butterfish, opelu, akule and other local fish.

For authentic Hawaiian take-out food, Kaaloa's Super Js offers home-ground poi, steamed laulau, kalua pig and cabbage, lomi salmon, mac salad and more. This homey, little roadside destination features the cooking of the Kaaloa family of Honaunau, who take special care to treat every customer with aloha.

At Holualoa Inn, our Kona bed and breakfast boutique hotel offers homemade gourmet breakfast served each morning. Whether 100-percent Kona coffee, freshly harvested fruits and produce or fresh eggs directly from our coop, breakfast at Holualoa Inn will start your day out just right.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Green Coconuts

It's a popular health-food drink that's taking the mainland by storm, but here in Hawai‘i, you don't have to spend an arm and a leg for a bottle of coconut water. You can get it right off the tree!

High in potassium and antioxidants, coconut water is an extremely hydrating beverage brimming with electrolytes. No fat, no sugar and cholesterol free, coconut water offers more potassium than four bananas. The coconut's sweet, nutty taste makes the water quite refreshing, plus it is great for replacing lost fluids after endurance sports. Because of its sterile qualities, coconut water was used during World War II in the Pacific for IV transfusions.

If you are visiting Hawai‘i, you can find green coconuts at the local farmers' markets, at some roadside fruit stands, and on the coco tree itself. Look for the young, green coconut that's within reach. Twist it off the vine and use a knife to pry off the top "flower" or cap. Dig the knife into the soft, white meat and carve out a cork that you can easily pull out. Pour the water into glass, or better yet, stick a straw in the hole and drink it right out of the coconut.

Here at Holualoa Inn, our expansive 30-acre property features a bounty of fresh-Island fruit and produce. Our gourmet breakfasts feature everything from papaya, banana and figs to arugula, avocado, lilikoi and pineapple grown onsite. Guests of our Kona Hawai‘i bed and breakfast also love our 100-percent Kona coffee derived from more than 5,000 trees that grow at the Inn.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's Bon Dance Season in Hawai‘i

A longtime tradition in Hawai‘i, bon dances are lighting up the night at Buddhist temples across the Islands. Here on the Big Island, the summer months provide opportunities for visitors to experience this unique Japanese event that honors loved ones who have passed on.

Known officially as Obon, the celebrations begin in June at various temples and continue through August. "Bon," which means "hanging upside down," is a time for paying respect to the departed. In Buddhism, it is believed that summer is the time when the spirits of the ancestors return home.

Usually held in the parking lot or on the grounds outside, the dances take place on Saturdays and are open to the public. Many of the dances even feature taiko drummers. No one is too young or too old to participate. In fact, visitors are encouraged to join in the celebration by learning a few easy dance steps, whether traditional Japanese dances or movements from Hawai‘i's old plantation days. The dance itself is done in a circle and features simple motions of hand and feet. At some temples, bon dance workshops are held prior to the events.

If you are staying at our Kona bed and breakfast this summer, be sure to make the bon dance a part of your itinerary. There are dozens of Buddhist temples on the Big Island, most of which hold bon dance celebrations.Our Holualoa Inn ohana will help you locate Buddhist temples near the Inn.

Daifukuji Soto Mission in Kona, just a few miles south of Holualoa Inn.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cream of the Crop

If you are planning a trip to the Big Island this August, be sure to attend the annual Cream of the Crop coffee and dessert tasting event on Saturday, August 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Kona Coffee Council, this open-air extravaganza will take place on the beautiful grounds of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at the Haku Amphitheater. Admission is free.

Visitors can sample fresh brew offered by 21 select Kona coffee growers, who will be on hand to educate the public about coffee growing, processing and roasting. Participants will vie in a tasting competition covering three different categories: organic, estate and open. Along with live Hawaiian music, chefs from local restaurants and resorts will be serving desserts made with Kona coffee. Visitors can vote for their favorite entries and see how their votes compare to those of the professional judges. There will also be coffee-themed art for sale, as well as many coffee-related products.

Here at Holualoa Inn, our guests enjoy the tranquility of a 30-acre coffee estate located in the heart of the artists' village of Holualoa. Just a few short minutes up the hill from the beaches of Kailua-Kona, our Hawaiian boutique hotel bed and breakfast provides a peaceful retreat surrounded by botanical gardens and tropical splendor. We also produce our own 100-percent Kona coffee, which guests can enjoy any time of day.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn