Dining Outside the Home: Bobby V’s Italian Restaurant in Kapaa, Kauai. Happy Hour is always a good place to start, especially if you’re on vacation. Choose between Bobby V’s Hawaiian Mai Tai or the salt-rimmed Margarita to enjoy on the outside patio. Before you hit the default button and order pizza, consider other Italian favorites like the hearty Fettuccine Alfredo or the cheese-laden Classic Lasagna. A side of savory meatballs swimming in thick homemade marinara sauce does not disappoint. It’s okay to sprinkle on a little crushed oregano or grated parmesan cheese. Just saying. Word of warning: the portions are generous, so don’t fill up on the bread basket. Otherwise, I see leftover portions in your future.
Dining Outside the Home: Coconut’s Fish Café in Kapaa, Kauai. Even if you never plan to ride a surfboard, you can still enjoy the spirit of Aloha every time you visit Coconut’s Fish Cafe. Surfboard table tops encourage a “Hang Loose” attitude while filling the room with positive energy and healthy food. Top a mixed green salad with the grilled shrimp duo and a seared plank of blackened ahi, smeared with wasabi sauce. Also, might I suggest the papaya dressing? It’s amazing. All sauces and dressings are made from scratch. Order the coconut shrimp to have beforehand or with the meal. It sets the stage for a fabulous meal.
Dining Outside the Home: Olympic Café in Kapaa, Kauai. Even on rainy days you have to venture out for a bite to eat. For starters, a slightly salty/savory-rimmed Bloody Mary with a spicy kick is in order. Perched on the second level of the Olympic Café overlooking street activity has proven to be quite entertaining as more clouds rolled in and the sky opened up. A guy on a bicycle got drenched from the pounding rain. He nestled a paper bag under his armpit while his legs pedaled full speed through potholes filling with street water. Meanwhile, a steaming hot humongous burrito lunch arrived, so the open air seating was perfect for watching passing showers at a warm and dry distance. After all, you can’t rush perfection.
Dining Outside the Home: Aunt Chilada’s Easy Street Café on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina! Now we’re talking, a place for every food craving. Here is a restaurant that serves up the traditional Tex-Mex fare as well as Lowcountry favorites and All-you-can-eat Crab Legs. In addition, Aunt Chilada’s eatery hosts a daily Happy Hour and food specials to tide you over for a night out on the town. A covered patio makes outdoor seating a popular choice when live music “gets the party started”. Ask the wait staff about the Kennedy Half Dollar. It’s just another way they have of rewarding your visit for choosing to stop at Aunt Chilada’s Easy Street Café.
Dining Outside the Home: Olympic Café in Kapaa, Kauai! No matter the time of year, no matter the weather, this open-air restaurant sitting above Main Street Kapaa in the Hee Fat Building is where it’s happening. You may opt for the unlimited Happy Hour Taco Bar or be a little choosy and select a fantastic Shrimp Salad overflowing with organic mixed greens and an abundance of grilled shrimp. It’s a meal in itself. No complaints here. Meat-lovers will appreciate the Big Burger Selection of 100% organic grass fed beef raised on the Garden Isle. Open seven days a week, there’s not a time of day this spacious eatery doesn’t fit the bill. Be hip, be casual, and always be Hawaiian.
Dining Outside the Home: Sam’s Ocean View Restaurant in Kapaa, Kauai! Fling open the doors for an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean as far as the eye can see. Look closely. You may see the water spouts of a humpback whale or two on the horizon. Feel the cool breezes as you bask in the glorious sunshine. Glance around the room. Pay attention to the hanging art inside, which captures a peaceful easy feeling. Now order a meal with a beverage to match. Sam’s Ocean View fits the bill for coastal-living. Today’s special: Seared Ahi Eggs Benedict with a hollandaise sauce; a perfect blend of rich, creamy butter and lemon citrus. Mahalo.
Dining Outside the Home: JJ’s Broiler in Lihue, Kauai! When visiting a tropical island, it’s not unusual to expect fresh fish daily as well as locally-grown ingredients. Open the menu at JJ’s Broiler and see. “Voted Island’s Best” Fish and Chips is a natural choice, in my opinion. A generous platter of Pacific Mahi Mahi engulfed in a crispy beer batter coating is paired with seasoned french fries for a salty crunch that does not disappoint. The house tartar sauce is a nice complement. Take advantage of the spectacular ocean view. Dine on the outdoor terrace for an open-air experience. Ignore the feathered friends wandering around. They simply cannot resist a crumb or two that has fallen to the ground.
Dining Outside the Home: Mariachi’s Restaurant-Authentic Mexican Cuisine in Lihue, Kauai! Step inside this shaded cantina setting to discover a place that has been serving south-of-the-border favorites in the Hawaiian Islands for just barely over ten years. But don’t let that stop you. The tried and true family recipes make up signature dishes that survived the test of time in Guerrero Mexico. Experience the bold flavors, the icy cold lime margaritas, the tender meats, spicy rice, and an entire menu of outstanding choices. Go crazy. Don a sombrero, celebrate the day, and check out the Happy Hour specials. Olé!