Imperfect Paradise by Dan Dembiczak - I'm so proud of Dan Dembiczak, whose first novel - Imperfect Paradise - is available for sale in both eBookor Paperback on Amazon.com! The story follows ...
Saturday, June 27, 2009
We woke up extra early today, threw what we thought we might need for the day in our car, and headed to the other side of the island - about a 3 hour drive.
After popping into Sirius Coffee in Pahoa for some iced coffee (for Dan), and a stop at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach to watch green sea turtles (honu) beach and sun themselves, we headed to our main destination: Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, a place of refuge from early Hawaiian times, where those who violated a law or taboo (kapu) could seek absolution. The park itself is beautiful, but today was the annual Hawaiian Cultural Festival, which filled the park with interactive crafts, canoe rides, massage, spiritual rites, and even a biological presentation on limpets and their predators. It was very, very cool - and I dearly wanted to make a calabash bowl out of palm fronds... but we got there just before lunch, and found ourselves quite hungry. So after walking around, chatting with some of the artists, and taking it all in, we got back in the car and headed toward Kailua-Kona.
We knew just where we wanted to get some lunch: Huggos on the Rocks.
Right along the beach in Kona, and right downtown, Huggo's is a great little bar/restaurant that seems to always have some entertainment going on. We fell in love with it during our last trip to Kona, after our wedding, and Dan was craving the food, drink and atmosphere. They were a little short staffed today, but that just meant we got to relax and enjoy the view and music a little longer.
I started out with a Polynesian Passion (a chi-chi with lilikoi syrup) and Dan had a Lilikoi Margarita.
Then we shared a couple plates of food (served in bamboo steamers, just like Luau, back home). First was a chicken ciabatta sandwich that was very tasty. But it was outshined by the best mahi mahi tacos we've ever had. The seasoning on the outside of the fish was so delicious, and they came accompanied by a variety of sauces that were fresh and flavorful, adding more depth to the flavors of the tacos. They were gone in seconds.
After lunch, we walked around Kona a while, taking in the sights and making note of what's changed in the past year (a shaved ice stand popped up outside Huggo's; the space underneath LuLu's is now filled by a competing restaurant) and what's the same.
We made our way down to a little shopping center where a shop selling Tropical Dreams ice cream is - and each got a scoop. Dan went for the Kona coffee flavor, and I had the Tahitian vanilla. Thanks to the high humidity today, we had to scarf them down because they were melting fast - but they were still delicious.
A little more sight seeing and shopping, and we headed back to the car and drove back home via Saddle Road (once forbidden due to the rough terrain, but now being widened, flattened, and straightened, making it better). We got back to Pahoa around 6pm, but after our late, large lunch and post-lunch treat, we weren't ready to eat, so we drove home and settled in for the night.
Once we worked up an appetite hot tubbing, I whipped up what is perhaps best described as kalua pig pesto alfredo nachos. I made a cheese sauce on the stove, as I would to make mac & cheese, then stirred in some delicious herb & oil mixture we got at the Hilo farmers market. I poured that over warmed up chips and kalua pork leftovers. The ratio of cheese to roux to herbs made the sauce less cheesy and more pesto/alfredoey, but still tasty. And the texture was what I was going for: the drippy, gooey cheese sauce of 7-11 nachos.
(Dan's writing all about our trip over at our other blog, The Dans In Hawai`i, so I'll just stick to writing what I know: food.)