Let’s face it…the best way to know what a town or city is all about is to immerse yourself in its culture by embracing the local cuisine and its seasonal specialties.
That’s all well and good you say. But how do you find those out of the way places frequented by the locals?
I travel alone most of the time and have been able to develop a nonchalant attitude of bellying up to the bar at a local hotel, pub, or restaurant and getting into conversation with the person next to me. This person is usually a long-time resident and will more than likely know every hot spot in town that is worth a visit. He or she have probably been there, done that. If not, they know someone who has…
As I’m writing, something just came to mind….I have a message for all you single ladies who may be reading this. Come to think of it – married ladies as well… I’m not suggesting taking the “someone” you just met along with you – unless you want to. I’m only saying it’s an effective way to get inside information about where you happen to be at the moment. Believe me – if he’s tall, dark and handsome and wearing an Armani suit and Gucci loafers – he’s probably married!
Here’s a tip: have a pad and pencil in hand while enjoying your beverage of choice…start jotting down notes to yourself and you’ll look the part of a professional writer out on the prowl for new material. Most folks love to brag about their surroundings to strangers…
Guess I got off the beaten path here…sorry Charlie. Let’s give this another try and take off for Hawaii.
Where the locals eat in Hawaii!
When you’re away from home and visiting the islands of Hawaii, where do you go for a good meal? Here are a few suggestions of how you can “immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture.” You’ll just have to guess at my sources…
Lana’i is a world apart from its neighbor islands of Maui and O’hau. It’s 13 miles wide and 18 miles long and is truly “Hawai’i's Secluded Island.”
Remote from the pressures of the outside world – relaxation is the name of the game. Even though Lana’i is fast earning a reputation as a hideaway for the rich and famous, it’s still a place where you can sit back and enjoy the wonders of what was once the “pineapple paradise” of the Hawaiian island chain.
Lana’i may be small, but guests enjoy the best dining experience of two worlds. The elegance of award-winning resort dining or the casual comfort of family-run restaurants in Lana’i City. Here, “drive-in” meals or picnic spots can be created anywhere your four-wheel drive can take you.
May we suggest: Pele’s Other Garden…
By day, it’s a New York-style deli. By night, it’s an Italian bistro. Pele’s Other Garden is also the only restaurant on Lana’i – outside of the hotels – that has a liquor license. For lunch, order the French dip sandwich. For dinner, start with the bruschetta and save room for the chicken parmesan.
License plates decorate the walls. Owners Mark and Barbara Zigmond hung up their old New Jersey plates when the restaurant opened in 1996. (Now you know why they have a much coveted liquor license. No Jerseyite worth their salt would operate a restaurant without one! – You’ll never guess where I once owned two restaurants…) Anyhow, patrons from all 50 states have shipped the couple their own license plates.
As usual, if you do happen to stop by, please tell them I sent you! Thanks so much…
How do you get there? Well, all flights into the island of Lana’i connect from either Honolulu, O’hau or Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island.
There is something sacred about Hawaii’s Big Island. Its sheer size, along with a landscape created by one of nature’s most powerful forces – volcanic eruptions – make this island both inspiring and awesome to behold.
If you find yourself in Hilo on Wednesday or Saturday between the hours of 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. you may want to stop at the Hilo Farmer’s Market for a quick bite. Here you can try tropical fruits that you never knew existed, such as mangosteen, white pineapple, rambutan, lychee, soursop, and durian.
Be prepared, though. You just might spend more than a few minutes cruising the aisles of over 200 vendors showing their wares – produce, crafts, and gift items. Best of all, this is where the locals shop. So go ahead…mingle through as if you’re a resident. Never know – the day may come that you are a resident!
That’s all for now folks! to be continued….
Thanks for your time. If you have plans to visit Hawaii some day in the near future, I’m here to help. I am proud to say, I’ve been a Hawai’i Destination Specialist since 2005. Being a “specialist” gives me the ammunition to “make all your Hawaiian travel dreams come true!”
Please call me at 931-484-8228 or Email Me
Food for thought…
This is jackfruit. According the Wikipedia, jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. Native to the South and Southeast Asia, the fruit can reach up to 80 pounds in weight and up to 36 inches long and 20 inches in diameter. The exterior of the fruit is brownish-green or yellow when ripe. The sweet yellow bubble gum flavored flesh encloses a smooth, oval, light-brown seed. The seed is 3/4 to 1-1/2 inches long and 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick. There may be 100 or more seeds in a single fruit. Jackfruit is something of an acquired taste, but it is very popular in many parts of the world. Some says that the sweet yellow flesh taste like bubble gum, pineapple & banana or even cantaloupe. Jackfruit can be found, just about, year round at the Hilo Farmers Market especially on Saturday. Some vendors may have the fruit already cut ready to eat, other may have the whole fruit. One fruit can be a feast for the whole neighborhood.