Vacation themes: Ever notice how a vacation tends to have a theme or saying or some kind of thread running through it that for some reason, unplanned, unbeknownst to anyone just pops up? It happened to me last month on Hawaii (Big) Island.
Well, I thought I could force a vacation theme on my friends who are visiting Kauai this week. I wanted the theme to be shave ice. I wanted the three kids to help me on a shave ice round up of Kauai. However, after five days, we’ve talked about going out for shave ice. We’ve remembered it at breakfast time, even. But we have hit shave ice stands exactly zero times. We have managed to put down—on three occasions and after big meals—hula pie. So, I guess this will be a hula pie round up.
Picture this: A nine-year-old boy at the dinner table. Fork in one hand, spoon in the other. Disheveled hair. Crooked smile. Grains of sand on his sun-kissed cheeks. Eyes rolling back. This was Jake, pounding his fork and knife, exclaiming, “Hula Pie. Hula Pie. Hula Pie. Hula Pie. Hula Pie. Hula Pie. Hula Pie. Hula Pie. Hula Pie.”
It started at Duke’s overlooking Kalapaki Bay at sunset. After a hard day of body surfing under the hot Hawaii sun and a quick rinse in the beachside shower, we headed for food—fish tacos, in fact. And, then, dessert. “A hunk of ice cream as big as your head,” my husband told Jake, whose eyes grew round. That’s about when he picked up the utensils.
Duke’s is so well-known for its hula pie that they serve it on a special plate. A plate that was made just for them. A plate printed with the words “Hula Pie” on the rim.
It starts with a layer of chocolate cookie crust topped with a hunk of macadamia nut ice cream. To this, a thick layer of chocolate fudge is added, and whipped cream and chopped macadamia nuts top the creation.
I gave up my “no sweets for Lent” mantra for Hula Pie. Again and Again.
The next night, we went to Olympic Café in Kapaa. After meals of, again, fish tacos and fresh fish (ono) and chips, Jake took up spoon and fork and began to chant. Our waitress heard. “Would you like our Kauai Pie?” she asked. She said it was made with a chocolate cookie crust, two layers of coffee and mint chocolate chip ice cream, coconut shavings and macadamia nuts throughout. All topped with whipped cream. And, most importantly, it was big. “As big as my head?” Jake asked.
Again, I violated my “no sweets for Lent” resolution. Again and Again.
The next night, we hit Restaurant Kintaro in Wailua, where we ordered a respectable but not super-dooper-sized Mud Pie, made with green tea ice cream.
At Monico’s Taqueria, the kids fell asleep at the dinner table—all three of them—so we skipped dessert.
But last night, we got back on track: Hula Pie from Keoki’s Paradise in Poipu. Owned by the same folks as Duke’s, they serve the same Hula Pie on the same Hula Pie plates, and that suited everyone just fine. This time, we needed three orders for our table of 10.
Sadly, we took no pictures of our various hula pie offerings, as we couldn’t waste time on pictures. Or risk the Hula Pie Demon eating it before I even lifted a fork. So, if anyone has a picture of hula pie to share, please do so on our Facebook page. And while you’re there, let us know some other stop-everything, save-room-for, must-eat Hula Pie outlets.