My friend Renée is also my past editor at Ke Ola Magazine...and we're working on a project. She called me to see if we could meet this past Friday to talk about the project and discuss some ideas...since she had to drive from the Kona side of the island to the Honoka'a area anyway, we decided to meet there for lunch.
We decided on the Waipio Cookhouse, as it was a place I was already familiar with and she had never been.
The drive up to Honoka'a that morning was glorious...sunny, blue skies, just a few lazy clouds drifting on a nice breeze ...just the kind of day we all dream about when we think Hawai'i
I was glad to see Renée had brought Kathleen with her...a new friend I had met at our Annual Christmas party last month. The three of us had a lovely time, talking, laughing, enjoying our delicious food and before we knew it, a bit over 2 1/2 hours had passed and they had other places to go, things to do and enjoy during their short holoholo*
The views from the restaurant's location are breathtaking and the photos actually do not do it justice
At the Cookhouse you order and pay for your food at the window on the far right of the top photo and the food is brought to you, wherever you decide to sit...
The place is beautifully landscaped; while waiting for our food, Renée took pictures of some of the plants surrounding the kitchen building. These gorgeous anthuriums are located near the food pavilion - we had never seen this particular variety...they are beautiful in the photo but stunning in actuality!
Farmers / ranchers Larry Vidlak and Colleen Gold, owners of the restaurant received the first-of-its-kind Certificate from the State Department of Agriculture to operate a restaurant at their 16 acre Kanahonua Farm. The food served showcases their own meats (beef and lamb), eggs from their own chickens, produce from their own garden and fruit from their orchards as well as featuring other locally sourced meats, fish, vegetables and fruit; all fresh and beautifully presented on Fiestaware dishes!
Kathleen ordered the Fish of the Day Salad - above - the fish was moist and delicious!
Renée ordered the Cobb Salad - above
and I ordered the Lamb Burger with a side of their unique cole slaw... It doesn't look as big as the other two platters, but believe me, it's just the angle...the lamb patty was deliciously done, just as ordered...had no fillers and the taste was deliciously fresh and juicy.
In the past, I have ordered the lamb and also the eggplant sandwich - my photo below does not do that eggplant sandwich any justice...It is delicious!
I have heard their Poi Pancakes with caramel banana topping are to die for, but haven't tasted them yet...maybe next time!
To find the place, drive to Honoka'a and continue on the road to Waipio Valley - Hwy 240 - do not take the Kukuihaele road at the fork, but continue on 240 - you can't miss it on your right, just about a mile or so beyond the fork in the road.
*Hawaiian word meaning to go for a walk, ride, or sail; to go out for pleasure, stroll, promenade...also used as a short little vacation or pleasure trip
Photos: some are from my photo files, some taken by me with Renée's camera and some by Renée. I was smart enough to take my camera but dumb enough to leave my digital card in my computer...!