FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Readers praise their favorite breakfast spots
By Wanda A. Adams
Advertiser Food Editor
The e-mails 70 and counting started early last Wednesday after my column asked for your nominations for great Hawai'i breakfast spots. Remember, I set the bar high: table service. Real cutlery and plates. Parking. Good coffee. And of course, good food.
We're assuming everybody knows about Eggs 'n Things, Koa Cafe, Boots & Kimo's, Anna Miller's, Original Pancake House, Columbia Inn, Kaka'ako Kitchen, Alan Wong's Pineapple Room, Big City Diner. Here are some other spots that got multiple mentions:
Sav-Mor Coffee Shop, Moanalua Shopping Center. Wrote Leighton Yin: "I was actually looking for the post office there one day and followed my nose. ... They have some of the best local-style breakfasts here: loco moco, different sausages, Hawaiian food, great portions, excellent coffee, all served on real plates with real cutlery. Parking is also real easy."
Jack's, Aina Haina Shopping Center. Wrote Joe Moore (yes, the KHON anchor), who is still grieving over the loss of The Tahitian Lanai, his "perfect" breakfast spot: "It (Jack's) meets all your qualifications, except for being a little small, which on the weekends can mean a wait. The room is very plain, not at all what I'd call charming, but it's clean, and the food is good and moderately priced, the service prompt and friendly, and they don't rush you." Our own Wayne Harada noted the specialties: "Those biscuits with honey-laced butter. Yums!" Plus blackboard specials.
Cinnamon's, Kailua. Dave Soracco wrote to "strongly recommend: the menu, location, attitude, coffee and reasonable amount of parking." An anonymous e-mailer praised the "very innovative menu, terrific service, never rushed!" Candas Lee Smiley mentioned that they make "everything from scratch, including the hollandaise for the Benedicts. Their pancakes are killer as well as their potatoes. They do often have a short wait on weekends, but provide newspapers and coffee to help pass the 15-20 minutes."
Brent's, Kailua. Michael Weaver and others praised this Jewish deli/diner spot for top-notch food, huge omelets (he loves the feta and kalamata), homemade hash, lox and cream cheese, bangers "I could go on and on. Can you feel the drool?"
The New Eagle Cafe, Nimitz Highway. Joann and Mike Henely wrote to praise the American- and Asian-style breakfasts, daily specials such as a seafood omelet they recently enjoyed, reasonable prices, and great service "by waitresses who have been there 'forever.' " "Edy" raved about the seafood omelet (scallops, shrimp, lobster and crab with sauce), and the hard-to-find Japanese breakfast for $6.95: miso soup, tsukemono, salad, miso butterfish and other grilled fish choices, and rice. Oishii!
Dixie Grill, Ward and 'Aiea. Dale Walker and others reported that, while Dixie Grill has been serving breakfast only for a couple of weeks, it's getting it right with good Southern-style breakfast food, "no paper or styro," plus you can let the kids play in the sandbox until the food is served.
Also recommended: Cafe Haleiwa (funky and fun atmosphere) Marge and Jim Russell. Wailana Coffee Shop (popular with aunties) Bill Byel. Sizzler at Pearlridge (Belgian waffles, thick toast) anonymous. Pasta Italia, Waikele Mall (good food, reasonable prices) Kory Turnbow. Moke's Bread & Breakfast, Kailua (small, family-run, quick and friendly) Paula Sumida. Elena's, Waipahu (Filipino food, especially adobo omelet) Norman Okinaka. This Is It Bakery & Deli, Honolulu ("best New York bagels in Honolulu" Al Wong.
On the Neighbor Islands: Gaylord's at Kilohana, Lihu'e, Kaua'i (inexpensive brunch, garden location) Arlene Shimokawa. Tasty Crust, Wailuku, Maui ('ono secret-recipe pancakes) this writer. Lahaina Coolers, Lahaina, Maui (wide variety, multiple specials) Dee Dudley. Ken's House of Pancakes, Hilo ("absolutely the best") Caroline Spencer.
A P.S.: When Longhi's opened at Ala Moana Center, I thought perhaps the Perfect Breakfast had finally arrived: easy parking, great view, etc. But a visit on a weekday when only three tables were occupied proved disappointing overdone bacon, dry waffles and inattentive coffee service. However, we got two e-mails recommending it (neither identified themselves or gave much description), so I'll be going back soon.