I am back from my first time visiting Hawaii. Ah, the beaches, the white sand, the sunshine, the perfect weather, the flowers and the palm trees. But I am not going to bore you with things you already know: Hawaii […]
I am back from my first time visiting Hawaii. Ah, the beaches, the white sand, the sunshine, the perfect weather, the flowers and the palm trees. But I am not going to bore you with things you already know: Hawaii is beautiful.
One thing I did not know about Hawaii (at least Oahu) is all of the great food and restaurant options scattered throughout the island. I guess the whole Pearl Harbor memorial and the white sand beaches tend to muffle Oahu’s food scene.
Here’s a fact: I love food. If you didn’t know that, you do now.
There are only a few things that I won’t eat and most of them relate to four-legged animal flesh. I can’t bring myself to eat baby cow or baby sheep. Or baby anything for that matter. Nor will I order pig lung soup or brains of any once living organism. The good news is it is pretty easy to get through life without ordering veal or monkey brains for dinner.
Just like any new place I visit, one of the first questions I ask is “Where is a good place to eat?”
The first night, a group of us headed to Waikiki, which was a traffic experience I would never like to repeat (but that’s a different story). Let’s just say if you are driving from Pearl Harbor to Honolulu or Waikiki, make sure it is not between the hours of 3pm and 7pm. I was still on Colorado time, just got off of a long flight, and not prepared for that.
When we arrived, we walked about 30 minutes to get to Duke’s – named after the famous surfer Duke Kahanamoku. This must be the hotspot in town with a 45-60 minute wait on a Tuesday night.
As we drank a few cocktails at the bar, Hawaiian music mixed with top forty lyrics played in the background.
Since we were there for the beach, we sat on the patio. The weather was perfect and we just caught the end of a orange and red sunset floating above the sea.
We finally ate. I can’t remember a time I was that tired. Overall, the food was pretty good, but not fantastic.
Maybe it was the 60 minute wait or the expensive bill. Maybe it was the overwhelming amount of tourists.
Don’t get me wrong, Duke’s had good food and the open air seating on the beach during a sunset was worth the wait (if you are not starving or coming from a timezone that is four hours ahead). What I didn’t know in my jet-lagged stupor was outside seating had a limited menu.
Duke’s Inside Seating
I returned to Duke’s a few days later and sat inside. I have to say, it was a much better experience. The fish of the day was local and a salad bar came with the meal. The fish (which I can’t remember the name) was cooked in a Macademia nut crust, with a side of rice and green beans.
What I really like about Duke’s was the old photos on the walls of the Hawaiian surfers, including Duke himself. Duke was a legend and it makes sense that a restaurant named after him is one of the only ones directly on the Waikiki beach.
While Duke’s is a little pricey, you are in Hawaii, on the beach, in a tourist haven. So it is to be expected.
Duke’s is a must if you go to Waikiki, but I think there are more restaurants worth exploring.
I go back in 2 weeks, so I will hopefully find some new places worth checking out!
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