TRAVEL EDITION: Kauai

In this special edition of the blog, the Dineamic Duo take on Kauai! Now, instead of boring you fine people to death with every single (amazing) detail of our trip, I am going to summarize the three best things we ate while we were on vacation. And yes before you ask, we did do other activities besides just eating, but this is a blog about food!! And honestly, who cares about things that aren’t food? Just kidding… kinda.

PUKA DOG

I’ll start by saying this one is on the list mainly to honor the Bassett family’s love of this place. Legend has it, Puka Dog is what influenced the respected elders of the family to purchase their timeshare in Kauai. However, if you are into unique hot dogs, this is the place for you. Puka Dog is a tiny little stand in the middle of the shopping center. Pretty cool little place. They serve what they call Hawaiian style hot dogs. You pick your dog (polish sausage or veggie), the spice level of your garlic lemon sauce, your tropical relish, and your mustard. Then they nestle it in this delicious thick bun, which has a hole in the center cradling the delicious dog and sauces. The key here is the toasted INSIDE of the bun, which is toasted on what can only be considered as some sort of medieval torture device.  Personally, I recommend you go with the banana relish and the Hawaiian mustard. Ian has been known to put away a few of these at a time (and multiple times on a trip). They’ve even been featured on Travel Channel! The lemonade is also stellar!

BANANA MACADAMIA NUT PANCAKES FROM OLYMPIC CAFE

Ok, so I am not much of a sweets person in the morning. I was that kid who ate Oatmeal Squares or Cheerios (no milk). My mom made us M&M pancakes every Saturday morning. So as an adult, they are not the first thing I reach for in the morning. However, these pancakes have changed me on a personal level. Three giant fluffy pancakes with bananas and macadamia nuts baked in. The kicker on these guys? The coconut syrup. Don’t waste your time on regular old maple syrup– go straight for the coconut. The perfect salty side for these pancakes? The Kalua pork burrito. Yummmm. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

EATING HOUSE 1849

Ya’ll. You know how there are those dishes that set the bar for all other similar dishes? Like the ones you compare every other one to? For me, the dish that changed my life (no exaggeration) and started my ramen obsession is the 1849 Spicy Ramen Bowl from Eating House 1849. After eating this dish for the first time in Kauai last year, I spent the next 365 days dreaming about it and trying different ramen places to try to recreate a similar experience. (I will say Underbelly in North Park is a close second– more on that in a later blog). This ramen is perfection in a bowl. A bowl large enough to submerge your whole head. It has a spicy, smokey, almost peanutty broth that is absolutely packed with flavor. The best thing in that broth though are the shrimp and pork dumplings. Even Ian, who HATES seafood, enjoyed those melt in your mouth dumplings. The smoked pork doesn’t hurt either. This ramen bowl is out of this world. Worth the plane tickets to Kauai just to eat it. I waited almost 365 days to eat this ramen again. And it did not disappoint.

That summarizes our fantastic week in Kauai! I know it’s not very helpful for finding new places in San Diego, but if you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods (ocean?), we recommend you stop by these cool little spots! Also, check out the ATV tours and the boat tours of the Napali coast if you get a chance!  (Told you we did other activities!) Aloha and Mahalo for sharing in our little adventures!

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