We did pretty well with not over-eating (or over-drinking, amazingly enough) while we were in Hawaii… except for the day we drove up to the North Shore. That day, in addition to the pineapple float and shave ice, we tried all manner of magical things. But we really had no choice. We couldn’t just pass this stuff up.
This cheeseburger with grilled pineapple at Kua ‘Aina in Haleiwa was awesome. Takeaway message: pineapple improves everything.
After lunch, we drove around and looked at some of the beaches, then started down the other (windward, I believe) side of Oahu. We weren’t even hungry when we saw the sign for the “best fish tacos,” but we figured we had to stop at Surfin’ Tacos anyway.
I had the sweet pork nachos since I don’t eat fish. I have had pulled pork nachos before, but previous versions were overwhelmed by barbecue sauce. This version had slightly sweet pulled pork with no barbecue sauce, along with cheese, pinto beans, salsa, guacamole and sour cream — plus Surfin’ Tacos special sauce (a creamy cilantro-based sauce) on the side. It all worked perfectly together.
Toby had the fish tacos, which were made with mahi-mahi. He said they weren’t as good as some he had in San Diego, but they were very good nonetheless.
We continued driving, but started having problems with the tire on the rental car. Toby had already changed one flat tire, so we didn’t have a spare. When we pulled over to get air at a gas station in Aiea, I spotted a red-and-white striped food truck in the parking lot of a mall.
I couldn’t quite see the writing from where we were, but I had seen a commercial for a bakery in Oahu that has been there since the 50s. I couldn’t remember the name of the bakery, but seeing that truck made me wonder, so I googled it. Turns out the bakery I was looking for is called Leonard’s… and they have a red-and-white striped truck.
The Leonard Jr. truck sells malasadas — sort of like a doughnut without a hole. We got ours with cinnamon sugar and they were amazing: very light and sweet, but still chewy. They don’t just melt in your mouth like a Krispy Kreme doughnut. They actually reminded me of my favorite food item from Belgium, smoutebollen. Sooooo good.
We got a half dozen of the plain with cinnamon sugar, plus one with haupia (coconut custard) in the middle. I kind of wish we had gotten a dozen more.
If you are ever in Honolulu or Aiea, you have to try these things. You won’t be sorry — even though you might have to hike Diamond Head twice afterward.