83-5409 Mamalahoa Hwy
About halfway between Kealakekua and Honaunau
Captain Cook, HI 96704
This place was recommended by the local kayaking guys and even appeared on Food Network (as a segment of "The Best Thing I've Ever Eaten"). Look for it on the right as your drive south and be advised, it looks more like a house than a restaurant.
The sign says Authentic Hawaiian food (vs. "Hawaii" food). Absolute truth in advertising. This is not a Rainbow's Drive Inn, huge-variety plate lunch place. Walking in is literally like going into your Aunty's dining room/kitchen on Hawaiian food day. It is very friendly and very casual, right down to the fish tank full of guppies and family photos on the counter.
The food is fab. The laulau is darn-near perfect. She says it slow cooks for 10 hours, and it is the ideal size, moist without being greasy or squishy and an ideal balance of salt/pork/luau leaves. With some of the best, smoothest poi. Poi gets a bad rap; Super J's will change your mind. Skip the flashy resort luau and go here for what Hawaiian food was meant to be.
Super J's also gave us the recommendation for our next stop...
Honaunau-Napoopoo, HI 96704
Pretty much everything closes between 4:30 and 5:00pm. We were the last customers at around 4:20 pm. A good-sized serving in a cup with a choice of three flavors. Guava is awesome. Lilikoi, pineapple and lychee were also quite good. Mango sounded good but was sold out. They also had blackberry, which we didn't try, but it sure sounds good. This gave us just enough time to go to...
81-6581 Mamalahoa Highway (between mile markers 111 and 112)
Kealakekua, Hawaii 96750
We had exactly 20 minutes at Greenwell Farms. Which was more than enough time to sample chocolate macadamia nut, their newest chameleon blend and the full city roast. Peaberry and the Private Reserve are sold out--check the website for the 2011/12 availability.
Coffee benefits from ideal growing climate in Kona. 100% Kona coffee is spectacular, and well-worth the higher price point. Less expensive "Kona blends" use a small percentage of Kona coffee (typically 10%, but they should specify exactly), and you can taste the difference.
And yes, they do make 100% Kona decaf, and Swiss-water processed at that!
This was definitely an Eat Well | Be Well day.