A July 2007 trip
to Lihue by BeTheBuddha
Quote: Summer vacation in Kauai - places to visit.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 8, 2007
Their taglines include "We relish your buns" and "We cheat tourists, drunks, and attorneys." So you know the owners of the place have a good sense of humor. They have the "Girls of Bubba’s" so I guess the place is meant to be a Hawaiian version of Hooters, but this is pretty much a family joint. Burgers are typical homestyle burgers. Prices are great for a family on a budget and definitely get the onion rings. They are crisp and tasty. I got the strawberry banana shake which was made right on the spot and the chili rice which is chili (canned, I think) over a scoop of rice. Canned or not, it was good. I tried the hot dog too, which was cooked in beer. Kind of tasteless, I’d pass on that. Refills on soda are an extra 25 cents. I wanted to try the taro burger, but had no room. Fries were a little greasy and soggy, IMO so stick with the o-rings.If you’re looking for a quick, cheap but tasty meal, go to Bubba’s.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 9, 2007
4-1421 Kuhio Highway
Kapaa, Hawaii 96746
When I heard about this place, it sounded quite odd. "Puke-a dogs?" I said. "No, it’s ‘poo-ka dogs’" my friend said. Okay, still sounded odd but then I went to the site and looked up what a puka dog was and I have to admit it sounded most interesting.Located in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shopping center in Poipu, Puka Dogs' homemade buns are spiked and warmed from the inside out (one end of the bun remains closed to hold the sauces), toasting the inside layer before the bun is filled with a secret garlic lemon sauce (mayo that comes in mild, medium or hot) and topped with either a veggie dog or a polish sausage. Other toppings include various Hawaiian style relishes like starfruit, mango, papaya.I got the papaya relish on the side as I’m not into the sweet and salty mixture and to me the relishes were more like jelly. If you’re into that, go for it! I just got the secret garlic lemon sauce in mild and medium which was neither tart nor garlicky, but it was good. I didn’t think it was all that spicy so if I ever make it over there again I’m going for the hot. The bread was extremely soft and delicious and I could have easily eaten another bun. Sausage was typical polish sausage fare grilled to sizzling juiciness. You can also choose to get traditional toppings like ketchup and mustard (try the lillikoi mustard). Fresh squeezed lemonade is also available for purchase as well as chips. This basically is the Hawaiian version of Hot Dog on a Stick - not that that's a bad thing...Puka Dogs made Travel Channel’s "Top 10 Hot Dogs You Have to Try" list. Watch the video clip from Travel Channel on the Puka Dog site.
2360 Kiahuna Plantation Dr.
Koloa, Hawaii 96756
The Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant is located on the North Shore just off the only highway that takes you up to the North Shore.It is best to go during lunch as it is more affordable. Friends say the "Bull Burger (a filet mignon on a bun)" is to die for - but it's only served at lunch. We got there for dinner. Our appetizers were the stuffed mushrooms (boring and salty) and the calamari (not rings but strips from calamari steak breaded and fried). We tried their famous seafood chowder and well, it was like most other chowders I've had - creamy, potatoes, seafood, etc.Complimentary dark and light breads are offered while you wait for your food. Dinner included their house salad, spun at your table with homemade blue cheese or thousand island dressing (no ranch here). Salad includes greens, bean sprouts, tomatoes, and Chinese cabbage. Dressings were tasty but super thick. Oil and vinegar was available at the table.I had the ceviche and a side order of fries as I was pretty full from the apps and soup. The ceviche was not a typical ceviche as it had some green olives in it. Chunks of fish were soft and creamy but overall the ceviche was not to my liking.This restaurant was raved about, but I found the food to be diner-like and overpriced. Service was mediocre at best (our server brought out our appetizers in the patio area and forgot to bring utensils. When she did bring the utensils she placed them on the dirty concrete table instead of on a plate or napkin.) With other seafood restaurants on the island, I'd pass this one up in favor of others.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on August 9, 2007
Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant
Hanalei Dolpin Center
Hanalei, Hawaii 96714
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 10, 2007
Wailua Family Restaurant
4361 Kuhio Highway (Route 56)
No. 1 Chinese Restaurant
3160 Kuhio Hwy.
Lihue, Hawaii 96766
Restaurant | "L & L Restaurant"
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on August 10, 2007
L & L Drive In
4--733 Kuhio Hwy.
Attraction | "NaPali Riders"
Na Pali Riders
P.O. Box 1082
Kauai, Hawaii 96752
Attraction | "Kauai BackCountry Tubing Adventures"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 8, 2007
Kauai BackCountry Adventures
3-4131 Kuhio Highway
Many outfits take you down the Wailua River (featured in the film DRAGONFLY) with a hike to the "Secret Falls" - all at various prices. The family-owned Kayak Wailua was the least expensive that I found (almost half of what you would pay if you went through the concierge at the hotel). The price is due to minimal advertising and good word of mouth and it’s B.Y.O. (bring your own lunch/snacks).The trip takes about 4 ½ hours and costs about $40 with a standard 15% gratuity added on. An extra $5 will get you a better seat with back support on the kayak (which almost everyone gets and is highly recommended). You’ll meet at the Shell gas station located at 4-350 Kuhio Highway, Wailua, Kauai just north of the Wailua River on the Makai (ocean) side. Sign in, pay, get snacks at the Shell Mart if you didn’t already bring them and go through a quick orientation with their friendly guides. Our guide that day was local Nathaniel (with his charming Hawaiian accent), one of the sons of the proprietor, Pete – who drove us to the launch site. After orientation, you’re driven over to the river (a quick couple of minutes) and off you go. First half of the trip takes about 45 minutes and be prepared to weave around if you’re a first timer. Once you "park" your kayak at the destination, you have to traverse a small portion of the river so it’s wise to wear water shoes or sneakers you don’t care that you’ll get dirty/wet. Hike to the "Secret Falls" takes a good half hour (at least a mile or so) over fairly rough terrain. The day we went it was dry but my muddy shoes made it a little slippery. Ground is overgrown with tree branches so it makes it hard to walk in some places. I’m not much of a hiker so this definitely was not my favorite part. Once you get to the Secret Falls it is all worth it. Beautiful Falls and a swimming hole (it’s brisk but refreshing!) await you. Enjoy your lunch and snacks and take a dip. If you’re a Lost fan, this is the fall that was featured in the episode "Whatever the Case May Be" where Kate and Sawyer find a private swimming hole and take a dip only to discover a suitcase and a victim from the crash.Hike back the way you came, cross the river and kayak back. It’s easier kayaking back than to because you’re not facing into a tailwind.The trip is good for all ages, life jackets are provided if you want them. Dry bags and cooler bags are provided for you as well.Wear plenty of SUNSCREEN, even if it’s cloudy out! I put on sunscreen but still got burned. Remember to reapply after the swimming hole!
159 Wailua Road
Kauai, Hawaii 96746
Attraction | "Smith Garden Family Luau"
The Smith Garden Family Luau is probably one of the most popular luaus on the island. The luau has been taking place for over 50 years and the grounds at Smith's is beautiful.Book online or use your AAA card at the entrance and save 10% off the $70 entry fee. Once you enter, get lei'd (we got orchids, not the cheap shell leis), and your family portrait taken, you'll take a tram ride around the gardens where you'll see many indigenous plants and lots of birds - peacocks and the like - (you can buy a ziploc bag of feed for 50 cents to feed the birds). You'll get a picturesque view of the Sleeping Giant. Once the tram ride is over, you hang around the Imu for the Imu ceremony where two strapping young men uncover the tea leaves and rocks and basically excavate the kalua pork that has been cooking in the underground oven all day. One of the Smith’s narrates the whole thing with humor. Once the ceremony is over it’s off to the buffet area where drinks are served – maitais, punch, well drinks, soda, etc. are available. Once everyone is seated, each table is called to go to the buffet so that it’s not overcrowded. Offerings include kalua pork, mac salad, beef teriyaki, Hawaiian sweet potato (or purple yam), sweet & sour mahi mahi, poi, lomi salmon, fresh fruit, coconut cake, jello, and rice pudding. Guests are serenaded throughout dinner with the house band. Once everyone has eaten their fill it’s off to the amphitheatre area where the show begins.Unlike the Hiva Pacifika show which is more traditionally Hawaiian, this show features a Japanese fan dance, a Filipino stick dance, and an extremely lame Chinese dragon dance (I’ve seen better at local homegrown functions). Show includes an erupting volcano and other ethnic dances as well. I didn’t care for the show at this luau partly because the stage was set off from the crowd (separated by a small waterway) so I couldn’t see the dancers as well. Food was similar to Hiva Pacifika’s though I liked HP’s food better. It’s worth going once, but not a second time, IMO.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 9, 2007
Smith's Tropical Paradise
174 Wailua Road
Los Angeles, California