Maybe it’s the stunning views of the Koolau Mountains and Kaneohe Bay from the highway. Maybe it’s that feeling of leaving Honolulu’s crowded urban core to a place where I can actually breathe.
Or maybe it’s because I know that there are dozens of great eateries on the Windward side — and I can’t wait to try some of my favorites.
There’s H&T Burgers — best teriyaki fries around — and Maruki Tei at Windward Mall. (It’s the only mall where you can get hot dogs on a stick, too, by the way.) There’s Formaggio Grill in Kailua, with an mouthwatering lobster bisque. And Boots & Kimo’s Homestyle Kitchen and Cinnamon’s Restaurant, which boast the kind of pancakes that make the trek to Kailua so worthwhile. My all-time favorite malassadas are made at Agnes Portuguese Bake Shop. And you can’t forget Masa & Joyce Okazuya.
The possibilities make me salivate.
But on my last visit to Kaneohe, I decided to retry a great little Italian eatery in Kaneohe town: Zia’s Caffe. (There’s another one in Kailua.)
The restaurant has been serving its brand of Italian cuisine since 1998. And it’s already got its own legion of followers, folks who eat here often enough to know the bread pudding flavor rotation. (Or at least claim to.)
Here’s what we ate on a recent dinner there:
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Zia’s Caffe, 45-620 Kamehameha Highway. Phone: (808) 235-9427, www.ziascaffe.com
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