Eatery - Kalaheo Cafe and Coffee Company (HI)
2-2560 Kaumualii Hwy., Kalaheo, HI 96741
Pricing - $/$$ | Dining - Casual, To-Go | Cuisine - Breakfast, Brunch
A quick jaunt to Kauai during our Oahu trip revealed to us that there was more to the little island than we had originally anticipated. Unfortunately we were not able to reach every single key destination on Kauai but we got a general feel of the land. It's certainly a fantastic island to visit if you're looking for low-key, rural relaxation, and it has the food style to fit it. Before our hike to Waimea Canyon, we needed to get ourselves some breakfast and chose to stop into the Kalaheo Cafe and Coffee Company restaurant to get ourselves fuel for the trail. There was a diner feel to it, complete with the homeyness that a small community has.
The feeling we got once we walked in was that of a close-knit but welcoming crowd. There seemed to be plenty of regulars there, hungrily seeking the cup of fresh brew and a morning scramble. Tempting pastries lined the display to the right as you walk in, and there were several ways you could grab your cuppa for the day. Since the group of us are not the coffee-drinking type, we settled for just the food itself which is set up for number service. You order at the counter, find a seat, and then it will come out to you.
One of the dishes was their Lawai Farmers Omelette ($12.50 - sauteed mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes, onions, spinach. and melted Feta cheese) with hash browns and grilled corn muffin as the accompaniments. You get a choice of Cafe Fries over hash browns as well as toast or corn muffin with these dishes. The corn muffin was on the sweeter side if you prefer those types, and the hash browns soggier than I enjoy. The omelette was certainly filled with many vegetables, and it was special in the sense of its origins. It could have done with more cheese however to bring all the ingredients together, and the egg part of it was on the blander side. Hearty, overall, though.
Something about smothering your food in cheese is appealing, and that stands for The Kahili Breakfast ($10.25 - Portuguese sausage, ham, green onions, tomatoes and melted Monterey Jack cheese scrambled with 3 eggs) with Cafe Fries and Grilled Corn Muffin. The potatoes were enjoyable crisp where they needed to be, and the generous amount of cheese helped bring the scramble all together. Bits and pieces of Portuguese sausage and ham contributed the savory and salty element to this dish which was my favorite of the lot. It was well-balanced and well-plated.
For a simpler start, there was also the North Shore Breakfast ($9.25 - Two eggs any style with sliced tomato and Bacon, ham, Smoked Turkey, Link, Chicken Apple or Portuguese Sausage) with Grilled Corn Muffin and side of brown rice ($2.50). The choice here for protein was their Portuguese sausage which was a minimal amount but flavorful. The eggs were done very simply scrambled here and therefore worked in conjunction with the otherwise possibly-salty sausage. It was a basic breakfast but well-portioned nonetheless.
Overall, there is a comforting feeling to this restaurant/diner but if you are looking for extravagance in your breakfast, look elsewhere. Kalaheo Cafe and Coffee Company seems all about the community and putting food into your stomach.
Photography by Duc Duong.