We had originally planned to hike down to Waipio Valley, but after several other hikes on the island we realized that was way too ambitious for us.   Instead we decided to take a horseback riding tour through the valley which meant we got to ride in a 4WD van both up & down the steep incline road to get there.

On the way to Waipio, we stopped at Tex Drive In for lunch and some malasadas.  I’d heard this was THE place to get the Portuguese doughnuts. 

We both got a cheeseburger and fries for lunch.

The burgers had a nice flavor and were served on Hawaiian rolls.  They were really tasty.  The fries were cooked really well too.

Then came the malasadas.

We got a Bavarian Cream, chocolate, pineapple, and raspberry filled one.  They were good, but I thought they were really doughy.  I was a little disappointed because my expectations had been really high.  Total lunch with the malasadas was $20.

Tex Drive in on Urbanspoon

Speaking of malasadas, we stopped at Baker Tom’s later in the week to try his and I gotta say, it was a much better doughnut.  He talked our ear off when we stopped by and told us all about how he still uses butter and buttermilk and makes them so authentic that he’s had some Portuguese grandmothers come buy from him instead of making them at home.

It was a completely different consistency, texture and taste than the ones at Tex Drive In.  We both preferred Tom’s, especially since he had a lilikoi filled one.  We also got an apple, blackberry, and a strawberry cheesecake one.

Quick stop at the Waipio valley overlook, then off for our horseback ride.

By the time we finished our ride through Waipio and then the visitor center at Mauna Kea, we were ready to head back to Hilo for some sushi at Ocean Sushi Deli.

The sushi was really good and the rolls were huge.  We got some salmon and hamachi as well as a Merrie Monach roll (shrimp tempura, cucumber and unagi), a Big Island roll (ahi, avocado, and macademia nuts), a Sunset Roll (ahi, hamachi, avacado, and tobikko, a Hilo roll (baked mahi, imitation crab, and avocado) and a Rainbow roll (imitation crab, cucumber, ahi, salmon, and avocado). 

My least favorite was the Hilo roll.  I didn’t care for the baked mahi.  The Big Island roll was very interesting.  I’d never had sushi with nuts in it before.  And though I’m not a fan of nuts in general, the macademia nuts were actually pretty good in it.  Prices were really good and they had a lot of items on the menu.  For $38, we were plenty happy with our choice of sushi restaurants.

Ocean Sushi Deli on Urbanspoon

Tuesday was our day to drive around the island.  First stop was the Punalu’u black sand beach to check out the sea turtles.

This was one of my favorites stops on our trip.  We saw quite a few sea turtles in the water and then this one was coming ashore as we were leaving. 

We stopped at the Hana Hou Restaurant for brunch.

By this point in our trip, we realized that the amount of food served everywhere we’ve been is way more than we can eat, so we decided to split a pork loco moco with a side of avocado.

This was definitely a winner in the loco moco category.  The eggs and rice were cooked perfectly and the pork and gravy were both delicious.  

As you walk in the door at Hana Hou, be sure to check out the dessert case.

There it was.  My new favorite dessert, lilikoi pie.  I ate half of it before remembering to take a picture.

Awesome flavor, fresh whipped cream, and a nice crust.  I was in heaven.  I really liked this restaurant.  With a couple of drinks, the total bill was $22. If you’re visiting the south end of the island, this is definitely a great place to stop.

Hana Hou Restaurant on Urbanspoon

We couldn’t drive down to Southpoint due to some road construction, so we headed up the west coast and stopped at some beach parks and the Place of Refuge.  We got into Kona around 4:30pm looking for a place to eat.  Unfortunately, the first place we tried didn’t open until 5pm, so we headed over to the Manago Hotel.  They didn’t open until 5pm either, but we figured we’d wait based on the review we read. 

This was by far the most disappointing meal we ate on the island.  They have a very limited menu which is on the wall in the dining room.  Then they bring you out 4 side dishes before your meal.

Rice, a spaghetti/potato salad, mixed veggies (which tasted like frozen veggies), and black eyed peas which were served cold and tasted like they’d been cooked in sugar.  At this point, I think we both realized we had made a mistake in dinner choices. 

I forgot to even take photos of our entrees.  I ordered the ono and Loren got the ahi.  Both were cooked in some sort of lemon garlic  sauce and the portions were small.  The ono and ahi were both overcooked.  At most, ahi should be seared, but this was cooked through and through.  Blech!  I have a feeling no matter what you ordered, it was going to be prepared the same way.  It was $25 for dinner and this was the night we ended up stopping back at Huli Sue’s BBQ because we needed something else to eat.  Supposedly, Manago is famous for their pork chops, but I know I wouldn’t go back to find out.

Manago Hotel on Urbanspoon