Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hilo Bay Cafe

Hilo Bay Cafe is my favorite restaurant in Hilo. The food is always well-prepared and flavorful and the prices are really reasonable for Hilo. Tucked away in what is commonly called "The Walmart parking lot" This restaurant sits nestled between a couple of cell phone offices and another restaurant that I will review at another time. Started by the couple (no longer a couple) who were the proprietors of Island Naturals. As I understand it, he got the store, and she got the restaurant. It seems, business-wise, to have worked out well for both of them. There is a full bar and a nice wine list to accompany a fairly continental cuisine. Pork chops, pot pie, meatloaf, steak, and even a couple of vegetarian dishes are all tasty. If you happen to be a vegetarian I can speak highly of the roasted portobello  mushroom. I'm not vegetarian and really like the pork chops and the ribs. They also have a nice scallops meal and the specials usually includes the fresh catch, which in Hilo is usually one of the three local fish, ahi, ono or mahimahi. There is always a special entre, which is not simply a menu item marked down for the night, but something usually pretty special. I have eaten here often and I have to say that I usually end of choosing the special, because it is. I've never been disappointed by a meal here. I know that they also really support local growers.  This both supports the community as well as provides the tastiest and freshest produce.

You will notice that I never talk about desserts in my reviews. That's because I am a big guy and have to watch my weight. But I have eaten the desserts here and they are quite nice. Which is why I don't eat desserts here!

The service is excellent and friendly and the restaurant, for being in a strip mall in a chain store parking lot, is actually well-appointed. It gets pretty busy at night, so reservations are always a good idea. Monday through Saturday the are open for lunch until the end of the dinner seating. Sundays they are open for dinner only starting at 5pm. Good value, good food, great service. You can't go wrong.

I first posted this in May and because I've been traveling I haven't been back until now, and it's already August. Last night I had a really wonderful meal. The potato leak soup, one of the specials, was particularly nice. The mushrooms in filo dough were excellent and the beef brisquit was more than I could eat and very delicious. Even the seasoned shoestring fries with truffle mayo were really well done. Kudos again.

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