Live Hawaii

Gaylord’s at Kilohana – Kauai Plantation Railway

Gaylord’s at Kilohana
3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy
Lihue, HI 96766
(808) 245-9594

Gaylord’s Restaurant is located at the former plantation house of Gaylord Parke Wilcox. This English Tudor style 16,000 foot mansion was built in 1935. While the restaurant does have a solid 4.0 rating on Yelp, we didn’t come here for food. My son, Gabriel, is a big railway fan so we came here to ride the only train on Kauai!

The tickets are a little pricey at $19 for adults and $14 for children 3 to 12 years of age. You do get a well narrated 45 minute “Signature Train Tour.” If your adventurous or hungry, you can add on a nature walk and lunch or an evening luau.

During the tour, Kimo will point out the more than 50 varieties of fruits and vegetables grown at Kilohana. The train ride will take you back to the plantation days of Kauai. Much of the produce that you see grown, on this working farm, goes to Kilohana’s Gaylord’s Restaurant.

Halfway or so through the plantation, you will disembark and first spend some time with the pigs, goats, sheep, donkeys and horses that comprise the farm and second you will feed them! No worries…there’s plenty of bread to go around!

In addition to Gaylord’s Restaurant, there are many unique little shops, in the mansion, including Cane Field Clothing & Gallery, Zensations, Banana Patch Studio & Aloha Spice Company, Kauai Sweet Shoppe, Clayworks at Kilohana, and Kōloa Rum Tasting Room and Company Store.

See the video below for a sample of the train ride. The scenery is beautiful and the ride, at 45 minutes, is not too long. Below the video is a brief history of the diesel engine used at Kauai plantations.

The fist diesel locomotive in the Territory of Hawaii was introduced in Kauai at the Kehaka Plantation in 1928 and proved to be very efficient. Soon Lihue and other plantations followed although beginning in the mid 30’s trucks began replacing fixed railroads. Hawaiian sugar plantations used trains for transportation until the 1950’s when a switch was made to cane haul trucks.

GEN Korean BBQ House – Hawaii Restaurant Review

1450 Ala Moana Ste 4250
Honolulu, Hawaii 96814

Another Hawaii restaurant review! GEN Korean BBQ opened at Hookipa Terrace, in Ala Moana Shopping Center, less than a month ago. The Los Angeles based business is one of the largest all-you-can-eat restaurants in the United States. We tried dining there last weekend (7pm) but the wait was 1 hour, thirty minutes. With a six-year-old in the party, we had to find somewhere else to eat (Macaroni Grill).

Finally, on Easter Saturday we tried again and were rewarded with a manageable 15 minute wait. Walking in, I definitely noticed the Astro blue theme going on. Sitting down I saw the small grill, in the middle of the table, and thought, “Oh man, we gotta pay to cook our own meal!” Even though it was only 1:45pm, only the dinner menu was offered which was priced at $26.95 per person (my son only had to pay half price😐).
If you’re a vegetable lover it’s pretty slim pickens. There were some little side dishes with kimchi, mash potatoes, and some other pickled or fermented items (I just noticed fresh vegetables were offered, on the menu, after the fact😟). This a place to get your meat on! All you can eat meat but with a catch! You can only order four dishes of meat at a time and…if you order more meat than you can consume, you are charged extra!

You only get a small bowl of rice so you had better conserve it. Your waiter brings you the different types of meat ordered and you get to cook it! We ordered a variety of meat such as Hawaiian steak, spicy pork bulgogi, premium pork belly, garlic chicken, Gen signature pork chop, et cetera.
Your only utensils are chopsticks, scissors and tongs. If you want your meat in smaller bite size pieces, it is best to cut it before cooking. My mother-law tried, with much difficulty, cutting the pork chop after it was cooked (where are the dang steak knives?!?!).

In conclusion, the meat was tasty, with a lot of variety. For us, the dinner was over priced since none of us are big eaters. I would have liked more rice and my soda refilled but the waiters were focused on our meat orders only. I could of asked but I take a waiter’s attentiveness, into consideration, when it comes to tipping time.

Best Mexican Restaurant in Kauai? Pacos Tacos!

pacos tacosPaco’s Tacos House
4-1415 Kuhio Highway Kapaa, Hawaii 96746
(808) 822 – 9944

Best Mexican restaurant in Kauai? Well…The fam and I were walking through Old Kapaa Town looking for dinner! We saw House of Noodles but my wife nixed that idea after informing me that the restaurant only had 3 starts (yes, she is a hard core Yelper!). We kept on walking down Kuhio Highway when I noticed Paco’s Tacos across the street and pointed it out to my wife (yes, I looooove Mexican food!). She checked Yelp and said, “4 stars, let’s try it.”

We sauntered out way in, sat down and checked out the menu. I was pleasantly surprised that breakfast is served all day. So the Huevos Rancheros or Huevos con Chorizo were tempting. Being an enchilada guy, I went with the chicken enchiladas covered in special sauce and cheese. My wife tried the beef enchiladas plate.
pacos tacos
The service was fast and friendly. Our waters were kept filled. The enchiladas platters were a little pricey at $14.00 but this is Hawaii and even Taco Bell is expensive. I have to admit that my meal was worth every cent of the $14.00 price. The secret sauce was very tasty and I would have licked my plate if it was socially acceptable. My wife in not a fan of Mexican food but she finished her entire plate (first time that’s happened) and held up 5 fingers (5 Yelp stars!)

Even my son, who is a SUPER picky eater, enjoyed sharing our enchiladas. I will definitely try the tacos next time! So if you’re ever in Kauai, make your way to Kapaa and give Pacos Tacos a try. Your taste buds will be so thankful

Need a Coffee Break? Stop on by Kauai Coffee Company

Every time my family has visited Kauai, we’ve visited the Kauai Coffee Company. Each time we stop by, more bags of coffee come home with us. It’s like an addiction…a good addiction! Don’t be fooled by the small store. According to Kauai Coffee’s website, there are over four million coffee trees grown on 3,100 acres. Not only is Kauai Coffee Company Hawaii’s largest coffee grower but also the largest coffee grower in the United States (pause for applause).

The land Kauai Coffee Company sits upon is a former sugar plantation, from the early 1800’s. McBryde Sugar Company was one of the first sugar farmers in Hawaii. In 1987, the sugar farm transformed to become Kauai Coffee. In 2011, Kauai Coffee Company sold its coffee operations to Massimo Zanetti. Sadly to say, Kauai Coffee is no longer locally owned. Massimo Zanetti is the world’s largest privately owned coffee conglomerate with 40 companies operating in 35 countries.

I tested five different samples of coffee which gave me a pretty good buzz. All of the samples tasted great, to me, and I enjoyed the flavor without the need for cream or sugar!

Kauai Blue Mountain (Dark Roast)
A unique, well-balanced coffee with a malty flavor and fruity notes. The ultimate expression of Island coffee – smooth, mild, and subtle with a pleasantly bright aftertaste.

Kauai Sunrise (Mild Roast)
Pleasant aroma with toasty and nutty tones which persist into the finished cup. Wake up and smell the coffee – a blend of dark and medium roasted beans give this coffee an unmatched aroma.

Rooster Alarm (Dark Roast)
Well rounded body, mild acidity with pronounced fragrance that adds to the smooth buttery mouthfeel.

Polihale Sunset (Medium Roast)
Round, syrupy mouthfeel with chocolaty tones, distinct berry notes with a sweet and bright acidity.

Poipu Estate (Medium Roast)
Delicately bright aroma with light floral qualities and sweet finish. Delicacy in a cup with a subtlety that invites sip after sip to explore and enjoy.

There is a little museum near the tasting area which I found very interesting. There are many antique pieces, which are described in the captions below, but ironically Kauai Coffee didn’t starting growing coffee trees until 1987. I did some digging and the only other coffee plantation, in Kauai, was established by Godfrey Rhodes, a British sea captain and French partner John Bernard way back in 1842. This was actually the first commercial coffee plantation, in the Hawaiian Islands, and was situated along the Hanalei River. Unfortunately, flooding damage, the Gold Rush, a severe drought and epidemics to Native Hawaiian workers doomed coffee production with Rhodes selling the land in 1853.

Two Barrel Sample Roaster circa 1925

Antique Coffee Grinder

Enterprise No. 218 Coffee Mill circa 1890

kauai coffee

American Duplex Electric Coffee Cutter

Free Things to Do in Kauai – Kauai Path, Kapaa…A Runner’s Paradise

kauai path

Kaui Path Near Niu Street

Free things to do in Kauai? Kauai Path in Kapaa is #1 of 53 things to do in Kapaa according to Trip Advisor. This beautiful multi-use path can be described as “Ke Ala Hele Makalae” which is Hawaiian for “The Path that Goes by the Coast.” The vision for Kauai Path, Inc. (a non-profit community organization) is for the trail to eventually follow the eastern shoreline for 17 miles from Nawiliwili to Anahola on the island of Kauai.

Kaui Path partially follows a former railroad line once used to haul the island’s sugarcane. The route offers access to parks, beaches along with all the shopping and restaurants of Old Town Kapaa. Along the path, you will encounter many informative signs sharing knowledge about important cultural and historical sites. You will also learn the native names different watercourses along plants and animals native to the area.

Presently, there are 7 miles of the path completed. Unfortunately, they are in two disconnected segments. The southern segment (phase 1) connects Lydgate Park to Wailua Beach Park and is 2.5 miles in length. The northern segment (phase 2) extends along the coast, for 4.5 miles,  from Lihi Park, in Kapaa, to Ahihi Point in Kealia. There is a 2 mile gap between the two segments and the only to bridge this is by traveling on Kuhio Highway which is busy and has narrow shoulders (I won’t even run there).

Kaui Path is a multi-use trail and the following etiquette guildlines are in place so people can fully enjoy segment of Ke Ala Hele Makalae:
  • Be Courteous—All path users should be respectful of other users regardless of their mode of travel, speed, or skill level.
  • Keep Path Clear—Use no more than one-half of the path when in a group. Move off of the path if you are stopped.
  • Be Predictable—Travel in a consistent manner. Look behind you before changing position on the path.
  • Keep Right—Stay to the right side on the path except when passing. Move back or to the right once safely past.
  • Respect Private Property—Stay on designated paths or roadways. Avoid shortcutting switchbacks.
  • Signal When Passing—Give a clear warning signal by voice, bell, or horn before you pass.
  • Yield to Slower Traffic—Cyclists yield to pedestrians. “Wheels yield to Heels.”
  • Respect the ‘Aina & the Park—Keep litter in trash receptacles.

running dog

Dogs may be walked on Kauai Path, subject to the restrictions listed below:
  • Dogs may be on the paved portion of the path plus six feet on either side.
  • Handler must be in control of dog at all times
  • Two dogs per handler max
  • Must have poop bag in evidence.
  • Dog owner must remove and dispose of dog’s feces
  • Dog must be licensed
  • Maximum leash length 6 ft. (No extendable leashes allowed.)
  • Must leave path area if dog gets aggressive
kauai path

If it rains, there can be flooding on parts of the path.

My Experience Running on Kauai Path

I only ran on Phase 2, of Kauai Path, so I can only comment on that segment. Unfortunately, I didn’t even know Phase 1 existed until after my Kauai trip. The eastern coastline is just breathtakingly beautiful in the early morning. I started both runs at the break of dawn. If you run later in the morning, you will encounter lots of families on rental bikes.

My first run started off of Niu Street which is around .4 miles from Lihi Park; the beginning of Phase 2 of the path. I ran around 2 1/2 miles, just past Kealia Beach, before turning around.

For my second run, I parked at a lookout point between Kawaihau Road and Kealia Beach which around 1.6 miles north of the beginning of the path. I ran all the way to the end (2 1/2 miles), where it became a dirt trail, turned around and returned to my starting point.

kauai path

End of Kauai Path and the beginning of a hiking or mountain bike trail. Protection Status