No one will confuse McDonald’s with fine dining.
But if it’s relaxed and comfortable, quick and inexpensive, and pleasant conversation you’re after, then this may well be your go-to place.
There are four McDonald’s on Kauai — one each in Kapaa and Eleele, a full restaurant in Lihue and one inside Walmart.
My favorite, as it’s just a walk across the parking lot from The Garden Island offices, is the Lihue location on Kuhio Highway. It’s where I usually end up. And, I hate to sound cheap, but when I go to lunch with people, I ask if they would like to try McDonald’s because it’s spacious and you have plenty of room to carry on a conversation, which I like. And, it’s air-conditioned, so no matter how hot it is outside, you’ll soon cool off inside.
But this McDonald’s isn’t so much about food as it’s about the people.
This is where I often see Da Shadow, who also goes by his name, Jerome Freitas, so we chat for a while about county happenings. I’ve run into Kelvin Moniz, Kauai Independent Food Bank executive director, and gotten the latest on food drives and we’ve talked sports. My friend and racquetball championship Philip Eliana has been there, and we catch up on his tournament or chat about our training.
You get the idea.
I like the Lihue McDonald’s for several reasons: Room to talk; I meet people I know there and get news tips; the food is good and affordable; it’s a good place to read the paper and listen to Hawaiian music, and it’s just close to work. Darlene Chung, owner, is often there, so it’s a chance to chat, too.
Bottom line, it’s got a friendly, family vibe to it that can be hard to find.
As well, it also hosts fundraisers, like the recent Kapaa High School Project Grad that saw many of Kauai’s leaders pitching in to take and serve orders.
Now, I know some folks are going to lecture me about how fast-food isn’t good for me. All those fries and McDoubles likely are not the best for me and I do eat them in moderation. I’m also a firm believer that running many miles can wipe away a multitude of meals that I probably should not have eaten, but could not resist.
I admit, I’m a fan of the latest meal deal at McDonald’s, a fish fillet sandwich, fries and drink for $5.99. How can you beat a McDouble and chicken nuggets for $3 that’s offered in the 2 for $3 deal? You can’t. But remember, moderation.
If you’re a visitor to Kauai, McDonald’s may not be your first choice for eats in Hawaii. But you like a quick meal and friendly service, stop in. Who knows. You may make some new friends, too.