KAPAA — They say if you’re looking for the country on Kauai, go to Waimea. It’s wide open for stretches there, with rolling green fields, open space and a sense that you’re in Montana, the Big Sky Country.
Or, you can just stop at Kountry Kitchen in Kapaa.
The longtime favorite of locals and visitors continues to attract morning and noon crowds looking for hearty breakfasts and lunches. And the reason they come to this restaurant along Kuhio Highway is because they find what they’re after.
It has a casual, cozy, clean atmosphere. It’s relaxing and inviting. It helps that they greet you with a smile, too, and if there’s an open table, they’ll sit you quickly. But sometimes, like Wednesday morning, the line might stretch out the door. It’s worth the wait, so don’t rush off. There’s a reason Kountry Kitchen has endured through the decades. Folks who ate their as kids eat their today as adults.
Inside, the word “FAMILY” stands out big and loud on the center wall. It’s there for a reason because this is a place that makes you feel like you’re home. If that doesn’t make you warm up, then all those chickens in different forms on that same wall will at least make you smile.
The breakfast menu is as big as the servings. Many choices, you have. You can spend $21.95 for the Hungryman Breakfast (three eggs, two pork chops or fish, hash browns, rice, fruit, toast), $17.95 for the Kauai Benedict (Hawaii sweet bread topped on an English muffin and smothered in hollandaise sauce and served with hash browns or rice), $9 for a cheese omelette, the famous Kountry Pancake for $7.75 or the Hawaiian Waffle (caramelized pineapple, toasted coconut and coconut syrup.
I went with the Denver omette ($12.25), while my friend Tom went with eggs benedict ($13.50). Yes, the food was excellent and the price was fine. Give it five stars. We left nothing on those plates. But even better was the service. Our plates were delivered to our tabled within minutes. We were pleasantly surprised. That might have been the fastest breakfast served on this island. If they hadn’t been hot and fresh, I would have thought they had been sitting there waiting for someone to order them.
We didn’t order coffee, but they have a full menu of coffee and espresso drinks.
The waitress was fun and friendly, with a nice smile and checked on us often enough, but not too much. We chatted about the new Star Wars movie (disappointing, but this isn’t a movie review so I’ll try to stay on track) before I paid the bill and we headed out.
If you have time, take a walk on the Ke Ala Hele Makalae path across the street afterwards.
The hostess at the front door sent us off with wave and another friendly smile.
Lunch features burgers, sandwiches and salads and lunch plates like the Kalua Pig Plate for $14.95.
At Kountry Kitchen, they keep it local. Products come from Makaweli Meat Company, Kealia Farms, Kilauea Farms, Kauai Roastery and Kauai Kim Chee.
If you far from home and looking for a piece of country while you’re on an island in the Pacific Ocean, stop by the Kountry Kitchen at 4-1485 Kuhio Highway. Hours are 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. You’ll feel like you’re part of the family when you walk in the door.