A Gem of an Eatery

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Yesterday I spent a nice belated birthday lunch with longtime friend, Fran, at a new restaurant. ‘Ōhelo Café is a seven-week-old restaurant right next to the Volcano General Store in lovely Volcano Village. Located on the corner of Old Volcano Highway and Haunani Road, it is the former location of Kiawe Kitchen. If you’re as old as I am, you’ll remember Serf was there, too.
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For the ladies (and men) out there who enjoy wearing heels: Restaurant parking is a gravel pit so be careful. I would suggest a pair of flats or as my mother calls them, “reasonable shoes.” If you are there at night, be aware that it is very dark. I’m sure they will consider lighting in the future. There is a paved lot fronting the Café but it’s for patrons of the General Store only.

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Seating can be difficult during dinner service but lunch seemed wide open. There are only nine or ten small tables so I’d recommend making a reservation for either meal. There is limited seating at the bar facing the kitchen. It might be fun to sit there and watch Executive Chef Jonah work his magic while you dine on his delicious entrées. If it isn’t too cold or windy there are a few bar stools at a counter outside, which would be another nice area to dine. Fran and I sat inside where we thought it would be more comfortable.

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This was my third time at ‘Ōhelo Café but my first time for lunch. The menu is designed to make the patron feel at ease about ordering. Beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and salad are prepared simply with lots of flavor. They also serve a variety of beer on tap, wine, and specialty cocktails. Entrées are not the same for lunch as they are for dinner.

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My burger, cooked medium, was prepared with ground sirloin and short ribs. It was delicious even though the bun fell apart. (I recently read on Yelp that the bun does that.) I ordered it with greens instead of fries. I get crazy sometimes!

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Fran’s Chicken Salad Sandwich without bun looked delicious. She mentioned that the chicken was a tad overdone but the flavors were fine. Something refreshing like that could be a possibility for me to try in the future.

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Even though Fran is on her limited carbohydrate diet she shared a yummy piece of Strawberry Cheesecake with me because we were celebrating! It was lighter than most cheesecakes but the perfect size to complement our entrées. The fruit was cool and fresh.

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Normally, by the second time I eat at a restaurant I have decided on a favorite dish. The one menu item that I will forever order because I know I will always be pleased with my meal. Although I haven’t chosen that one special dish from here, yet, I know I will be back to try other menu items. 😉 xoxo Jenn

‘Ōhelo Café
19-4005 Haunani Road, Unit A
Volcano, HI 96785
(808) 339-7865

Hours: Lunch – 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Dinner – 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

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