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The Great Kauai Pancake Debate

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A Fodorite (who will go unnamed) posted that the best banana/macadamia pancakes on the island were NOT Kountry Kitchen – but were to be found on the other side of Kapa’a at Ono Family Restaurant. I knew it was my duty to take the task of comparing upon myself. (It was a sacrifice, but somebody had to do it ;-) )

I went with a wee bit of trepidation—and great anticipation—to taste these amazing pancakes. (I admit, I whimpered a bit as I drove past the line of people outside Kountry Kitchen.)

Ono was crowded and the waitresses and hostess seemed overwhelmed and disorganized. I waited thirty minutes for one of the two outside tables—that had been empty the entire time I waited.

But who cares? I was about to have the best pancakes on the island.

I ordered the a short stack of the “tropical” pancakes—described as a banana/macadamia nut batter topped with sliced bananas and coconut.

What did I think? They were “good”—not amazing; not OMG; not I’ve got to tell my friends about this and go back again and again … And sadly, for my taste, not even in the same league as Kountry Kitchen.

They were a different approach—and different people like different flavors and textures; some like vanilla—some prefer chocolate; some will vote for Romney—and some for Obama; and some people simply have no taste at all! ;-).

The massive Kountry Kitchen banana w/added mac pancakes are impossibly light, and the batter is redolent with bananas and macadamias. At times, I have thought they were among the best things that have ever been in my mouth!

The Ono Family Restaurant pancakes are 60% the size of KK’s (but that doesn’t matter because I ordered two, instead of one) and are chewier; heavier; more textured. The coconut was a nice touch. But I didn’t detect any bananas in the batter—and there was a mere smattering of macadamia nuts; not even half of what was included in the KK version.

For me, there’s no contest. Not even close. KK wins hands down.

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