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L&L Hawaiian Barbecue (Ocean View, Hawaii)

On our second to last day on the Big Island, we got up early and drove out to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park to see Kilaulea and hike along the shore. The road back to Kailua-Kona from Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is a long drive (it’s over 90 miles, putting the ‘Big’ into ‘Big Island’), and we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss dinner. There’s actually not that many places to stop along the route, but the mainstay of local Hawaiian Cuisine was there for us: a location of L&L Hawaiian Barbecue in Ocean View.

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Zippy’s (Kaneohe, HI)

If there’s a single place that really represents what “Hawaiian Food” is, the first place probably has to go to Zippy’s (their competitor L&L Drive Inn comes in at a close second). Zippy’s is a combination fast food and casual restaurant (literally, since most Zippy’s have both the fast food counter and a table service dining room) that started in Honolulu in 1966. Filling nominally the same sort of market niche that Denny’s does on the mainland, the key to Zippy’s is that just about every local Hawaiian food item I’ve talked about is on their menu in one form or another. Spam musubi? Check. Plate lunch? Check. Saimin? Check (both fried and as soup). Teriyaki burger? Check. Portuguese sausage? Check. Shrimp plate? Check. About the only thing I didn’t see on their menu was a malasada. So their motto is “All your favorites”, and at least with Hawaiian food, I think they’ve got that covered. So, on our last morning on Oahu, it was finally time for me to make some time for a stop in at Zippy’s, ducking into their Kaneohe location right by the Windward Mall.

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