Tag Archives: Tiki

The Garden Cafe at The Tiki Resort (Lake George, NY)

Our annual trips to Ohana Luau By The Lake (“The Best Little Event in Tiki”), have us doing most of our activities at The Tiki Resort. Like much of Lake George, while it’s definitely a bit rough around the edges at times, it’s more than a bit of a Mid-century Americana Time Capsule: a mostly intact Tiki-themed resort, with Tiki-themed bar, a nice pool deck, and even (during high season) a Polynesian stage show. It’s also got it’s own breakfast restaurant, the Garden Cafe, located just off the lobby.

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Tiki Underground (Hudson, OH)

Our vacation in Minnesota and Michigan involved crossing New York, Eric County Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin en route. To break up the drive, after having a late lunch at Schwabl’s in Buffalo (an Offbeat Eats favorite), we pushed on to northern Ohio. On most trips where we take the US route, we’d stop in the Cleveland area, but this time we decided to take a slightly more southern route through Ohio, stopping for the night in Stow, Ohio. Why? So we could finally check out Tiki Underground in nearby Hudson, OH.

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Kowloon (Saugus, MA)

In the post-war Era, literally thousands of “Polynesian” and “Tiki”-themed restaurants showed up around the US, peddling a mostly even mix of Polynesian, Maori, Asian, Pacific Island, and Escapism. Providing a spot where you could get away and sip any one of a number of Tiki or tropical drinks, nosh at a pu pu platter, and, for the larger establishments, maybe even catch a floor show. Sure, if one is looking for “authentic” food (Chinese, Polynesian, Japanese, or otherwise), this isn’t your place, but like I said in last year’s House of Wu, these sorts of places still have a valuable niche in American cuisine, with somewhat equal parts sentimentalism, nostalgia, preservation, adaptation, and, admittedly, bastardization. Once plentiful, changing American tastes, a wider variety of competing cuisines, changing local economies, and different challenges of running a huge restaurant have taken their toll, and many of these 1950s and 1960s places have faced the wrecking ball (including the recent 2018 closings of both Chicopee’s Hu Ke Lau and Lynnfield’s Bali Hai, both former Tiki icons). Despite the trend, Kowloon, in Saugus MA, still hangs on (and heck, it’s one of New England’s highest volume restaurants).

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