He’eia Pier General Store & Deli

by REID on September 12, 2011 · 7 comments

Like many people, I can be a creature of habit. Once I find something I like, I stick with it. And since I rarely go out to eat these days, the list of tried and true favorites is short and sweet. It took me a while, but I finally have a new place to add to the list. Believe it or not, in just a few months’ time, it has a secured a spot near the very top. A new place, a fast favorite. There, I said it.

Located on the water’s edge, He’eia Pier General Store & Deli seems like an unlikely venue for an upscale, gourmet plate lunch. Away from town and seemingly in the middle of nowhere, when viewed from a distance, the tiny shack looks a bit worn and weathered. Peek inside the kitchen and you will see the chef and the rest of the staff hard at work. Moments of seriousness are punctuated with bursts of frenetic energy, this is where all the deliciousness comes from.

He'eia Pier General Store & Deli 1

Open since the middle of May, He’eia Pier has brought a unique, and welcome, spin to the ubiquitous plate lunch. Here macaroni salad is made substantial with the addition of cubes of locally grown kalo (taro), while barbecue chicken is given a greater depth of flavor with a bright and slightly sweet guava marinade and glaze. Want brown rice? Check. What about tossed salad? Make that local organic greens from MA`O Organic Farms.

Guava Chicken, Kalo Mac Salad
Guava chicken, kalo mac salad

The beef used here is sourced from Kuahiwi Ranch located in Ka’u on the island of Hawaii. Topped with housemade thousand island dressing, the burger is flavorful, juicy and satisfying. If you’re daring enough, try the “Cheekeater”. It’s not on the menu, but it’s a burger that’s topped with three different “proteins” — usually Spam, Portuguese sausage and bacon — along with an over-easy egg. It’s sinful and addicting. You won’t have another burger like it. Trust me.

The Cheekeater, Kalo Mac Salad
“The Cheekeater”, kalo mac salad

If there is fish on the menu, you can be sure that it was caught in the waters surrounding the pier. O’io is made into fishcake and is served up on a bun or in a bowl, loco moco-style; ahi is mixed into poke and heaped atop a bowl of rice; aku is lightly seared and coated in teriyaki sauce before being tossed with sprigs of purslane; while mahi mahi is pan-roasted and garnished with a fresh cherry tomato salsa. The preparations are varied and unique. The flavors are a quiet marriage of the familiar with a twist of something new and often, unexpected.

Mahimahi, Ho Farms Salsa, Kalo Mac Salad
Pan-roasted mahimahi, Ho Farms “salsa”, kalo mac salad

If you find yourself on the Windward side of the island, do yourself a favor and make it a point to stop at He’eia Pier General Store & Deli. Tasty, honest food prepared with a whole lot of heart is what you’ll find here. Fresh ingredients, interesting preparations and service with aloha are reasons that will keep you coming back.

He’eia Pier General Store & Deli
46-499 Kamehameha Highway
Telephone: 808.235.2192

website


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

kat September 12, 2011 at 11:34 PM

we got to try this place while I was home, I like it too :)

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cocopuff1212 September 13, 2011 at 7:38 AM

This place looks awesome. And you can get a shave ice for dessert! Seriously, I’d love to try that mac salad.

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Claudine September 13, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Yay! A new post! :) DD and I *must* make it to Hawaii, if only to make our way through your tasty recommendations. I know I want to try the Cheekeater. :D

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Ryan September 14, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Another place to check out (and I live in K-Town) though eagerly anticipating what Andrew/Martha have in store for round 2… Also hitting the Bay again… Poggio, Incanto, Seven Hills… Have you tried La Plancha yet?

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Kirk September 15, 2011 at 3:51 AM

Hey Reid – This place looks like a winna….love that burger!

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Amy September 27, 2011 at 5:15 AM

How does it compare to Pioneer Saloon? I only ate there once, but had a very good meal. It was a bit Japanese influenced, but the quality seemed very high. Also the same brown rice and green salad options.

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Cat October 24, 2011 at 10:27 PM

You DO go there a lot! I need to head back. You made the food look sooooooooooo good!

BTW, love the blog :)

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