While living on Molokai, Bobby and Diane Nakihei couldn’t throw a stone without hitting a plate-lunch special. The classic Hawaiian dish—two scoops of rice, one scoop of macaroni salad, and an entree—is served at practically every fast-food restaurant and food wagon across the island. When the couple moved from Hawaii to the Pacific Northwest, they began to long for the once-ubiquitous island cuisine. So Bobby traded the stuffy shirt and tie of a bookkeeping career for the patterned, button-down shirts of his homeland and opened Bobby's Hawaiian Style Restaurant, drawing transplanted islanders and locals alike to his plate-lunch specials, which often come wrapped in taro leaves and seaweed.
His cuisine earned the restaurant a spot on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and praise from Scott Gorman of the Herald, who extols it as “prepared and presented with a good deal of authenticity and style.” Revered dishes include Kahlua pig, which Chef Bobby cures with hawaiian sea salt, covers in banana leaves, and roasts for eight hours. The meticulous preparation extends to the rest of the menu, which spotlights the leaf-steamed pork of laulau and the sushi-esque spam musubi. In addition to the cuisine, owners Bobby and Diane showcase Hawaiian culture by offering hula lessons, presenting live Hawaiian music and recycling diners' lawn clippings into grass skirts.
Blue Heart Art's passionate staffers hand-select every locally created treasure that they stock, which includes photo-enhancing picture frames ($5.99–$15) and fruit-themed towels, ideal for making soaps salivate and subsequently lather themselves ($6.99–$7.99). Like early morning office hours and turtle races, viewing the shop's art and home furnishings may be enhanced by the consumption of coffee. Blue Heart Art's on-site coffee lounge brews fair-trade, Seattle-roasted beans, and head barista Jordan crafts creative potables such as the smooth and sweet raspberry truffle latte ($3.95 for 16 oz.). The café's warm, lounge-like décor—replete with a couch and club chairs—encourages patrons to relax and hug throw pillows.
At The Majestic Caf?, everything is homemade?even the ketchup. Proudly sticking to classics?with a few contemporary twists?it's been lauded by Open Table diners as a "neighborhood gem." The chefs work with small, local purveyors to source super-fresh ingredients that compose each dish. Menus unfold to reveal starters of crispy shoe-string fries drizzled with tangy, housemade gorgonzola sauce, and Majestic white bean and butternut squash hummus with toasted crostini. The signature french dip sandwich, lined with house-seasoned and roasted beef and shredded lyrics to "Da Dip," shares the spotlight with new york strip steak, fish and chips, and St. Louis ribs. Weekend brunch is offered to those who need their morning fix of huevos rancheros, spinach florentine scramble, or the Northwest benedict with housemade crab and bay shrimp cakes, all of which can be paired with bloody marys, screwdrivers, and greyhounds.
The Winchester Pub & Eatery’s resident chefs channel the culinary traditions of English and Irish pubs to craft a menu that merges gastronomic ritual with contemporary flair. Commence noshing with an appetizer of cracked wings; coated in the Winchester’s signature sweet orange-bourbon glaze, the wings traverse tongues with a sense of culinary adventure that surpasses Magellan’s most daring forays into Vietnamese cooking. Bolstered by homemade mashed potatoes and brown gravy, entree plates of bangers and mash put a hurt on pesky hunger pangs, and homemade meatloaf sticks to ribs with a nostalgic embrace. Throngs of beverages—including microbrews, specialty cocktails, and Thomas Kemper root beer—wait in the wings to quench parched palates or spontaneously combusting napkins.
Silver Cup Coffee boasts a coffee menu that rivals the wine lists found at many gourmet restaurants. And just like those wine lists, the fair trade and organic coffees here have been carefully curated by a team of experts to ensure only the best beans make it to customers' homes. The green coffee beans?which are sourced via Atlas Coffee Importers as well as through direct-trade relationships at origin?are roasted exclusively on-site, then bagged and shipped to the customer that very day. For those that can't wait that long, Silver Cup also has a caf? where baristas serve hot coffee, frothy cappuccinos, and frosty iced drinks, alongside wine and beer, pastries, and sandwiches. There, diners can savor their ethically-sourced sips snacks on a sunny patio or inside, where a laptop bar and comfy chairs encourage well-researched pillow fort construction.
Crusty Tasty Bistro's artisanal bakers and sandwich constructors craft a menu of Hungarian-American fusion fare and fresh baked goods. Steamy Hungarian goulash ($7.99) dazzles palates with a spicy paprika swirl, and fried dough sings under a shower of sour cream and garlic ($3). Sandwiches ($7.29) swaddle a variety of hearty, just-cut meats, and are available au naturel or grilled, and pastries ($1.39–$3.50), such as linzers, burst with sweet almonds and fruit. Bread loaves ($3.60), ranging from pumpernickel to challah to sandwich rolls, donate a just-baked smell to the atmosphere, giving noses a glimpse of the old country without the inconvenience of attending Renaissance fairs or ceasing to pay the electric bill.