I do prefer a pre-dawn run to see the lava. Beside the many advantages of a morning run, there is a problem. After hiking, boating, or biking all morning you are hungry, and there are not many places available to eat in Puna that are open for breakfast.
Our usual solution is to drive all the way back into Hilo and have breakfast at Ken’s House of Pancakes. But this takes a fairly long drive, and we are hungry now! Fortunately our tour guide last time out, Andrew of Kalapana Cultural Tours offered another solution. He suggested we try Pele’s Kitchen in Pahoa. Hmmm? Recommended and only fifteen minutes away. Why not?
Pele’s Kitchen is located directly in the middle of Pahoa, along Old Government Road. You need to turn into town from the bypass to find the business district. Parking is found along the main street, not usually much of a problem first thing in the morning.
While Andrew had recommended the mango blintzes I was not feeling like something quite so sweet, ordering a breakfast burrito instead. Just as well as they had sold all of the blintzes for the morning. Also available was a selection of vegan and vegetarian offereings, no surprise in Puna.
The burrito was great, filled with eggs, a couple different types of sausage, and seasoned rice. Deb had the apple french toast, also excellent. Each breakfast was served with a side garnish of fresh tropical fruit. The meals were satisfyingly filling and ran up a tab of about $30 for the two of us.
It seems completely appropriate to eat at a place called Pele’s Kitchen after spending the morning out on the lava flows. It should not have been a surprise that there were other folks eating with us that had been out to the lava. Given the convenience of the location and the quality of the food I may just have to stop here the next time I am returning from visiting Pele in the morning
As it is my father’s favorite place to eat in Juneau, I expect to be having dinner at The Hanger this evening. Our usual stop after a day of checking the boat and shopping for supplies. It is just a few hops down the waterfront from the harbor where the Nordic Quest is docked, a great place to grab a bite after a busy day.
The Hanger really is built in a hanger, a seaplane hanger that once serviced the aircraft of Alaska Coastal Airlines from the 1940’s on. Coastal Airways was purchased by Alaska Airlines in 1968. The planes of Wings of Alaska use the dock below the old hanger as the starting point for their ice field scenic flights. Today the building looks out on the busy harbor in front of downtown Juneau. While just down the waterfront the huge steel walls of the cruise ships block most of the view, here it is unobstructed.
A long area with windows onto the harbor greet you after entering. About half the space is a regular dining area, with the other half set up in a bar format. You can choose to dine on an outside deck overlooking the harbor in good weather. There is also a loft with a couple pool tables upstairs. The kitchen sits to one side of the dining area, you can wander over and see the dishes being prepared. This is where you second guess your order as you see what is sitting on the counter waiting to be served.
As one would expect, seafood dishes are the specialty of the house. There is a good selection of non-seafood as well if you prefer a steak or burger. This is not diet food, most dishes are rich and tasty. Expect it to be busy during the summer months, we ended up sitting in the bar area last time.
Dinner in Juneau is a chance to sit and relax a bit. We can plan any remaining details that must be accomplished before we break dock, or consider the weather and the first day or two of cruising. The details involved in getting the boat ready seem endless, but at this point most of the list has been completed. It is a chance to sit and converse about the voyage ahead, a glimpse forward to a week spent with family.