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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
PARKER RANCH GRILL
This is cowboy country on the Big Island of Hawaii. You're about 2,500 feet up in the mist. It is decidedly cooler than the beach level.
After touring Waimea Canyon on Kauai (incredible place) we found ourselves passing through Waimea (the town) on the Big Island and had an itch for vittles. However it was 3 o'clock in the afternoon. We knew that the Parker Ranch was one of the biggest ranches in the area and when we saw a restaurant by their name and it looked great from the outside, we decided to give it a try. I sent my wife in to see if it was open and they were between lunch and dinner and only the bar was open. But she said it looked excellent including a huge open hearth with roaring real wood fire.
A few days later we would up in Waimea again and this time right at the lunch hour and decided to try the place.
The entranceway is impressive. But on this day there was no roaring fire. In fact we were only one of of two other tables that were occupied.
I had saved up a healthy appetite for this place conjuring up an image in my mind of a nice, thick steak. After all, this place was surely connected to the ranch by the same name.
I knew there was trouble when the waitress arrived at the table. To use an old, outdated but appropriate term, she was a real space cadet. Weird, closely tucked hair with a slow processor upstairs, if you get my drift.
My wife ordered a plain hamburger. I ordered the biggest steak on the menu, an 8 ounce New York strip. I asked if I could have a Caesar instead of the house salad with my lunch Ms. Moon Earth Beam replied: "Well Sir, that normally comes with a small house salad, yes, it usually comes with a small salad, our house salad." I couldn't take it anymore, stopped her before she could say "small salad" one more time and ordered the -- small salad!!!!
When my steak came to the table I was shocked. It was NO MORE than a quarter inch thick and couldn't have weighed more than four ounces, in my opinion. On the other hand, Cindy's hamburger was HUGE, probably 8 ounces, and was juicy and terrific. My steak was rare but so thin that it had no taste whatsoever.
A short time after I started nibbling at the steak our Ms. Moon Earth Beam dropped by the table and said, and I'm not kidding: "So Sir, how is that SMALL HOUSE SALAD?" Cindy and I just looked at each other in amazement.
There are hits and misses in the restaurant world. On the basis of our one visit, this place is a definite miss!
This restaurant is located at 67-1185 Mamalahoa Highway in Waimea. Their phone number is (808) 887-2624.
And -- enjoy your small house salad !!!
Restaurant of the Week
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