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Looking for a good steak

Newberg, Oregon
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Looking for a good steak

We're coming to Kailua-Kona in a few months and will be celebrating a birthday for one of our group of four. She (and the rest of us) would love a good steak dinner -- view would be nice, but it's not a deal-breaker. Don't want Outback or some other chain that we can go to on the mainland. Early choices include Jackie Rey's, Huggo's and Don the Beachcomber. (Our friends would not go for La Bourgogne, unfortunately). Any strong recommendations for or against any of those? Or do you have another suggestion that would blow them away?

We've got time, but I enjoy reading menus and building the anticipation. Thanks for any help!

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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1. Re: Looking for a good steak

Hualalai Grille is now a steakhouse. Shea told me it was good for steak and burgers -- I hope she will comment on it.

Website page:

hualalairesort.com/index.cfm/…536

haines, alaska
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2. Re: Looking for a good steak

Or you might want a great steak that is locally grown on the Big Island.....We got a couple of really wonderful steaks in a small grocery store and barbecued them ourselves........I would think that could contribute to a special occasion...........

For a lot less than what you would spend in a restaurant you could get a real "blow out" dinner, local salad veggies, flowers and a birthday cake !!

washington
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3. Re: Looking for a good steak

Our last night on island is always at the Kona Inn...Hubbie LOVES the steak.

Island of Hawaii...
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4. Re: Looking for a good steak

I should mention that the Hualalai Grille uses best of Big Island Ranchers steak.

I ahould also mention that grass fed beef is not necessarily what people love, because good as it sounds, it is tougher than beef that is finished on grains (or whatever the special term is for that).

I would only eat at Kona Inn again with a view table, but YMMV. Ate there quite a lot when we first came here, but thought it overpriced when we tried it at night with no view. It has been some years though, and we ordered fish, so no opinion on the steak, just the ambience.

Big Island, Hawaii
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5. Re: Looking for a good steak

Hualalai Grille has great steak, including local options. Holuakoa Gardens in Holualoa had an amazing local bone in ribeye when I was there the last two times, not sure if it's always on the menu. I love their food, but bring your own wine, their wine list is lacking. Service isn't great but the food makes up for it.

I find Jackie Rey's just ok and completely lacking in ambiance. Best for fish, which it does well. A very big no from me for Don the Beachcombers, Kona Inn and Huggos. IMO, those are overpriced tourist traps with ordinary to bad food, and no commitment to local food and produce (Huggos tries, sorta), but nice ocean views.

Edited: 11:07 pm, September 17, 2012
washington
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for Maui
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6. Re: Looking for a good steak

As usual on here...we are by no means "foodies" just know what has worked for us for years and why we enjoy it every year...again and again.

Big Island, Hawaii
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7. Re: Looking for a good steak

Well, various definitions of "Foodie" I've found include "a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink)" and from Wikipedia "the term Foodie is now considered the term for food exploration and enjoyment".

I guess I'm happy to embrace that label. :-)

Island of Hawaii...
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8. Re: Looking for a good steak

That is interesting, Shea, that "foodie" is synonymous for exploring new tastes.

I can see the appeal of a tradition on vacation, and hope that each and every visitor goes home with a "special place" to which they wish to return.

OTOH, sometimes the sentiment attached to a place makes it seem more special to a repeat visitor than it might be to a first-timer.

My definition of a "tourist trap" to be avoided is not that the restaurant is full of tourists, as there's nothing wrong with that. It's a place that gets so much traffic due to its location (and sometimes unwarranted buzz) that it doesn't need to be very good to do constant capacity business.

They don't need your repeat business, because a new flock will be in tomorrow. A business that caters to residents needs to do something right to stay in business, because it must get the repeat business.

The restaurants on Ali'i Drive pull people in by location alone, and they aren't necessarily good. Residents tend to avoid this area, or at least I did when I used to go to Kona a lot.

btw, Ruth Chris is indeed a chain, and it doesn't have a view, but supposedly they do fine steak. Roy's at Waikoloa Beach is another place to consider for good food, but it is notoriously loud, so probably not for the birthday.

Yes, I do realize that none of these are in town. I think you need to leave town to get something special. Four Seasons is the closest going north. Holuakoa is up above town.

Edited: 3:10 am, September 18, 2012
washington
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9. Re: Looking for a good steak

Well many of us have no need to "leave town" for a very enjoyable meal... they have been special to us for many years.

Newberg, Oregon
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10. Re: Looking for a good steak

Interesting discussion about foodies (I consider myself one, by the way as dining at great restaurants is an essential part of my vacations -- good wine lists are important, too). The grille at the Four Seasons resort sounds promising, especially with Evening Land pinot noir by the glass, but unfortunately the friends whose birthday we're celebrating does not want to drive beyond the airport. Actually, any place not within 10 minutes of our Worldmark resort probably is off the list.

I agree Ruth Chris does a decent steak, but we have those here in Oregon -- we've eaten in RC's in other locations and the experience is always pretty much the same. I appreciate consistency, but I generally like to try new places when I travel. To me RC prices are fine -- friends think they're a bit high, so that's the dilemma.

I'm giving them a list of nearby restaurants that will provide a reasonably good steak for the money and will let them make the final decision. Mrs. OJ and I are staying four additional nights and will look at some of the farther-out suggestions for our own dinners later.)

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