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“Lunch at the Lighthouse: What a riot!”
Review of Lighthouse Delicatessen - CLOSED

Lighthouse Delicatessen
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: Delicatessen
Dining options: Breakfast, Outdoor Seating
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Outdoor Seating
Reviewed January 29, 2013

We cruised into the Lighthouse Delicatessen after learning the hard way that their competitor 100 yards down the street was closed on Mondays. The well-publicized ice cream place across the street had a long line, so we went to Lighthouse for a sit-down lunch.

The restaurant-and-bar was crowded almost to the point of pandemonium. We grabbed two seats at the bar the very moment two patrons departed. Jess-the-fabulous-female-bartender immediately solicited our drink orders and gave us menus. How she did this with eight other customers shouting for attention I will never know.

The people-watching was, of course, intense with the density of folks so high. I asked Jess the wonderwoman if this was common. "Heck, she says, usually it's just tumbleweeds blowing down the middle of main street." We both ordered BBQ pork sandwiches (I with macaroni salad, my buddy with the cucumber salad). I swilled Cokes (with lemon! yum!) while he quaffed Fire Rock Pale Ale (or whatever they call it). Jess-the-whirlwind kept my glass full (with replacement lemons, too!) at all times.

Of course, the kitchen was busy, but the large-portioned sandwiches arrived in good time. Their aroma promised a treat, and we were not disappointed (even our seatmates wanted one after they saw ours). Nice bread for the sandwich piled with perhaps three inches of sliced pork and a delectable sauce made for a fabulous lunch.

Over the course of an hour, the place calmed down to a reasonable number of patrons (just all the tables and bar seats full). We paid our bill and moved on to the end of the road to see the beach.

The experience at the Lighthouse was exhilerating and fun (in addition to sating our appetite and slaking our thirst).

Prices were middle-of-the-road for Hawaii meals (about 2x the cost of meals in Colorado). Jess was poetry to watch as she juggled orders, tabs, and tended bar with her capable assistant. I really enjoyed myself.

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1  Thank Rob K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (88)
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19 - 23 of 88 reviews

Reviewed January 29, 2013

VERY tasty & fresh sandwiches combined with a fantastic beer selection plus extraordinary service made this a favorite stop on or visit. Would strongly recommend coming here for a quick bite for lunch when in Hawi.

Thank absolutangel21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2013

It is a cute place, too new to have an atmosphere but is nice. The ingredients are great quality, very surprised the sandwich had no chips or even a pickle to accompany it. For a $14 lunch it's the least. Other than that, apart from the guy who took the order (who didn't seem to enjoy his job at all) the other people were nice. If you drive to Kapaʻau there is a wonderful lunch place where you can spend the same of even less money for better food. Is call Gill's Lanai and you will be so much happier you went there, the atmosphere and specially the customer service has more Aloha than this cold lighthouse.

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Thank AGP8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2013

We stopped at the Lighthouse Deli after ziplining nearby at Big Island Eco Adventures (a must-do by the way). We were hungry and used Yelp to find the restaurant in Hawi. It is located in the main part of town (on the coast side of the street), and parking was found in the back (street-side was packed).

The restaurant was quite busy, but there were a couple of tables open. As you come in, you order at the main glass counter, but you can order at the bar as well - which serves beer and other drinks. You pick up a menu and pick from the selection of pre-designed sandwiches - or you can order something of your own design too.

If you are looking for personalized service, don't bother coming here. Everyone was pleasant and helpful when asked, but you won't find waiters or waitresses waiting on your every need. Service was quick and efficient, but all our meals didn't come at the same time. Personally, this was OK by me. The gap between meals was about 2-3 minutes, nothing major.

We ordered a couple of pretzels (highly recommended on Yelp!), meatballs and bread, a meatball sub, the Italian, and a turkey/cranberry sandwich. All were extremely fresh, very hearty portions, and very tasty.

In particular, the pretzels were hot, had a nice buttery crust, and very soft and hot inside. Really yummy. The tomato sauce on the meatballs were not too spicy, and very flavorful. All sandwiches were generously sized, hot, and had great flavor too.

Our meal, including bottled drinks and water, came to just about $60 for the four of us. I would say normally this is expensive, but honestly you are a bit stuck in the middle of nowhere AND in Hawaii, so I didn't think it was ridiculous at all.

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Thank ioj27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2012 via mobile

Visited this deli on Xmas Eve. On this day (and likely on all other days) food orders are placed at the bar with the bartender. No waitpersons at the tables. My wife placed an order for a turkey sandwich for herself and a meatball sandwich for me. 15 minutes passed and we started seeing tables being served who were in the order line with my wife. 30 minutes passed and we started seeing tables served for people behind my wife in the order line and even some new people. At first we thought service was slow because of the holiday or because of my meatball sandwich. At 40 minutes I walked back to the small kitchen and asked how our order was doing. Instead of responding with a request regarding our order, the chef just groused at me indicating he was doing the best he could do with a 275 square foot kitchen. At the 45 minute mark the bartender finally came to our table and confirmed our order, indicated that she neglected to deliver our order to the kitchen, and promised our order would be prepared quickly. My wife was ready to skip lunch, but I was hungry so we waited. At the 1 hour mark our order was served, first me, then my wife's order 10 minutes later (they actually served me the meatball sandwich ordered at another table. Both sandwiches were good. When my wife went to the bar to pay for our meal, the bartender apologized, indicated that she was in training, and comp'd the entire meal including drinks. That certainly took the sting out of the long wait. We might try the Lighthouse again on a future trip. They did the right thing under the circumstances.

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Thank Arnon G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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