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Two quick reviews from this past weekend:

Looper’s Grille & Bar in southside Bethlehem
We checked out the First Friday festivities in Bethlehem and the top item on the agenda was dinner. Looper’s on 3rd caught our eye with a huge white tent out back and a big specials board visible just inside the front door. We were disappointed to find out that there was a one hour wait but we spotted 2 seats at the bar and quickly grabbed them. I grabbed a Shock Top and my wife got the excellent house margarita. There were a half-dozen entrée specials which all sounded great. My wife ordered the fish tacos and I had the pulled pork tacos. The fish tacos were topped with purple cabbage slaw and came with chips and salsa. The pork tacos were topped with diced watermelon and had cornbread on the side. It was all great – and watermelon is my new favorite bbq pork accompaniment.

On The Border in the Airport Center shopping plaza off Rt.22
We were starving on our way back from a visit to the Lehigh Valley Mall and decided to try On The Border for a quick bite. The crowd was spilling out the door and my hopes for a speedy meal were dashed. Luckily most of the parties were 4 or larger and they had a table for 2 readily available. The menu wasn’t too different from Don Pablo’s or Chili’s and the quality was about the same as well. I had a combo platter of a pulled chicken taco, a pork tamale, and a guacamole tostada with rice and beans for only $9. Our server, Cory, was really on top of things so we were able to get in and out as quickly as I’d hoped. Nothing amazing but it worked for what we needed.

Far and away the best food value on Kaua’i was the stuff we got from roadside carts and stands. We had a couple nice dinners at higher end restaurants but they really weren’t that memorable. Really we had the most fun during the day, hitting beaches, sightseeing and building up our appetites. Our on-the-road meals simply became enmeshed with the rest of the amazing experiences we accumulated, and trying every roadside stand we came across became another “must do” before being exiled to the mainland.

In Hanalei Bay on the North Shore you’ll find Pat’s Taqueria. Their tacos and burritos are good enough to make the pages of Food & Wine and Time magazines.

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Along the South Shore, we stumbled upon this tent on our last day. Burritos to the left and sausages to the right. I’d just eaten a big plate of tacos but i still grabbed a spinach and garlic dog with mango salsa.

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The parking lot near Tunnels Beach gets a lot of traffic so it’s a good spot to set up a stand. Grabbed an organic banana bread with macadamia nuts from this friendly woman. The round gentleman behind us was selling coconuts (with straws inserted for drinking) out of the back of his pickup truck.

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We didn’t get all of our food out of strangers’ cars though. Tropical Taco in Hanalei was a favorite (and we aways knew where it was parked). We hit it right after a 7-hour hike on the Na Pali coast. Glorious.

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And one of the few bright spots on the South Shore were the shrimp tacos at the Shrimp Station. Seriously, the South Shore is a desert. Spicy shrimp weren’t exactly at the top of my wishlist in that climate, but they were damn tasty.

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