Pine Tree Cafe Restaurant Review… lunch

pine tree cafe3

Today we are at Pine Tree Cafe on the corner of Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway and Hulikoa Drive Road at the north end of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. We have heard great things about this joint from the locals. Upon walking in the door the smells hitting us are wonderful, like better quality and freshly prepared ingredients. Somedays that is a big plus. The time is just before 11am and this place is very busy with an eclectic rainbow of people. Having a cross cultural draw is usually a good sign. This joint has a good vibe.

We ordered the hot pastrami sandwich and the Reuben sandwich. With a tossed salad and tuna macaroni salad. Both came with thick french fries. The wait seems long, but it is lunch time so we expect this. At first bite the fries are good. The Mac salad is uninspired. The pastrami sandwich is good, but not amazing. The reuben sandwich is WOW!!!  I offer to trade my pastrami for Leise’s Reuben. She laughs and says, “No way.” The Reuben still had good fat on the meat. This just made the flavor superb as the sandwich melts in your mouth. As I settle into my pastrami I notice the subtleties of the sautéed onions and mushrooms. I am intent on enjoying my sandwich and try to forget the Rueben.

With the somewhat loud pop music and the reflecting room acoustics, the ambience has a high school cafeteria feel but the vibe is different from Genki Sushi and thus it’s tolerable. For ambience I give Pine Tree Cafe 2.5 out of 5 surfboards. For food quality I give 3.5 out of 5 surfboards. For service I give 4 out of 5 surfboards. Overall I give it a 3 surfboards. The best things this place has going for it is the convenience and the reputation among the locals. Because the Reuben was so fantastic we will be back.

Mahalo,  James Christopher

RuebenThe Rueben (first photo)

hot pastrami

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