Water drips from a heron’s bill

I took this photo of an ‘Auku’u or Black-Crowned Night-Heron (nycticorax nycticorax hoactli) at sunrise in the Anchialine Pools at Waikoloa Beach, Big Island, Hawaii

Ironman triathlon contestants battle it out over the grueling heat of the lava fields in Waikoloa Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii.

We are at Solimene’s Restaurant today for lunch. I have been looking forward to trying this place for a while. I have heard good things about it. On first impression, the place is small and intimate, there is only seating for roughly 50 people. Their menu consists of, you guessed it, pizza, pasta, and panini. I started with the coffee. It’s good coffee.  I don’t have to add sugar. This is always one of my criteria for telling if it has good flavor, in this coffee mecca called Hawaii. Leise ordered the root beer float. She likes it except for the cheap plastic glass in which it is served.

I am hungry so everything is looking good, upon recommendation I ordered the“Pasta Rustica: Sweet Sicilian sausage tops this chunky tomato sauce chock full of peppers, mushrooms and onions. Served over rigatoni.”  The smells coming from the kitchen are amazing. Scents of rosemary, chicken and garlic grilling and so much more. As I take my first bite I feel my body relax with the knowledge we made a good restaurant choice today. The sauce is tasty. The pasta is just a little al dente.  I don’t usually  like al dente because, to me, it is too chewy. This is just the perfect amount. I now understand pasta done right. Next, I move on to the Sicilian sausage. OMG!!! It is delicious. Lots of zesty spice. I tell Leise I could sit here all day and eat this sausage. Wow is this good!!

As I look up and around to the world outside the restaurant I have a new vision of the world. This new vision includes a restaurant which I will return to again and again.

Leise had ordered the Solimene’s House Salad, which consists of arugula, slivered pears, candied walnuts, gorgonzola, raspberry vinaigrette and grilled shrimp… She loved it!

I definitely give the place 4.5 stars for food, 4 star for ambience.

Aloha,  James Christopher



On a beautiful September day after snorkeling in Anaeho’omalu Bay, Waikoloa, Hawaii, my wife and I chose to have lunch at Hilton’s poolside Lagoon Grill. We started with drinks. She had water with a lemon wedge. I had lemonade. Both were wonderful. I enjoyed the lemonade so much I ordered a 2nd glass before our lunch order arrived. For lunch, Leise, had the Catch-of-the-Day, Mahi-Mahi, burger and I had the Cheeseburger Special with Onion Rings. I ordered my burger with cheddar cheese then added applewood bacon and Hamakua mushrooms. The Hamakua coast is the north east coast of Hawai’i on the windward side (the wet side) of the island.

Leise said the Mahi-Mahi burger needed some salt. With no salt on the table, she chose to use catsup. She said it turned the tartar sauce on the burger into a thousand island sauce and it helped. It was dry at first but once the juices mixed together it was nice.

I loved my bacon, mushroom, cheddar burger. It was cokked to medium rare, just the way I like it. The mushrooms were divine. I will seek them out at other restaurants in the future. The bacon was tasty and added the perfect mouth watering amount of salt which I enjoyed tremendously. Finally the onion rings were my favorite type. They were crispy, but not too crispy. They were so flavorful that they required no sauces of any kind.

Whether you choose to sit and watch the dolphins swimming while you eat or you look over the lagoon and 20 foot waterfall, enjoying the fish, eels, and sea turtles (honu) swimming below, you will always have a great experience at Hilton’s Lagoon Pool restaurant. With great service, good food, and great scenery we give it 4 stars.

James Christopher



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