Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hale'iwa, Turtle Bay, and Shave Ice Taste Test

The 3rd Engineers built Schofield's Kole Kole Pass in 1937.

Aloha!  I am feeling great ... so I asked my family to take me out on Saturday!   We ventured to the North Shore, first stopping at Schofield Barracks for gas.  Schofield is a historic Army camp located in the middle of the island - it sits at the foot of the Wai'anae Mountain Range.  It is absolutely gorgeous!

Hale'iwa is Hawaii's Surf Capital.

We continued north to Hale'iwa - Hale is home and iwa is a bird.   Hale'iwa previously hosted a missionary school patronized by Queen Lili'uokalani.   Now it is home of the winter surf season.   We ate lunch at Cholo's Mexican Restaurant - a popular eatery with both kama'aina (residents) and malihini (tourists).   After lunch, we drove over to Turtle Beach - a cove along the North Shore where the Hawaiian sea turtles congregate.   It is illegal to touch the sea turtles but families still frequent the beach to swim with the turtles or admire the turtles when they beach themselves for a few hours in the sun.  Today, the turtles were snorkeling ....

Hawaiian Sea Turtle "snorkeling" at Turtle Beach!

We drove back to Hale'iwa for our primary mission - taste test the shave ice from Aoki's versus  Matsumoto's.

Shave ice is a island treat enjoyed by kama'aina and malihini.  You can eat it three ways:

- plain:  shave ice plus flavoring
- shave ice atop of ice cream
- azuka beans atop of the shave ice
(or all three)

We opted for plain as shave ice is refreshing on its own.

David at Aoki's.

Aoki's is a general store that has served shave ice since 1981.  It is probably the favorite for kama'aina as it has easier parking and less lines.   Aoki's shave ice is 25 cents more than Matsumoto's but they serve it with a plastic spoon (Matsumoto's serves its shave ice with a flat wooden spoon).

Hubby and Andrew in line at Matsumoto's.

Matsumoto's is also a general store that has been open for business since 1951.  President Obama has taken his daughters to Matsumoto's ... and the tourists have followed.  Thus, the lines are longer and parking is difficult.

Too many choices ...

My children ordered  plain with cherry, vanilla, and sour apple from both stores.  Hubby and I ordered plain with cherry and lime from both stores.  After careful consideration, we all agreed that Matsamoto's flavorings were stronger in the "ice".  Once both ices melted into the cups, it was negligible which tasted better.   We preferred Aoki's plastic spoon to Matsamoto's wooden spoon.  I prefered Aoki's shorter line but hubby said it was worth the wait at Matsamoto's.

Taste testing shave ice.

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into the North Shore!  I am giving away a North Shore souvenir to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about a local delicacy in your neighborhood.

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 3, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winners on Sunday, September 4.


Kim in Hawaii

I didn't see any coconuts in the tree.


  1. Kim, I am glad that you are feeling well enough to go out! That is good news! I really miss Hawaii. Our favorite snorkeling spot, Shark's Cove, is on the north shore. It's also where the LOST beach is that was used for the TV show.
    As for shave ice, I like both places. I usually got ice cream with azuki beans and pineapple, melona and coconut flavored syrup. YUM! Here in Korea, I just learned that they have something similar to shave ice, but I haven't tried it yet. It's called patbingsu (pat are the beans and bingsu means ice flakes), and it's usually served with fruit. I can't wait to try it!
    Thank you for "taking" me to the North Shore.


  2. Italian Lemonade Ice and other different flavors!

  3. Hey Kim,
    glad you were out and about! For us around here, we have steamed cheeseburgers that are really tasty.

  4. Aloha Kim! I'm so glad you posted this, and I'm equally glad that you had a nice family day out:) I am a little jealous of you visiting Matsumotos! My husband was stationed in HI, he and the kids loved shaved ice, when I visited 12 years ago that was our first stop on the North Shore. We will be back next year, maybe we can link up. Here in the flatlands of the midwest we have a local cheeseburger joint called Green Gables, bikers ride from all over the state just to stop in! There's nothing to them, but pure meaty deliciousness. Be well. Kienna Riley

  5. Hi Kim,
    Glad to read you are feeling better and getting out and about a little bit. I loved the pictures of your family. Your kids are gorgeous.

    I have never had a shaved ice. The closest I've come to something like that are those snowball cones you can get from the ice cream truck that comes around during the summer here.

    I did find a really nice treat in my area last year. At this little hole in the wall Egyptian deli down the street from me, they have the best Baklava I've ever tasted in my life. And it was shaped in a cylinder instead of a square and he gives you a piece that's 6 inches long and 2 inches wide. omg it is so good.

  6. Your column brings back great memories. To you, it's shaved ice; to me, it's snowballs. I loved those treats so much as a kid in Louisiana, and still get them whenever I can! Mmmmmmmm...

    In my area now, treats would include margaritas and TexMex food!

  7. Man do I feel like the oddball. Hubby and kids like the shaved ice/snowcones but not me. There is a shop not that far from us that sells them.

    I always go without because they just don't appeal to me. We use to have a little machine to make our own snowcones. Kids love it but I rather have ice cream or something better.

  8. Aloha, Janet, Dani, Mary, and LSU! Thanks for your comments.

    Debby - can you give us a report from the East Coast?

    Raonaid - I'm with you. I'd rather have ice cream than shave ice!

  9. Yes, first thing I thought of was snowcones of old. They were served in paper cones and you never got through one without it leaking out the bottom lol. Sticky and I bet moms hated them because you were usually covered. Basically a different form of popsicle. I like gelato, a form of Italian ice. Other than that, we have a lot of pizza shops in our area.

    So glad you are out and about.


  10. The only delicacy in our area is the fresh fish and clam chowder.

    Have never had a shave ice.

  11. I love shaved ice and my favorite flavor is lilikoi. We're known for pizza.

  12. Glad your feeling better . OMG I love shaved Ice though I am sure it is not up to your Standers I mean we have a choice of Strawberry Blueberry Vanilla Orange Lime, So when I saw CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY I knew I would be in heaven YUM.
    There is no real treat for us unless it is Maple Syrup that comes in 3 light med or Dark DH like Dark I add it to baking Full strength Dark is not to my liking.
    Funny that you mention Turtles DH & I saw a Snapping Turtle yesterday in our Creek I know I would not want to swim with those They would bite off fingers toes Legs arms LOL. When we first moved here there were more of them use to come up to the garden and lay eggs we would count they days so we could see them hatch and head to the creek, Now there are too many houses.
    Have a good one.

  13. I've had a snowcone years ago, but not shaved ice - sounds like it would be wonderful on these triple digit days we've been having. I'm not sure this is a 'delicacy', but it's different and that is batter dipped and deep fried pickles. Don't know if it is a Southern or Texas thing.

    Really glad that you are feeling so good and able to go out & about. Great pictures of the family.

    Take care. I haven't heard from any of my friends in the path of Irene. I do have family in Albany, NY and they're trying to get rid of a lot of water, but okay.

  14. *wails* I miss Hawaii! And I loved Matsumoto's shave ice! Also, there was a great Thai restaurant there, very close to Matsumoto's, that I used to enjoy. I'm so, so jealous right now. :/

    Local delicacies in Alabama: barbecue. In fact, one town over from me, there's a World Champion pitmaster making award winning BBQ. People come far and wide to go to Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur, Alabama. Chris Lilly is the pitmaster - and he's won a LOT of trophies.

    He also has a cookbook:

    He's one of the best, but he's not the only one. You can't throw a rock without hitting some fantastic BBQ around here. Yum.

  15. Oh, forgot to say that you can regularly see Chris and Big Bob's featured on the Food Network. :)

  16. Third time might work. It keeps saying i"m not authorized to view this page lol. Kathy in Texas here Kim. I loved going to the North Shore but I never tried Sahve Ice because I figured it was the same thing as Sno Cones when I was kid. Hawaii was so much fun for me. My best friend and I would grab the kids and head out to see the island or do whatever we wanted. I loved living there and our favorite beach was at Waimea Bay. It was our regular spot. When waves were too high we'd head to the Hale Koa in Waikiki or over to Hanauma Bay too. Feeding peas to the fish in Hanauma Bay was fun. I am so happy to see you are recovering and sharing your family with us.I don't know of anything special here at Fort Hood to consider a treat. I do have a favorite Tex-Mex place in East Texas called the Ranch House. Their food is the best. I love their guacomole.

  17. I don't know if we have a LOCAL delicacy, but not far from here they grow all the apples, pears, citrus & stone fruits. Further north they grow all the tropical fruits. (QLD, AUSTRALIA) I love fruit, so I'm very happy. We get the best & freshest fruit, bar none.

  18. Graeters Ice Cream. The French Pot churned cream and chocolate chips the size of a person's thumb are to die for.

  19. In my former hometown we had a terrific ice cream parlor. This store is the only thing that I am missing from my former hometown

  20. Fine, torture those of us in the excruciating heat with visions of shave ice! My favorite local delicacy is crepes...I will drag my patient husband to many different restaurants in search of crepes. My dream is to one day taste them in Paris!


  21. My hubby was stationed at Schofield when he was in the Army. When we visited Hawaii in 2002, we went there and he showed me around the base.

    As for a delicacy in our area, I'd have to say mexican food. Since we are close to the border we have a lot of hole in the wall mexican food places that are really yummy. :)


  22. Have always wanted to visit Hawaii. I think the different islands would be cool to visit each one. I would love to swim on the beach and see the turtles. I love turtles. I would also love to see the rest of the ocean animals. I would also love to see the blue beaches. I would also love to learn how to hula. This is a new author for me and would love to win and read her books. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win and read the book.

  23. Ah, I miss shaved ice! Sure, there's that here, too, but it's not the same since this is not Hawaii!

    Still, all the fresh fruits and veggies that are available at the farmers market this time of year almost make up for it. Almost.

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  25. Something unique that we have here is... JapaDogs! They're a fusion of hotdogs with Japanese flavourings (such as teriyaki) or just more simply known as Japanese style hotdogs and they're delicious!

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