Talking Story – Food Adventures Hawaiian Style

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I love talking story about the Hawaiian Island of Oahu because it is so much more than the spectacle that is Waikiki. The North Shore of Oahu offers surfing, stunning beaches, and a taste of old Hawaii. And some really great places to eat a traditional Hawaiian recipe of portuguese sausage, rice, and eggs.

Talking Story about Oahu’s North Shore 

@gregorytlee photo into sun at Turtle Bay

Photo by the late Gregory Lee

When we visited the North Shore of Oahu, we were constantly on the hunt for enticing local fare. Equally satisfying were the adventures, stories, and friendships that developed while seeking out this tasty nourishment.

The Hawaiian Term: Talk Story

So in the spirit of Aloha, I am going to talk story about the North Shore of Oahu. In the Hawaiian creole dialect of Pidgin, “talking story” means chatting amongst friends. More deeply, it implies storytelling to express yourself, a deep-rooted tradition in Hawaii. I am so enamored of this phrase, especially when it comes to food stories that I purchased the painting you see below entitled “Talking Story”, by Juno Galang in the Tabora Gallery in Haleiwa, Oahu.

photo from Tabora Gallery Web Site

“Talking Story” painting by Juno Galang purchased in Tabora Gallery in Haleiwa

We spent the first five days of the trip on the fabled, frequently forgotten, fabulous north shore of Oahu, considered the surfing capital of the world. It is a quiet, uncrowded, undervisited strip of coastline that I’m almost hesitant to share with you. But twist my arm a little and I’ll tell you more.

photo by @gregorytlee

Photo by Gregory Lee

Ok, ok. Near our ocean front hotel, The Turtle Bay Resort, is the small town of Haleiwa (pronounce every letter and the “w” is a “v” sound – Ha Lay E Va). On our first trip into town, we found an eclectic mix of surfer shops, art galleries, and fascinating local eateries including the Waialua Bakery.

people talking story in front of Wailalua Bakery in Haleiwa

Waialua Bakery in Haleiwa

We happened upon this little restaurant with the old-time Hawaiian storefront just beckoning us to drop in. Turned out to be a locally-sourced bakery, sandwich, and smoothie shop. They proudly display their history and philosophy on a surfboard sign when you enter.

menu and welcome paragraph at Waialua Bakery

We are a family run café, and in the 12 years we’ve been here, we found that the best way to ensure top-notch quality is to grow it ourselves! The family farm out in Mokuleia provides papaya, banana, mango, avocado, sprouts, basil, lettuce, tomato, eggplant, carrot, pepper, lime, lemon, and wheatgrass.

Here at the bakery everything is homemade and FRESH! We make our own bread, cookies, granola, ice cream, lemonade, veggie burgers, pesto and hummus from scratch daily, as well as roast our own turkey and deep-fry our own bacon. Made with love and passed from our hands to yours – Enjoy!

Though still full from our morning stop at Ted’s Bakery, we just had to order something. Look at this kitchen and the homemade bread she is kneading. How could we pass this up? We could even hear the chickens in the back yard who surely supplied the eggs used in their baking.

woman baking bread at Waialua Bakery

Talking Story in a Small World

As we shared a sandwich stuffed with their own roasted turkey, fried bacon, homegrown greens all on a fresh baked roll and downed our smoothies, a woman saw my son, Gregory, checking in on FourSquare. She asked him if this was a recommended food stop and if he had other suggestions. We all started chatting and soon discovered that these two families live in a neighboring town to San Jose, that one of the daughters knows friends from Gregory’s high school, and one of the mom’s was born and raised in the same small town I was in Massachusetts. We all became fast friends and continued to hang out and talk story the whole week, including as it turned out, on the shared plane ride home!

sandwich cut open at Waialua Bakery

The world is a very small place indeed.

Have you run into people you know in far off places or met people far away that turn out to be practically your neighbors back home? Please talk story in the comments below and share your favorite “small world” travel adventure.

Head over to this post where we head up the road to Ted’s Bakery for some malasadas, portuguese sausage, and chocolate haupia pie!

Mahalo and Aloha Nui Loa!

Thanks to @gregorytlee, @dormantchef and cake-baking teen for many of the photos snapped on this Hawaiian adventure.

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16 Responses to Talking Story – Food Adventures Hawaiian Style

  1. Dwellable (@DwellableB) June 30, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    Hi Beth!
    I came across your blog again when searching for posts about Turtle Bay…
    We’d still love to feature you on Dwellable 🙂
    Shoot me an email if you’re open to it: Jane (at) dwellable (dot) com
    Hope to be in touch again soon,

  2. [email protected] Wants This April 22, 2012 at 4:15 am #

    I love places where you can actually see people making the bread, how awesome is that?

  3. orly @yumivore April 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

    So happy to read you a wonderful and delicious vacation, and one that nourished the soul!

  4. [email protected] April 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    We have been to Hawaii 2x and to the Oahu both times. The first time we went was b/c our daughter needed to see a heart specialist. Some family flew out there to be with us (our moms!) since we had been living in Japan and no one had met the baby yet. Once our daughter was released as an outpatient we immediately started combing the island for local eats! Oahu did not disappoint! The second time we went was for me to run in the Honolulu Marathon (in Dec 2011) and again we ate out all over the island! I love their noodles, pineapple on everything, and mostly I liked their desserts!

  5. wanderinggenie April 17, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Great Pics and food looked amazing. I had always heard that the food in Hawaii was suspect to say the least. Did you find any cool stuff there that you brought back or wish you had? How was the Coffee? Are you planning to go back? How expensive was it?

    • omgyummy April 18, 2012 at 11:13 am #

      Food is starting to change on the islands – Sunset recently did a feature about where to eat on all the islands – lots of new and interesting local-sourced cuisine. Some expensive, some not. We found North Shore Oahu to be a lot of value for the money and in the town of Haleiwa there was plenty of affordable food to be had. The shrimp trucks (they had mobile food trucks in Haleiwa long before it became hip here) are fantastic. Several other affordable, healthy eateries. Lots of access to amazing fresh fish. And try the local food – saimin, portuguese sausage, dare I say spam musubi 🙂 ??

      We would go back in a heartbeat. Fell in love with North Shore.

      • wanderinggenie April 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

        I’ve always heard it was amazing. Now I have to go since there are good eats. Thanks. Cheers

  6. sandy corman April 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Great writing Beth. Who was it you met from Pittsfield, Ma. Glad you had a fun time and ate your way thru Oahu. First New York City and now Oahu. How do you stay so thin? Will try to take pictures in “Nawlins” of the wonderful food there.

    • omgyummy April 18, 2012 at 11:09 am #

      Oh yes – you have to take pictures in New Orleans – can’t wait to see what you eat. Be sure to have some beignets for me ok? Will send you an email about the Pittsfield person!

  7. Carol Sacks April 17, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Aloha! Great post, Beth. I can hear the trade winds from here. Loved the painting you bought too. Such joy on those faces.

    • omgyummy April 18, 2012 at 11:08 am #

      It’s a very happy painting, isn’t it? Missing those tradewinds but at least the weather is warming up here!

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