Tex Drive In
Location: Pakalana Street, Honokaa
Our thoughts: You can get a donut anywhere, but when in Hawaii you need to get a malasada - a puffy Portuguese doughnut without a hole, rolled in sugar. And if you want a malasada, you need to motor up to Tex's. It's an unpretentious local institution where the residents seem to put up nicely with the tourists. Tex's also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you want, you can get a spam and rice with pretty much anything you order, if you're feeling adventurous.
The malasada's taste like a combination of a carnival fried dough snack and a regular doughnut. Eat them plain, or get one with filling, including pepper jelly. We tried (and loved) the plain ones, and we also had a raspberry filled treat.
On our trip down to Hilo we stopped at Tex's in the morning, then stopped on the way back and caught the dinner crowd for some extra malasadas. In our enthusiasm we also ordered a small fries, and were served the fries in a giant paper bag (much more than we thought). The fries were good, but there were so many of them we couldn't eat our malasada, and we had to bring it back to our hotel room for the next day.
Tip: Figure out how many malasadas you want, then double it. You're gonna want more than you ordered.
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