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Sunday, November 16, 2014

The "10Q" Story

Entrance into Kauai Kookie
It was an ordinary day.  Eating breakfast at the Kauai Kookie Kitchen which is located in the town of Kalaheo, Kauai.  Carol and I along with our friends Jerry and Just Sue decided to take a day of our vacation to Hawaii and tour some of the island of Kauai.  Left our condo in Poipu and headed west.  After about half an hour of travel we decided it was time for breakfast so I was told to stop at the first place that said they served breakfast.  First place I came to was packed with cars so I decided to continue to the next stop.  Pulled into the parking lot of Kauai Kookie Kitchen after reading the sign in the front of the place that advertised breakfast and lunch.  We exited the Dodge Journey and entered through the rear screen door of the restaurant.  
Order and Pickup counter.  Menu is on the rear wall.
Very homey place with a few knotty-pine tables and only one other patron eating breakfast.  I wondered if we really should stop here, but everyone else was hungry so we continued to a table.  Saw the sign above the cash register that told you to place your order so we scanned the menu and after making our selections, ordered at the counter.  Picked a table in the corner so we could watch other patrons as they entered and it was at that moment that I noticed the only other patron rose from his seat and started chasing a large roach across the floor, trying to tramp it to death.  Not a great introduction to the Kookie Kitchen.  Shortly our meals were ready and were brought to our table for us.  They were served on paper plates with plastic utensils wrapped in a small paper napkin.  
EinHl showing me the tattoos on his
two middle fingers that say "10Q"
(thank you).
The owner made a visit to our table to inquire about our service and meals.  Fellow by the name of EinHl who I guessed to be in his mid-50s.  Real character with a real upbeat personality.  Dressed in white shorts with black shirt and a dirty gray apron covering the front of him.  We talked about his restaurant and island life in general.  Then as he was needed for another patron, he turned, held out his hand with knuckles showing facing me and said, "Here's my response!"  He had the biggest smile on his face as I attempted to figure out exactly what he was talking about until I realized the tattoos on his two middle fingers read - 10 Q.  Took me a second or two before I knew what it was then said to him, "Pretty neat!"  If you haven't figured it out yet it is meant to be "Thank you" in his oriental language.  As we ate our meal I noticed several times he would go to the opposite end of the restaurant and peer through a hole in the wall.  
At the other end of the restaurant I could see EinHl taking
orders through a small window in the wall.
Only when we left did I realize he was taking orders from the connecting store where another restaurant was housed as well as the store that sold the cookies and baked goods that were produced in the Kauai  Kookie factory in the town of Hanapepe.  While searching for info to write this story I Googled the "Kauai Kookie Bakery" and found a variety of reviews directed toward the restaurant.  Everything from:  (1) This place is friendly and has a good following among locals to (2) I love the Cajun shrimp tacos, my favorite, can't get enough to (3) Really wish we hadn't stopped here.  I got the wasabi ahi and kalua pork tacos and both were mushy, greasy, unappetizing and are not sitting well.  It was the worst meal I've had after two weeks on the islands.  Well, we survived breakfast and did enjoy our host who was a rather unusual ambassador for the island of Kauai.  Would I stop there again for breakfast?  I'd probably think twice before I did, but it was entertaining!  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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