Some friends visiting from California were vacationing in Kailua, so we decided to meet over breakfast at the neighborhood Big City Diner. It was a first for all of us at this Kailua location and also my first time eating at any BCD for breakfast. I must admit, our visit here was mostly in interest to talk with each other than to “eat”, but a good breakfast was also in order, and thus this entry is presented.
BCD’s breakfast menu is rather short on selection, but big on value. If you’ve got a big appetite for breakfast, you will not be disappointed here.
I’ll get to the point with my order, which was the “Famous BIG Breakfast” as pictured above. Being the only one of 4 people on our table to order this, it was certainly the heavy hitter of all the dishes ordered. My guests all looked at me like “can you eat all that?”. Of course I couldn’t, but I came close! My eggs were perfect sunny-side up, and the portuguese sausage slices were thick ‘n tasty. The Paniolo Potatoes were made with skin-on potato cubes that tasted like they were roasted, then finished by being sauteed with onions and peppers. It arrived on my plate a bit dried out, like it had been sitting under a warmer for an hour or more, but it still worked with the entire dish. A little catchup on it and it was fine. The color contrast of th pineapple wedge and Ti leaf garnish surely improved the visual flavor aspect. Ultimately, this was one HUGE plate of breakfast basics that could have easily been shared among two adults. Out the door at just under $7, it was executed well and overall a very good value.
Jim and Angie ordered Ani’s Awesome Cinnamon Bread French Toast. I didn’t ask, but I’m going to assume here that the bread in this dish is made by Ani’s Bakery, known for their Portuguese Sweet Bread and exotic pies. With a good soaking of Maple syrup, both of them made good work of this dish, finishing their entire plate. Koko, Jim’s lovely fiance had a short stack of Old Fashioned Pancakes. I didn’t snap a photo, but they were simply a as advertised. Koko doesn’t like syrup on her pancakes, which none of us can figure out, but hey, to each their own. She finished the plate so it must’ve been good.
Of course some folks reading this are asking “brah, why you nevah’ sample da’ Really Loco, Loco Moco, Uncle Danny’s Fried Rice or Granda’s Kim Chee Fried Rice?!”. Well, neither I nor the others at this sitting were in the mood for it at the time. We just went with the basics. Next time for sure though!
It kinda’ would’ve been nice if the lunch menu were also available, as some of us might have preferred a salad, burger or other entree during the brunch-time hours that we were there. But really that would come down to us just being picky.
The service was excellent – our waitress was very friendly, water and bottomless coffee always topped, the finished plates immediately cleared. Although a steady, somewhat busy morning, it never reached a point where folks were waiting out the door for tables that we might have felt hurried or even asked to leave. A nice n’ easy pace that afforded us over 2 hours to spend there over good conversation, breakfast and coffee.
Big City Diner’s Kailua restaurant is located on the far left corner of the shopping mall space that houses the Foodland anchor store. It looks to be just a tad smaller than the Ward location, with a bit more a family feel to it, such as color crayon drawings put up by keiki patrons. There’s also an open bar with outside seating overlooking the marshland hill on the left-side of the main entrance. I suppose this area fills up as the sun sets.
Like Zippy’s, Big City Diner knows the formula to success in Hawaii’s competitive restaurant industry… offer an easy-going atmosphere, good food with a flare for local flavors at a reasonable price, with an emphasis on consistency and friendly service. It’s all there, served up BIG at BCD.
Big City Diner
Locations: Kaimuki (the original), Kailua, Ward Entertainment Center (Honolulu) and Waipio
Cuisine: American and local/ethnic favorites
Serving: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Ambience/clientele: Casual/entire family (sports bar in designated areas)
Price range: Affordable
Tasty Island Rating: