Located in the heart of old Hilo town and just off of Kilauea Avenue is a tiny shop in an old building known for selling small, but tasty mochi confections. Two Ladies Kitchen is artisanal mochi, without the attitude that tends to come with artisanal things. They don’t need a website (they have none), or an active social media presence. The lines that form outside of Two Ladies Kitchen is all that they need to tell their story. They make great, handmade muchi, and probably the closest that you can get to the mochi that you would find being sold by street vendors in Japan’s Tsukiji Market. You take one bite and all that you want is more.
What do you do if you’ve got 48 hours to spend in Hilo and have a tiny toddler companion tagging along for the trip? Actually, lots. First thing, it’s Hilo, so expect wet weather. Drizzles and rain is part of the small town Hilo charm.
“We are the great Hilo Vikings. Mysterious and strong seafarers. Noble in our cause from the shores of Hilo Bay. We have bravely set out over treacherous waters to conquer, pillage, and dominate somewhere deep in our memories. We remember the ancient ways of the Hilo Vikings. This is why we are drawn back here tonight. Together by a deep seeded urge. A urge so powerful we don’t even question it. Our fight. We long for it. Tonight we celebrate as vikings.”
The above statement was the first thing that I read when I opened up the program to the Bite of Hilo. It sounded a bit like the opening narration to an epic movie. No movie here, instead, the Hilo High School Foundation put together a night of epic grinds suitable for Vikings near and far.
Ah the Big Island, the home of Madame Pele, spewing volcanoes, and larger-than-life waterfalls. Michelle and I recently set off on an inter-island adventure, escaping the hustle and bustle of Oahu and flying the forty minutes to Hawaii’s Big Island. Upon landing at Kona Airport, our plan was to drive an hour to Kohala to see the birthplace of King Kamehameha The Great. Persistent thoughts of red velvet brownies, however, quickly changed our plans and as soon as our luggage had been thrown into the trunk of our newly rented Ford Mustang, we headed straight to the Big Island Candies factory in, errr, Hilo. This was spontaneity at its best.