kruizing with kikukat

Monday, July 2, 2012

Restaurant Chatter: Le Magic Pan

Its almost Independence Day, and that makes me really sad because that means in a two weeks I'll be heading back to the salt mines.  I feel like I didn't get to do much at all this summer (thank goodness for the overnight trip to Honolulu) because it was so short and invaded by work.  After watching all the Formula One races on Speed, I'm hungry (in my own little way) for some adventure.  Oh, how I wish I liked flying. 

waiting for my crepe
One of my favorite F1 races happens to be the grandest race of them all. . .the Monaco Grand Prix.  The street circuit is absolutely killer. . .hairpin turns near apartment buildings make driving at top speeds suicidal.  Of course, I can only dream about going to Monaco, as the long flight to get there is a major turn-off.  I haven't even thought about the cost of going, although I'm sure that itself would be prohibitive.

side salad
ham, cheese & mushroom crepe
But with three years of high school French and a  year of college French under my belt, I've always been fascinated by France and French-speaking countries like Monaco.  Alas, the closest I'll get to Monaco/Paris would be Tahiti; the plane ride there is much shorter, and there are direct (I hope) flights from Honolulu to Papeete.  And I don't think the threat of the vile, Devil's condiment is as omnipresent in Tahiti as it would be in France.  In the meantime, I'll continue to dine at Le Magic Pan, Hilo's only crepe restaurant, and pretend I am 12 hours away (Monaco time is 12-hours ahead of Hawaii). 

Located on the Hamakua end of Keawe Street, Le Magic Pan opened a few years ago, and, knock on wood, has managed to survive the Hilo curse.  On some evenings, there is live music (not hard rock, not Hawaiian, not reggae, not rap), and unlike other restaurants, the musicians play at a volume which still allows table conversation.  The last time we were there, there was a pianist and a flutist.  Really nice and enjoyable.

apple walnut crepe a la mode
The Ds like going to Le Magic Pan because they can have dessert for dinner.  Part of the charm is that you can watch your crepe being prepared.  They also offer espresso drinks and wine.  I love how the tables are covered in brown paper.

nutella & strawberry crepe
love the Venus
While the menu is not too large, there are daily specials listed on the board.  In addition to crepes, Le Magic Pan serves soups and salads.  And I am quite certain they are the only restaurant in Hilo with Venus of Willendorf salt shakers!

BTW, the next Grand Prix race is 6 days from now, the British Grand Prix.  I will be cheering for the McLaren boyz, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.  Given what I know about British food, I will likely not be inspired to post a recipe based on the great culinary traditions of Great Britain.  Haggis, anyone?
strawberry and banana dessert crepe
even the shingle is charming

Two Sundays ago, we took a day trip out to Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, to hike the 4+ mile round trip into Kilauea Iki crater.  This was the first time for both Ds and only my second time.  It was a cool (but rain-less) day, which made this experience much more pleasant than my first time.  We also went into the crater via the "switchbacks" and came out via the "stairs".  This allowed us to time to rest on the benches (the switchback way has no benches).  Unfortunately, the most difficult section of the crater (the rocky section) has to be navigated just before the stairs, which makes me seriously wonder if this way was any easier.

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