Big Island Grill has re-opened for dine-in this past week after nearly 2 years. For now, they are only open from 8am-2pm, serving the Breakfast & Lunch menu all day. The menu is on their Facebook page.
We went for a Saturday morning breakfast at 9:30am. There was a short wait - I was expecting a crush considering how popular the place is. I guess word of the opening hadn't gotten out yet - oops! They have a long line of benches outside the restaurants for people to wait for their tables, nicely socially distanced. Our timing was great as several tables left shortly after got there. They have the tables spaced apart and staff was sanitizing and wearing masks, but other than that, it seemed like the same old place we love. Saw lots of familiar faces (above the mask ;-) in the staff - not surprising as a family run restaurant. The clientele was the usual combination of young families with little kids and old friends getting together for a bite and to talk story. Can be a bit noisy, just like before, but it is a joyful noise.
Most of the menu favorites are back, although my wife immediately noticed the Banana Pancakes (her favorite breakfast) and Kailua Pork & Cabbage (one of her favorite dinners) were not there. I ordered the Scampi Omelet, my wife got the Waffle Combo (with Bananas), and our house guest created a Build-your-own-Omelet. Food came out quickly (house guest was surprised), in the same generous portions B.I.G. is known for. The bacon came out softer than my wife liked, but they happily crisped it up to the crunchy-bits she craves. We all loved our food and it was just like we remembered.
One thing that is a bit different is that they have broken out the Service Charge their credit card processor charges them as a separate line-item on the bill. Knowing how the processors work and how they have been soaking the retailers even harder, I thought that was a smart thing to do. We paid in cash, giving B.I.G. the service charge as additional tip ;-)
In summary, an old friend is back! Good food with generous portions and reasonable prices. If you have been here before, it's just like you remembered. If you haven't been here before, it is good food without paying the extra of an Ali'i drive location.
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