Betty Shimabukuro is Hawaiis Pie Expert – Day 145

Betty Shimabukuro is Hawaii’s Pie Expert

Day 145 – August 23 – Saturday

Betty Shimabukuro is the Food Editor for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper. We became acquainted when I emailed the Star-Bulletin asking for recommendations on the best pie in Hawaii. Betty suggested Ted’s Bakery in Sunset Beach (where I had a wonderful time yesterday), and she invited me to join her for pie this morning at Yum Yum Tree Restaurant in Honolulu. (Here is a link to Betty’s story about Ted’s Bakery —

Betty and I had a good chat. She had the Yum Yum Tree’s Apple Pie, and I had the Macadamia Nut Pie made by Ted’s Bakery. The Macadamia Nut Pie was excellent.

During our breakfast pie meeting, Betty mentioned a local restaurateur who used to make a pie that she felt was really special. Then she picked up her cell phone and called Kelvin Ro. Kelvin has a new restaurant called the Diamond Head Market & Grill. He isn’t making the Banana Pie anymore, but Betty asked if he would make one just for me. I didn’t want Kelvin to feel obligated to make a special pie, so I spoke with him and told him I would come by and sample what he regularly carries.

I drove to the Diamond Head Market & Grill. It was reasonably close to my hotel. Unusual place — best described as a gourmet drive-in restaurant. I asked for Kelvin, and there he was with a bowl of bananas — making his special Banana Pie just for me. But he wasn’t expecting me until dinner time, and I was there at lunch. I told him I’d be back at 6, and I ordered a Portobello Burger, crispy fries, Plantation Iced Tea, and Diamondhead Torte for dessert. Everything was outstanding. The Portobello Burger was a huge mushroom, a big thick hamburger, and sauteed onions. The Plantation Iced Tea was homemade tea sweetened with pineapple juice. The Diamondhead Torte had a chocolate cookie crust, a layer of peanut butter, a layer of chocolate, a layer of bananas, another layer of chocolate, topped with whipped cream. An outstanding dessert — a great lunch.

I decided today needed to be a day of rest for my injured feet, so I bought a book at Border’s and spent the day on the balcony of the hotel room reading and napping. There are sights still to be seen, so I hope there’s enough time on Sunday and Monday.

Five lovely ladies in town for the American Society of Association Executives were in the elevator as I was heading out for my dinner pie. Harriet, Paulette, Cynthia, Pam, and Barbara. Paulette asked about the beads, so I told a 30-foot version of the story, and they went to their banquet wearing shiny new Round America beads. I met a number of nice people today — Lance at the hotel, Betty, Kelvin and Jan at Diamond Head Market & Grill, Taxi Driver Kevin (who says he gives great Oahu tours — 808-223-2000), and Tracy at Andy’s Arco Service Station.

I headed back to Kelvin’s place about 6:30, and he gave me a slice of the Banana Pie. A traditional pie crust on the bottom and sides, topped with fresh bananas cooked in a secret sauce, and topped with an oatmeal crunch topping. I’ve eaten Banana Cream Pies on many occasions, but never a Banana Pie. It was heavenly. I wish I had asked Kelvin if I could buy the whole pie. When you come to Honolulu, be sure to plan lunch or dinner at Diamond Head Market & Grill, and make dessert part of the experience!

As I walked along Waikiki Beach, there was a spectacular sunset. I was able to get some great photos. I planned to grab dinner somewhere, but the pie was so good that I just didn’t want to eat anything else.

A man on a street corner with a sign that said Waikiki is a “Violent Crime Area” caught my eye, so I went over to ask about it. I met John Cook. John was violently attacked in Waikiki eight years ago, and the person who kicked him into a coma (and was never punished for it) recently did the same thing to someone else. John goes out with a sign and stands on the corner to warn others. I walked back to the hotel a little faster than I would have before meeting John. I wish him the best of luck with his crusade. Before the trip, I would have seen John Cook and thought he was a nut. The lesson from this encounter is to try to avoid prejudging people.

The Daily Journal of Round America:

Each day, we collect our thoughts on a web page just like this. We drop in some of the photos from the day. Our goal with the Daily Journal is to write about the towns we visit, the sights we see, the people we meet, and the pie we eat. We write about where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going, but we also make observations about what we’ve seen and done as well as about life in general.

You can follow our travels from the Daily Journal section of this website. Other pages of interest include the running report of “vital statistics” on the Trip Scorecard, our nominations for the Best & Worst of the trip, as well as a rating of the pie we eat. If you’d like to see information for a specific state or town, click here, and then click on the state of interest, and the full itinerary is shown.


More Information on the Sights Visited Today:
Honolulu Hawaii — Diamond Head Market & Grill — Waikiki