Lunch Bites: Aloha Cafe

Aloha CafeThis is pretty much an eastside restaurant mini-review feature that I’ll be running periodically. You can view my “lunch bite” critera at this first post.

The Aloha Café is located in the Crossroads shopping center on the northeastern corner of the Highway 20/27th Street intersection (across the street from the Forum center), nestled into the (mini) strip mall layout along with Cuppa Yo, China Doll, Max Muscle, and the like. They serve up Hawaiian-style dishes with such tasty fare as Kalua pork, teriyaki chicken, ribs, and the improbably-tasty potato-mac salad.

They offer sandwiches with chips and a side for $6, but I usually opt for one of the mixed plate menu options: an entree of one of their meats with either rice or noodles (I like the noodles) and either potato-macaroni salad or pineapple coleslaw for the sides. Most of the mixed plate dishes are in the $7 range (from $6.90 up to $8.90 for the tri-tip beef) and you get more-than-ample portions. Bear in mind, though, that except for the sides there really aren’t any vegetarian-friendly dishes.

On my last visit I opted for the Kalua pork with the noodles and potato-mac; their eastside space isn’t terribly large but it’s comfortable and friendly and the service is quick—I waited less than 5 minutes for my to-go order. The pork was tender and delicious, though I wish I’d ordered extra sauce on the side. It wasn’t dry but could have used a bit more (and really, extra sauce is always good).

The $7.25 for the mixed plate was a little bit more than I’d like to spend (keeping in mind I’m exploring options on the cheap) but that’s really a minor quibble—there’s certainly enough food to split over two meals which makes it worthwhile. Overall you won’t go wrong with Aloha for lunch and the Hawaiian-style food is a nice break from the usual fare.