Leonard’s Bakery serves up warm, doughy goodness

Leonard’s Bakery is so famous for its malasadas that I’ve seen it on several travel shows, including one in Russian. Malasadas are a Portuguese fried dough coated in sugar, or sugar and cinnamon, or li hing. They are made fresh-to-order, so they are always soft and warm. At just over a dollar for the original malasadas and a little more than a $1.50 for the stuffed malasadas, it makes sense for two people to get one of every flavor in a six-pack at a slightly reduced price. Eat three now and have three for breakfast the next morning. Or get two each of the original flavors, either way, it’s cheap eats for the island.

Unfortunately, the stuffed malasadas were hard to distinguish one from the other. Custard was clear, as was chocolate. There was a vaguely coconut one and one that tasted like custard until we actually had the custard variety.

Still, they were warm, gooey goodness and tasted great the second day when we threw them in the microwave for 30 seconds. (Careful not to burn your mouth.) Oh, and don’t forget the coffee. After four days on Oahu, the iced mocha macadamia is still one of the top coffees I’ve had. It’s just the right amount of sweet to allow the bitter of the coffee to shine.

If you’re worried about the calories or healthiness of the malasadas, just call them “mas saladas.” They’ll sound healthier, and you can enjoy them without the guilt.

Oahu Photography’s Circle Sunrise Tour

Sunrise on Oahu

Oahu Photography’s Circle Sunrise Tour takes its guests on an all-day adventure where guide and participants become fast friends. A smaller group and De-Jay’s, the guide, openness make these friendships possible. Full of humor, knowledge and a genuine sense of love for the state and the people he is showing it to, De-Jay provides and easy entry into the sights of Hawaii and how to photograph them. Be prepared for lots of dad jokes and a modicum of movie-based humor.

Groups are purposefully kept small, which allows each person to receive as much or as little personal interaction and instruction from the guide, who is also a professional photographer. The tour itself can be adapted within set parameters to accommodate different impulses of the guests, and there’s never any rush to get in and get out of the van. If someone wants to spend a little more time taking photos of a certain area, they are welcome to do so. This flexibility also allows the group to adjust to local weather patterns and ensures that everyone has the opportunity to get his or her perfect shot.

When you come to Hawaii, give yourself a couple of days to adjust to the climate and relax. Then take this tour. That way, your photos will be better than ever for the rest of the trip, and you’ll have the inside scoop about where to eat from someone who lives on the island. Don’t forget to purchase the photo package ahead of time to get photos of you and your group (or loved one), both candid and posed, from a pro!

For more about Oahu Photography Tours, check out our Oahu page.

Island Vintage Shave Ice Is Cold Comfort Food

Pink Island Shave Ice
Pink Island Shave Ice

Shave ice – that’s right, without the ‘d’ – is a flavor sensation, at least the way it is prepared at Island Vintage Shave Ice. The syrup used for flavoring tastes like real strawberries – none of that sickly-sweet syrup we get stateside on a sno-cone.

Pink Island Menu Board

“The Pink Island” had pieces of mochi in the corners; the syrup flowed down the sides and collected in the bowl. The lychee popping boba were liquid refreshment at mini-size. But it was the soft organic ice cream that stole the show. Underneath the layers of shave ice was a beautiful tasting vanilla ice cream that gained strength from the flavor and texture of the shave ice and its syrup.

Shave ice is like cold comfort food with flavors you never tasted at home. Our serving was big enough to share. If it isn’t big enough for you, I would suggest getting different flavors for each person in the group to try.