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We have passed, without stopping at, Ken’s House of Pancakes, a twenty-four-hour diner in Hilo with a War-and-Peace-length menu and a neon sign that boasts that they have been “jammin’ since 1971,” for more than twelve years.

Finally, after learning that Café 100 was closed for the day, we looked up some reviews and decided that we needed to try Ken’s lilikoi, guava, coconut, boysenberry, and maple syrups. They were delicious alone and in combinations; lilikoi and boysenberry make a spectacular blend. And, the not-too-sweet coconut paired nicely with the traditional maple.

The menu is full of all sorts of puns and some innuendo. For example, my mom ordered the Quickie, a sausage sandwich.

I had the Rough Night!!!?? (their punctuation), a spicy (not really) chili bean omelet. According to the menu, this dish is recommended by Dr. Fimo Bettah. We also tried the huli chicken and loco moco despite the fact that they were not as flamboyantly described on the menu.

In addition to the large menu, the place features sumo-sized portions. In fact, before a diner is delivered a sumo dish, the waiter/waitress rings a gong and there’s a tiny uproar from the rest of the wait staff.

We also watched as a waitress took the Sunday color comics pages and folded them into a birthday hat before gathering her colleagues to sing to a woman who was clearly delighted to celebrate a joyous new year in this bustling spot.

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