Hawaii Vacation Misadventures of Andy & Sheila: Fiery Palate Edition

Andy and I do hope you are laughing along with us as we’ve been sharing this series of mishaps from our trips to Hawaii. You may notice that many of our harmless misfortunes happened during our first visits to Hawaii and today’s edition is no exception.

Before I dive into this misadventure, I’d like to share a little bit of background about my wonderful husband. Andy grew up in Brighton, England and lived there most of his life. Shortly after we wed in 1999, we lived in London for about a year before moving to my home state of North Carolina. Once we were in the U.S., from time to time, we’d go to Mexican restaurants. Well, you know the routine at a Mexican restaurant, right? You start with chips and salsa. I noticed that Andy could hardly stand to eat much salsa as it was much more spicy than what he was accustomed to tasting in England. I would (and still do) tease him about his “delicate English palate.”

Okay, now that we have the background set, let’s move onto our story.

Photo credit: Andy Castro

On our first trip to Kauai in 2003, we were having dinner at a lovely restaurant at the Hanalei Bay Resort. (Sadly, that restaurant is no longer open.) This restaurant offered fresh Hawaiian fish with a selection of preparations. As Andy place his order, I was a bit surprised. He ordered the fresh fish with the Pele preparation.

Silently, I wondered if Andy knew that he’d just ordered the spiciest dish on the menu? I didn’t question his selection. I don’t know why I didn’t mention anything. Maybe my attention was too captured by the view of Bali Hai or too jet lagged to think to ask him if he realized that Pele is the goddess of fire.

When our entrees arrived, we immediately dove in. We were starving after hiking the Kalalau Trail earlier in the day, which actually resulted in it’s very own story of a misadventure.

After Andy took a few bites of his fish with the Pele preparation, he mentioned that it was spicy and he reached for his water glass frequently. He seemed surprised that his dish was so hot. It was then that I asked Andy if he knew that Pele is the goddess of fire — this was news to him. 🙂

I was impressed that Andy persevered with his entree, despite his delicate English palate. Actually, we enjoyed the meal so much that we returned to that restaurant for a second time on that vacation. On the next visit, Andy was more informed and opted for one of the milder preparations.

Oh, and you might be pleased to know that Andy’s palate isn’t nearly as delicate now. 🙂


Have you ever ordered a menu item that surprised you? Please share your experience.

  1. LOL! I love it! Hey, Andy, Pele got your palate? Is that like the cat got your tongue?

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist! Hugs to both of you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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