Merriman’s Downstairs Cafe

October 19th, 2012 · No Comments

After Dallas’s grandma’s memorial, a lot of the family went golfing. Others who didn’t golf went to lunch. I helped Liz run around a bit and work out some of her wedding details and then I had lunch with Caroline and Jose at Merriman’s Downstairs Cafe.

Merriman’s Fish House (located upstairs) is a pretty high end restaurant. Chef Peter Merriman is one of the 12 founding chefs of Hawaii regional cuisine (like Chef Jean-Marie Josselin, of Josselin’s Tapas Bar & Grill, where we ate the night before). Chef Merriman was the first in Hawaii to go stright to local farmers and ranchers to source food for his menus. About 90% of the food on his menus is ultra local (not just from Hawaii, but from Kauai) and fresh and not only does that make it taste better, but it also helps support the local economy.

Chili-Garlic Kekaha Shrimp ‘a la plancha’ Salad: Chili garlic grilled west Kauai sweet shrimp, earth grown romaine, Kunana Dairy feta, tomato, red onion, edamame, avocado, fresh herbs, lemon and extra virgin olive oil

Kauai Tai: Koloa’s light & spiced rum, fresh passion, orange, and guava juices, Koloa dark rum float.

Merriman’s Downstairs Cafe is the more casual version of his high-end restaurant upstairs. But don’t think that they don’t still have the same attention to detail and local sourcing as they do upstairs. I got a salad that was made with shrimp from Kekaha, just a short drive up the road. Even my drink was mixed with locally-made Koloa rum. I felt like things on the menu were a little more expensive than I expected, but they were very good and I didn’t mind paying more knowing that the money was trickling down to local Kauai farmers.

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