Good but certainly not 5 star
Posted on 08 / 23 / 2011
We went here with high expectations, based on the happycow reviews. We'd been in transit for 24hrs and were really tired and hungry... stumbled in, searching for great food and what we found was pretty average, all things considered.
The breads and cakes are all packed full of sugar, white flour, butter, strange ingredients like "egg replacer", and very little else. Even the things that looked wholesome on the surface were found to be junk upon closer inspection.
The deli bar consisted of some random veges, but how you are to eat them was a mystery to us. There were also some heavy looking macaronis and miscelleneous slushes, but they looked overcooked, heavy, sometimes greasy and overall not very good or healthy. The pizzas looked like a $1 midnight mistake.
A vege sandwich or wrap would have been just perfect, but unfortunately this was not available so we had to pick some wraps from the menu (which unfortunately is not customisable). We went with an avocado and a tofu wrap, neither of which contained many vegetables, so essentially we were unable to get the feed we were after.
The juices were pretty good and fully customisable which was probably the best thing about the place. We liked the fact that they had acai available too (although we had to ask them not to put in the pre-made apple strawberry juice concentrate they usually use as a base). If we were to go back, it would be for the juices and nothing more.
The lady at the deli counter seemed to be struggling with English so ordering and customising was difficult (or maybe it's just my Australian accent? haha) They have an eat-in area upstairs, which has a vibe that is somewhere between a McDonald's restaurant and a dissheveled country US canteen. We hastily moved outside, which is more comfortable.
So our first day in Hawaii was decidedly lukewarm.
Update: After a week on the island the appeal of this place began to manifest to us. In fact we ended up here every day, sometimes more than once. The quality & quantity of veg food in Hawaii is really low and the concept of health doesn't seem to have made it there yet. Against this context, DTE becomes a godsend.
We never got around to trying the raw vege buffet (those prepared sauces in ketchup squirters never grew on us), the pizza (pizza really needs to be fresh), or those overcooked slushes, we did enjoy the energy cookies, bird bars and some of the cold dishes like the rice paper wraps, tofu nori rolls and greek salad. Probably 3.5 cows.
custom juices, grocery store
not a great selection, unhealthy food, service is below standard