By Braddah Lance
So you know how we roll on WWD!. It's very much open hea' and we share our mana'o and mo'olelo's and throw in a little funny from time to time. Wat you don't know is dat WWD! is only around because of YOU! Yeah, das right.... YOU!
As a blog host, I've been blessed and fortunate enough to have such great readers - and posters - open up and help as much as share which is wat Aloha is truly all about.
We have a Kwonic on da east coast (WWD! going national! ) - we all know her as islandgirl in nc - and she was craving a bit of da islands but obviously shmall kine hard no?
So she went a hunting and guess wat she found?
Nothing but Simply Hawaiian. Cheee-hooo!
Here's her most excellent Shaka-nack review and no give her hard time cause she no can write in pidgin eh!
Photos and write up by islandgirl in nc -
On the first warm Saturday of the year, my husband, son and I drove out to Indian Trail to check out Simply Hawaiian. Indian Trail is located just outside of Charlotte, NC.
I heard about this cafe on a local mommies board when someone inquired if there were any places in Charlotte that served Hawaiian food. One of the mommies responded and mentioned Simply Hawaiian. She said she thought the owner, Paul who was from Hawaii, would know. As soon as I read the owners were from Hawaii, I knew I simply had to check this place out.
Susan Sumile, co-owner with her husband Paul, was outside seeing off one of her customers and quickly greeted us warmly as we were getting out of our car. We hugged and I felt like I was back home again. After introductions, we entered the brightly lit and colorful shop with its surfboards, map of Oahu and posters of Hawaiian sunsets adoring the walls. The simple yet festive Hawaiian atmosphere emanated the Aloha spirit.
Within minutes Susan and I were chatting like we had known each other awhile. Customers were steady the two hours we were there, and it seemed like everyone knew their names. I heard several customers ask where Paul was. My husband, who never had a shave ice in his life, was waiting in anticipation for this treat I had told him about. My son, almost three, chose to stick to ice cream.
When Susan’s husband, Paul, came in, we immediately started talking story. He jokingly asked if I wanted a Spam musubi. Simply Hawaiian’s menu focuses on coffee drinks made with Kona coffee. In addition, sweet treats such as Lava Cake, Menehune Chocolate Chip Cookies and Hawaiian Treasure Brownie are served. Smoothies and, of course, Hawaiian Shave Ice seemed to the center of the menu. The shave ice came in two sizes, Keiki (small) or Big Kahuna for the larger appetites. Ice cream could also be added.
There were only 10 syrups listed for the shave ice and were the generic ones, but Susan immediately let me know they also had others such as guava and mango. I knew I had to get a rainbow shave ice with guava, mango and pineapple. Paul approved as he made my shave ice and commented that I was a local girl.
The shave ice hit the spot on the hot and almost Hawaiian like day. My husband approved of his lime shave ice and said the flavoring was right on and not too sweet or tart.
Susan and Paul hope to expand their repertoire of food into plate lunches in the future. But for right now, the sweet Hawaiian treats lure the locals from around Indian Trail and nearby Charlotte into the cafe.
The Sumiles moved to North Carolina at the end of 2004. Paul was born and raised in Waialua on Oahu. The Sumiles lived in Wahiawa (Whitmore Village) before their move to the Carolinas. Susan said it was a good time to sell their home in 2004 and move to the mainland so they could give their three children additional opportunities. After a few years, they decided to open Simply Hawaiian “to bring a little of the Aloha spirit to our new home,” Susan said. Despite finding their niche here, they continue to miss their friends and family and especially the food.
Since opening their cafe a little over a year ago, they have met other expats from the Islands. Besides the sweet treats, Simply Hawaiian also sells gift items such as t-shirts and a variety of Hawaiian coffees. They have karaoke every Friday evening and have participated in the community by supporting causes such as autism.
Check them out on the web at SIMPLY HAWAIIAN (click here) and you can also visit them on Facebook by searching for “Simply Hawaiian.”
Mahalo Susan and Paul for your warm hospitality while my family and I were there. We will definitely be back again!
So if you evah at Indian Trail near Charlotte, North Carolina, stop by Simply Hawaiian and say Wassap (Wit Dat)!
Muchos Mahalos again to islandgirl in nc for taking da time to do da write up and taking some awesome pics.... but wea you at?