Sweet Cane Café RelocatesMarch 7, 2016, 5:47 PM HST (Updated March 7, 2016, 5:29 PM)
Confession number one: I never went to the Sweet Cane Café’s old location, which was in a strip mall. I know, I know, there are a lot of great restaurants in strip malls – but I have a hard time getting excited about them.
Then, I heard that The Sweet Cane Café had moved, and I was intrigued. They are now located at 48 Kamana Street (between Kilauea Avenue and Kinoole Street), so I made it a point to find their new digs.
Owner Jackie Prell and her daughters have designed a space that is soothing and relaxing. The café is very open (including the kitchen), has lots of seating, and the décor isn’t fussy or overbearing. You can sit at a comfortable indoor table, enjoy outside dining, take your order to go, or sit at the gorgeous mango wood bar.
I asked Prell if she has a food philosophy. “Just healthy,” she said. Many of the organic menu items come from her family’s farm, such as the kale, parsley, basil, bananas, and of course, sugarcane.
Prell educated me about the benefits of the café’s namesake, sugarcane, as I sipped a pitaya (dragonfruit) smoothie. She explained that sugarcane is an all-natural sweetener made up of complex carbohydrates, electrolytes, amino acids, and simple sugars. The benefit of complex carbohydrates, evidently, is that they break down in your system slowly, which equals sustained energy. Supposedly, sugarcane’s nutritional profile is similar to wheatgrass (I have had wheatgrass, friends, and sugarcane wins. Hands down.)
Confession number two: I did not realize that the Sweet Cane Café has a vegetarian menu. I had a brief moment of “Uh-oh – what will we order?” Not a problem. In fact, I had to narrow down my choices, because there were so many delicious-sounding items. The husband and I split a Macadamia Nut Pesto Sandwich ($7.50) and Roasted Veggie Sandwich ($7.50). Both were delicious and satisfying; we didn’t have a single moment of “Where’s the Beef?” On my next trip, I’m going to check out the Avocado Sandwich and a Caesar Salad. Prell mentioned that the Taro Burger is also very popular.
There is a vast array of smoothies available (ingredients change seasonally) with intriguing names like Blueberry Buzz, Blue Crush, Hawaiian Supa’man, and the Sunrise, to name just a few. On Saturdays, they fire up a slushie machine (I can’t wait to try the Chai or Blueberry).
My third and final confession was that I just didn’t know what some of the menu items were. This was also a “no problem” situation, because the very helpful and knowledgeable staff was happy to explain them to me and make excellent recommendations.
Also available are acai bowls ($10), coffees, teas, and juices. There was a chocolate cake on the counter that I was too full to try; I’m still kicking myself for that one. Prell also sells cookies, fruit leathers, kale chips, sauerkraut, and kimchee that are locally made.
Generous about supporting our community, posters for all sorts of yoga, self-enrichment, and exercise classes are posted at the entrance. The spot is not only popular with students; she also employs them. Although the café officially closes at 6 p.m., it is available, by special arrangement, for after-hour special events. Catering is also available.
Sweet Cane Café is open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 48 Kamana Street. Phone number, 934-0002. Casual attire. Parking is plentiful.