Lifestyle

Big Rob’s Bakery Offers Huge Flavor in Captain Cook

June 8, 2016, 10:00 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 11:27 AM
Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio...
A
A
A

no slideshow

Cinnamon rolls. Photo credit: Marla Walters

While out running errands recently, we stopped in for a slice of pizza at Patz Pies in Captain Cook.

Until a few months ago, there was a bakery next door to the pizzeria, but it had closed its doors. That bakery has now, happily, re-opened, with Big Rob (Rob Bartz) manning the ovens.

I hadn’t met Big Rob before (I would have remembered, as he stands about 6-foot-4-inches), but I had made my acquaintance with his cookies—my favorites being the ones studded with M&M’s. He has been cooking and baking on the Kona coast for years.

    +
    SWIPE LEFT OR RIGHT

Some of Bartz’ height seems to translate to his baking. Cinnamon rolls are tall and fluffy; turnovers are flaky and light.

The shop entrance is tiny, but it is crammed with goodies. His pastry case made my head spin: turnovers, cinnamon rolls dripping with icing, bear claws, cakes, cookies … all golden-brown, glazed and calling my name.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

He serves Kona coffee, which is perfect with the pastries. He can also whip up a fruit smoothie.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

It’s not all just sweets, though.

“I take breakfast to the extreme,” Bartz explained.

He directed my attention to his menu board, where I found Country-Fried Steak ($9), Loco Moco ($8), a Pork Chop Plate ($9.50), and a Fried Chicken Loco complete with rice, gravy, chicken, eggs and more gravy ($9).

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

A second board featured a BLT with an egg ($7), Breakfast Burgers ($6) and, for the calorie counters, a Veggie Croissant ($6) or a Veggie Omelet ($8). And of course, he serves Spam with his Chef’s Special ($7). Yes, you can get breakfast all day. Yay!

I asked him about his biggest sellers.

“Definitely the Pork Chop plate [$9.50]; but the Two-Egg Plate [$5] is really popular.”

I can see why: two eggs, toast, rice or potatoes and a choice of meat.

There is a table in front of the bakery, but take your breakfast out back for a dazzling ocean view on the deck. What a way to wake up!

Bartz is usually up and at ’em, baking by 3 a.m. But in our second interview, he mentioned that his day would be starting at 1 a.m.

Can you imagine? Let’s cross “baker” off of our career aspiration’s list. And let’s throw in “dairy farmer,” as well. That’s just too darned early.

I purchased a bag of English muffins to take home, which was actually a mistake. After toasting Big Rob’s fluffy-yet-chewy, crispy, English muffins, I have been ruined for store-bought ones. Next visit, I’ll be wiser and get a bag for the freezer.

Big Rob’s is located at  82-6127 Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook, Hawai‘i. (808) 854-1843. Parking in front. Open Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m; Sundays, 7:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Bear Claws

Bear claws. Photo credit: Marla Walters

Turnovers

Turnovers. Photo credit: Marla Walters

Pastry Case

Pastry case. Photo credit: Marla Walters

Cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon rolls. Photo credit: Marla Walters

Comments

This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments

Newsletters

Get a quick summary of what’s happening on the Big Island with our daily & weekly email of news highlights.