Kauai Underground Guide

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Neidie’s Salsa & Samba

On a back porch in Hanalei, with only a tiny sign out front, you will find a slight young woman, with a long dark braid, cooking in a tiny kitchen just across a counter from a half dozen tables. Don’t be fooled by appearances. Neidie makes magic in there, deftly blending Brazilian spices with Kauai’s flavorful fresh vegetables and fruits.

You may have to wait for one of the tables, as there are only ten and they are usually full. The reasons is a combination of great food and great prices. Home-made chips and delicious fresh salsa start the meal, but save room for Neidie’s delicious Mexican and Brazilian cooking.

She weaves Kauai’s bountiful fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish into recipes from her homeland. Fresh island fish is cleanly grilled and tasty, with a delicious coconut milk sauce, served on a large platter with Brazilian rice and vegetable — at only $14.95, one of the best bargains on Kauai!

Or try a vegetarian pancake with fresh island pumpkin, tropical squash and whatever vegetables have tempted Neidie at the market. (Demand for Neidie’s pumpkin pancake has shifted a neighboring farmer into hyperdrive to keep her supplied!)

Service may be on the slow side but for the right reason — Neidie cooks everything to order. Spicing is subtle rather than flashy, so if it’s not hot enough for your taste, you can add as many chilies as you want. Prices are amazing considering the generous size of the portions.

For delicious, carefully spiced and imaginative Brazilian dishes served with a pleasant, personal touch, don’t miss Neidie’s. She loves to cook and takes great pride in her fledgling business, so be sure to stop at the counter and say "hi" to the girl with the long black braid neatly tied.

Hanalei Village. 826-1851

For more restaurant reviews, consult your Kauai Underground Guide.

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