If you love fried dough, the warm brown paper bag they hand you should make your heart flutter. Oil will have already started to bleed through the little sack. The malasada feels heavy and warm in your hand and the yeasty sweet smell whirls around you. I warn you, this post is just a selfish, gluttonous look at my favorite sweet treat on the Big Island of Hawaii. There is no content here, just pure indulgence.
This, my friend, is what you experience when you are handed your first malasada at TEX Drive-In.
Crispy on the outside and fluffy-flaky on the inside. The best and only way to enjoy one is fresh. TEX Drive-In in Honoka’a is where we go when we have a sweet craving–and yes, we are nuts because they are 45 minutes away. You can watch the production process live through a plexiglass wall. This yeast-based deep-fried dough arrived with the Portuguese plantation workers in the 1870’s. A finely crystalized sugar coats the exterior. Traditionalists say no filling. I say yes, please. Chocolate or vanilla custard, and tropical jellies like guava, lilikoi (passion fruit), and mango all please the palate.
And yes, TEX Drive-In has a food menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring local cuisine. And nope, we never have a plate lunch. Just malasada fix.