I’ve got a special just for you

Ono, You Know

October 3, 2017

Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

Like a fine wine, dining gets better with age.

Just ask any of the servers at your favorite neighborhood restaurants, and they’ll likely tell you about some kind of discount or special made especially for those around the ages of 55 and up.

And for good reason. The kupuna in our community most certainly deserve to be honored with the tastiest of deals. They have so much wisdom and experience to share with younger generations, and they make up one of the most dynamic groups of diners — from the cherished elderly in our families to a wide range of retirees, empty nesters, parents and grandparents alike.

Across the board, seniors are ready for some delicious dining at a great price, so I’ve uncovered some of the best deals just for them right here in Ono, You Know.

If you are eligible for a senior discount, go ahead and treat yourself to one of these scrumptious offerings. And if you’re like me, one of the “youngins,” as my mom likes to call us, then it’s time to give back to the important elders in your life by taking them out for a palate-enhancing experience.

IHOP’s 55+ French Toast ($8.29)


When dining at International House of Pancakes, better known as IHOP, customers enjoy a side of genuine customer service to complement their delicious American-style breakfast, lunch or dinner, so it comes as no surprise that many island seniors have taken to the iconic establishment.

“We really do have a great rapport with them, especially at our Kuhio Avenue location, where we have some of our seniors come in three, four times a week, sometimes every day,” says general manager Darlene Balcita. “It’s very important to us because seniors have worked hard and done their duty to society, and now it’s time for us to take care of them in return.”

And take care of them the staffers certainly do. IHOP is home to a whole menu created just for patrons who are 55 and older, featuring many of the eatery’s most popular breakfast staples at a discounted price — all day long. Those eligible can bite into 55+ Buttermilk Pancakes ($8.29), offering those famous, fluffy hot-cakes topped with real whipped butter and ready to be doused in syrup. Those with a sweet tooth also will enjoy 55+ French Toast ($8.29) served up with two bacon strips or two pork sausage links.

IHOP’s 55+ Breakfast Sampler

The breakfast of champions on the senior menu, however, is the 55+ Breakfast Sampler ($8.99), which caters to hefty appetites with an egg, strip of bacon, sausage link and ham, alongside hash browns and a buttermilk pancake on the side.

Healthier substitutions like egg whites and turkey bacon are available for a small additional charge. Elders also may create their own omelet and enjoy it with pancakes on the side for $9.29. Last, but not least, those dining for lunch or dinner can revel in 55+ Tilapia Florentine ($9.99), featuring one fillet placed over fresh spinach and tossed in creamy Alfredo, all alongside mashed potatoes and garlic bread.

Aside from the 55+ menu, all IHOP diners will want to try the new, seasonal Latte Lover’s pancakes, which are inspired

by the arrival of autumn and available in Espresso Mocha Cream, Salted Caramel Java, Pumpkin Spice and Double Vanilla flavors. Enjoy them on their own or with a savory breakfast combo.

Makino Chaya’s lunch buffet highlights, including assorted sushi; tamago, swordfish, ebi and salmon nigiri (weekday senior lunch special, $12.95)


All generations of the family can satisfy their respective cravings at Makino Chaya, where an all-you-can-eat-buffet flourishes with loads of seafood, savory meat, American classics, local favorites, desserts — and what seems to be everything in between. But this bounty of buffet delights gets even better for the kupuna in your party.

Though Makino Chaya’s lunch and dinner buffets are heralded for their great prices to begin with, patrons ages 65 and older can take advantage of the senior lunch special, offering the lunch buffet Monday through Friday for a discounted price of $12.95 (regularly $15.98). Those ages 55 to 64 also are eligible for this discount when they bring in the coupon featured on page 15. (The restaurant reminds diners that the discount is not available on holidays, and that valid ID is requested.)

According to general manager Chris Mitchell, many elders in the community come in to take advantage of the value pricing, be it with their friends, families or even on their own. “I have some regulars who are here every day for the senior lunch special,” he says.

Sweets from the dessert spread (weekday senior lunch special, $12.95)

Among the most popular buffet items for these patrons, Mitchell explains, are miso butterfish, teriyaki chicken, shrimp tempura, as well as an array of sushi, including tamago, swordfish, ebi and salmon nigiri. And, of course, the dessert section doesn’t go unnoticed.

Makino Chaya’s discounts don’t stop there. Seniors 65 and older also receive 5 percent off lunch Saturday and Sunday (regularly $20.98), and 10 percent off dinner daily (regularly $33.98 Monday-Thursday and $35.98 Friday-Sunday).

If you haven’t yet reached senior status, there’s still something special in store for you, too: log onto makinochayahawaii.com for other coupons/discounts that everyone can enjoy. Diners of all ages also can look forward to the prime rib special for October, served up at the carving station during dinners Friday-Sunday.

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