Outside Manaia are several tables for brave diners who want to challenge the weather - I elected to stay inside and enjoy the warmth on this chilly day

Manaia – Hillsboro

I’m always looking for new spots to try breakfast – or really any meal, yeah, bit of a goodie maybe.  I worked in another lifetime very close to the spot where Manaia is not located – at the intersection of Second and Main in Hillsboro.  I’ve seen lots of places go into this space and normally they don’t last too long, but goodness I sincerely hope that Manaia will stay well, forever!  I’m not sure how busy it would be during the Farmer’s Market season (there’s a reason to visit again if I’ve ever heard one!!!) but it’s right on the corner from what I’d consider the busiest place for that market.  I was lucky enough to be able to visit on a chilly but gorgeous morning in January.  The sun was out and I was raring to visit once I’d read some of the reviews of Manaia.  Sound like a fantastic place!!

Where is Manaia?

Manaia is located on the ground floor of the building on the North East corner of the Second and Main intersection in Hillsboro.  It is very easily found, however, during the Farmer’s Market season (May -> October) I can see there being very limited close parking.  Manaia is however er just about close enough to visit for breakfast during the week and is just s short walk from my current work-site.  I’ll have to make a mental note to visit sometime during the week.

Outside Manaia

I was able to find a close spot on this chilly wintry wet Saturday across the street next to the bank.  I wasted for a moment for the light to change and was pleasantly pleased to see through the window that  Manaia had several diners in it, and there wasn’t too much of a line to order breakfast.

Outside Manaia are several tables for brave diners who want to challenge the weather - I elected to stay inside and enjoy the warmth on this chilly day
Outside Manaia there are a couple of places where diners can sit (though I’d recommend better less rainy weather.  The large windows provide some very nice natural light inside

Inside Manaia

Inside Manaia I felt like I’d been transported to an exotic location in Hawaii or another fantastic Polynesian port.  The flooring, decorations, and large plants made me forget about the rainy day behind me and start enjoying their interior design.  Next to the front door are a couple of high-chairs that look out the front window, good for those solo diners.  Also, along the left side inside is another counter area that has very comfortable stools at it where folks can browse the always available local papers.  Looking further inside is a rustic cooking area decorated with mismatched wood that gives the place an authentic feel.  The plants above the cooking counter heighten the tropical feel.

Inside Manaia looking toward the front entrance, large windows can be seen along with counter seating facing the downtown area
A lot of natural light can enter through the large windows in the front of Manaia.  Customers will always be pleased by the natural ambient light in this restaurant – also, there are several chairs to the left of the front for that are very comfortable and afford a nice view at the downtown
Counter on the west side of Manaia.  Local papers are available for diners - as well as Manaia brand coffee
Manaia has it’s own coffee that is available for purchase, and another large counter this time with stools to sit at.  Diners can also peruse the local papers that are within easy reach
The counter at Manaia looks great - it’s mismatched wood looks just amazing
The counter at Manaia looks fantastic – it takes a normal somewhat – standard area needed in most restaurants and decorated it with mismatched wood that looks fantastic

Other Inside Features at Manaia

The table I chose had a marble top – which was cool to the touch, but felt extremely sturdy.  The chairs at my table were padded leather and super comfortable.  Just behind my table was a couple of great features I thought I’d point out – the owners recognize that to have a successful coffee house there should also be some kind of alternative entertainment choice, hence the television and couches at the rear of the restaurant, that was a fantastic feature as far as I’m concerned.  Additionally, just past the couch (from where I was standing) was a large chalkboard where kids can have an erasable surface to entertain themselves.  I’m not sure what it is about chalkboards, but it seems like all kids know instinctively what to do with them – I saw at least two or three very small kids walk up to it and start drawing.  Very nice that Manaia recognized that having entertainment for all ages is good.  On the wall opposite the chalkboard – omg the west side of the building, almost the entire wall back to front has artwork from local artists for sale.  There is a massive number of art works there, and it’s very impressive the number of works that are featured.

Looking toward the front door the cooking counter, west side dining counter, artwork and other hungry guests can be seen
From my table can be seen the exquisitely designed counter, the dining counter on the west wall and artwork along the west side.  Other diners started arriving after I did, apparently my timing was very good
My table was very comfortable with padded leather chairs.  All of the artwork on the walls is for sale, which is a very nice touch
I really like the sturdy and well designed table I chose.  The seats were nice and I had a great view of the artwork
The television and couches are very comfortable and there is even a large chalkboard for kids
Recognizing that alternative means of entertainment at a restaurant and coffee house is a great thing, the owners of Manaia have a large television and couches available.  There is also a very large space where kids can draw on a blackboard
Along the western wall almost from the front to the back of Manaia are local artists pieces for sale
All of the artwork on the western wall are for sale – some require the owner be contacted, while other can be bought right not he spot

Coffee and Food Menus

Manaia has a very large selection of coffee drinks, and I can see folks visiting to enjoy the coffee just as much as the restaurant offerings.  The breakfast menu items are the reason after all I was visiting, so I needed a couple of moments to figure out a plan.  As you all know I’m very partial to Country Fried Steak, however, Manaia being a Polynesian themed restaurant didn’t have any of that.  Well, that wasn’t going to deter me!!  The two items that sounded good were the Rainmaker and the Uso Plate.  Now, as you all know I’m a bit partial to professional wrestling (and more about that in a future article) as silly as it is, it’s a vice I’ll admit to.  Well, both the Rainmaker and Uso are related to wrestling – the Rainmaker being Okada from New Japan Pro Wrestling, and the Uso’s being World Wrestling Entertainment Tag Team champs.  So, I already had reason enough to want to try them.

Manaia has several wonderful coffee specialties available
Manaia has several signature coffee specialties, and I can easily imagine myself visiting and ordering one of them
There are several wonderful items on the breakfast menu, but I decided on the Uso Plate
Manaia has two items that really spoke too me – the Rainmaker burrito, a burrito covered with gravy?  Yes, please!!!  The Uso plate also sounded heavenly, and I eventually decided on that one

Breakfast – Wow, can I say WOWOW!!

Well, I’d love to say that I gracefully and carefully ate the wonderful Uso plate with dignity, etiquette, and stateliness, but that really wouldn’t be the case, and I’m a journalist dedicated to bringing you all the  most truthful and honest opinions.  In short this may very well have been the greatest breakfast ever consumed by anyone ever in the world.  I’m not sure how I didn’t end up ordering several more orders, but I managed to suppress my urges to get more and more. Here is what the Uso plate (thankfully only served on Saturday’s) has (starting at the bottom):  Freshly made super light and delicious biscuits, wonderfully homemade and seasoned grave, shredded pork – Umu pork, with two over hard fantastically seasoned fried eggs.  I don’t have sufficient rent vocabulary to explain just how good it was, but trust me here – you absolutely need to get to Manaia and try these.  You need to.

The Uso plate is just amazing - you need to try it now.
The Uso plate was probably the best breakfast I can remember having ever

Rating and Summary

I really appreciate everything that Manaia is trying (and succeeding!!!) to do.  The restaurant is very well setup with great furniture, seating options, and entertainment alternatives.  The coffee selection is great, but for me the standout option is the food, now, I’ll admit I’ve only enjoyed the Uso plate, but I will also say that if the rest of the offerings are half as good as the Uso plate, then this is a fantastic place that you should immediately if not sooner visit.  Just for the Uso plate Manaia’s deserves five Heywillamettes, but I liked everything else so much that I’ll award an additional half.  As you all know I don’t normally dish out five and half ratings, but in this case it is well deserved.  Please, I implore you, find some time to visit Manaia and try their breakfasts offerings (the also have lunch, but I’ll talk about that in a future article) and do consider visiting on a Saturday and trying the Uso plate, you just may find yourself ordering another one.  It’s that good.



One comment

  1. Thank you so much for the incredibly kind and thoughtful review of Manaia! We work hard as a team to make sure our customers, new and frequent, have a great experience every time they come see us. We are so glad you made it in and look forward to your next visit. 👍🌴😃

    Liked by 1 person

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