Yesterday, Wailua Shave Ice had a three-hour line to get their Kauai shave ice. Customers started lining up an hour before it even opened. The small shop, which recently opened in Union Way off Burnside, served more than 700 customers shave ice yesterday, as temperatures hit 101.
"Someone waited three hours," says one of the ice shavers when we popped in today. "Nothing's worth waiting three hours for."
Part of why it takes so long is because unlike ice cream, you can't just scoop the ice onto a cone. The shave ice is piled onto a cardboard bowl, stacked high with shave ice, a dallop of whipped cream and a squirt of fruit puree and fresh fruit placed on top. You can add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream at the bottom for an extra $1. The finish product is Instagram-worthy as hell, which Wailua is well aware of: They even have a photo wall for posing with your shave ice.
The ice shaver working says part of what caused the hype is an Oregonian video recorded last week.
"They were going to post it next weekend, but they did it this weekend," he says. "I wish they'd never done it. We're too busy, if that's even a thing."
There's not a line yet today, so if you can take off work early or go on a dessert break, we highly recommend it.
But is it better than Salt & Straw?
"We never said that," the man behind the counter says.
We think so.