I'm back in North America after my too short jaunt to Maui with my sister. We had a great time, and I have tons of pictures to sort through, so I will start off with what may become my traditional food first post.
Maui Coffee Roasters, Kahului
This was by far our favorite breakfast stop on Maui, and we ended up stopping here every time we went through Kahului at breakfast time. Great coffee, good breakfast food, and fun, eclectic decor (see above). Highlights:
Bagels with guava butter. I had this two days in a row. I may never need to go back to cream cheese. Their guava butter has a great cinnamon kick, and was just so much lighter and more delicious than cream cheese. I thought I couldn't top that until I saw their weekday muffins.
Coconut muffin. I don't know where they get these muffins, but whoever makes them is a genius. Perfect amount of coconut, and it was a lot lighter than your typical bakery muffin.
All of their coffee drinks were excellent, but I also had a smoothie one morning, and that was fabulous too. Really, I don't think they can do anything wrong. I wish they'd transplant their store here to Portland.
Hula Grill, Ka'anapali
We ended up here for lunch on our first full day because it's within walking distance of the resort we stayed at. Lunch is entirely served in the Barefoot Bar portion of the restaurant, and we were actually seated in the beach portion of the bar. Their fresh lemonades (I had the passion fruit) were great. I ended up with the Baja fish tacos, which were made from local mahi, and served with a cilantro-jalapeno aioli. Great fish. It was beer battered, and fried, but fried lightly.
For dessert, we sampled the baked Hawaii, a take off on baked Alaska, featured pineapple upside down cake, ice cream, meringue, pineapple and rum caramel sauce. You can see the remains of it below, as we scarfed it much too fast to take a picture. It was definitely the highlight of the meal.
Mala Ocean Tavern, Lahaina
For dinner that night, we ended up in the north end of Lahaina, at Mala Tavern. They start their meals out with an edamame guacamole-like concoction that was really good, and I'm not normally a huge edamame fan.
I was trying to eat things that I wouldn't normally eat at home, but their Adult Mac & Cheese caught my eye. It featured a mushroom cream, mozzarella, pecorino and Maytag blue cheese. It has also been put under the broiler, so had bits of crisp bubbly cheese all over the top. I may have to replicate that someday here.
Pa'ia Fish Market, Pa'ia
After a morning up on the volcano, we ended up in the oceanside town of Pa'ia, and stopped there for lunch. The fish market is right at the main intersection in town. It's counter service with tables, and just has great atmosphere. I had the mahi fish and chips (above). Both their slaw and tartar sauce had great amounts of dill, which was really delicious. The fish came in huge slabs, and was beautifully fried.
My sister had their Obama burger, which was a Cajun style ono burger with a wasabi butter butter sauce. Great place, great prices, great atmosphere.
For dinner, we ended up back in the Whaler's village because we could walk from the resort. Leilani's is a sister restaurent, to Hula Grill, and I think I like Hula Grill better. To be far though, we did eat outside, which has a different menu than the inside, so I can only judge the bar.
I ended up with the Grilled Fish Salad, which that day featured ahi. I had a great piece of fish, but the salad itself was pretty standard, expect for the delicious pineapple vinaigrette.
For dessert, we had the Hula Pie, a really fabulous concoction involving ice cream, chocolate and macadamia nuts. I will heartily recommend that to anyone.
Hana Bay Picnic Company, Pa'ia
For our day trip on the road to Hana, we stopped in Pa'ia and picked up a picnic lunch pack. You can get a sandwich, macaroni salad, chips, drink and cookie for a reasonable price, and they sell cooler packs to keep them in. I had the black forest sandwich. Their bread is wonderful, and the cookies are quite good.
After an extremely long day, we ended up back at Hula Grill for dinner. I had the Big Island Goat Cheese Pizza, with spinach, tomatoes, roasted mushrooms, red onions, olives and Big Island goat cheese. It was a great light dinner after a long day.
We had the Ice Cream Sandwich for dessert, which was really good ice cream between two chocolate macadamia nut brownies, with raspberry sauce. Really, really good.
Kihei Caffe, Kihei
At this point, we weren't going through Kahului in the morning, so we didn't have an excuse to go to Maui Coffee Roasters. This morning, we stopped at the Kihei Caffe, which has an amazing variety of stuff, and pleasant outdoor seating. I had the huevos rancheros, which were delicious, as well as some of my sister's fresh papaya, which was wonderful. (That same morning, we stopped at the farmer's market and bought a strawberry papaya for later snacking.)
Soup Nutz and Java Jazz, Honokowai
For lunch, we stopped at Soup Nutz, the cafe side of this place. The service here was interesting. I had a spinach salad, which was good, but my sister's meal was disappointing for too many reasons to easily go into. We both ended up having smoothies for dessert. I had the White Mocha Blizzard, which was lovely.
Cilantro Grill, Lahaina
We had dinner at this fast Mexican place, which had really great food. The menu is pretty extensive, and their sauces were wonderful. I had a chimichanga, but my sister had one of their taco combos, which looked amazing. I also really loved their black beans.
Java Jazz, Honokowai
We needed coffee the next morning, so stopped back at the coffeehouse side of the place we'd had lunch at they day before. The service was still interesting, but the coffee was good, and the cranberry scone I had was wonderful.
Down to Earth, Kahului
For my last full meal in Maui, we stopped at the Down to Earth Natural Food Store and Deli. All of their deli food is vegetarian, and everything looked delicious. I had their quesadilla, which must have had an entire avocado in there, among other things. It was delicious.
So that was the food in Maui in a nutshell. Fortunately, we did a lot of walking, or they probably would have had to roll me onto the plane.