Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Week Away From the Normal Wind and Grinds


Obviously I have not adhered to my promised posting schedule, and with good reason. As you may know, my sister came to visit and despite all good intentions to sit down and post an entry on Wednesday, alas! it just didn't happen.

So I'm here now to go over a bit of our eating extravaganza of local foods, or as it is said on the islands say, "local grinds".

On our first day, to the West side of the island and Lahaina for an overnight stay, we started breakfast at Tasty Crust. This diner was probably built the day after the lava started cooling and the island was formed. Stepping through the door is like stepping through a portal in time, and the fare is simple, unpretentious and down-to-earth. The reason for the french fries: the unopened, brand new bottle of ketchup was just begging to be used!

Dana's delight is her shave ice from Local Boy's Shave Ice in Lahaina, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the bottom, and Liliko'i/Papaya/Mango syrup on the smoother than silk shaved ice.

The state beverage of Hawai'i: the MAI TAI!

Another establishment that has been around from the days when food was food and reminds one of some good old home cooking is Tiffany Diner in Wailuku. Here is Chow Funn and Sweet-and-Sour Chicken - simple food for good eating...

A local spot in Upcountry serving the best Mexican food for the money; Polli's in Makawao - a must have is the Liliko'i margarita and (not shown) the Makawowie nachos!!!

Lunch before boarding the plane was at Da Kitchen in Kahului, where there was lots of local grinds but done in a very inventive way.

Kim Chee Crab Cake

Loco Moco, another Hawai'an staple of a hamburger patter, 2 over easy eggs, 2 scoops of rice, potato-mac salad, brown gravy and here, with sauteed mushrooms. We Googled "the best loco moco on Maui" and Da Kitchen was the hands down winner!

And last, but not least, because I couldn't have a guest over without cooking dinner, here is the pre-Valentine's Day menu.

Okinawan Purple Sweet and Yukon Gold Potato Salad
Confettied with Green Peas, Sweet Baby Corn, Diced Kula Carrots
Green Bamboo Salt

Crushed Black Pepper and Kosher Salt served in an oyster shell

Caesar Salad of Red Romaine Lettuce Wedge
Olive Oil Croutons
Freshly Grated Parmesan

Macadamia Nut Wood Smoked
Chinese 5-Spice Powder Boneless Pork Chop
Homemade Ketchup-Fresh Pureed Guava BBQ Sauce

Grilled Kona Coffee-Spice Rubbed New York Strip Steak
Merlot-Balsamic Vinegar-Soy Sauce Reduction with Fresh Thyme
Nasturtium Flower-Lemon Compound Butter

Big Island Chocolate Chip-Chocolate Covered Mochi
Fresh Mint-Wasabi Ice Cream

So now that I feel like a beached version of one of the Humpback Whales we saw breaching in the waters off Maui, I'll leave you now so I can contemplate salads and rice cakes for the next few weeks!

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