||Dogbytes 2006 Maui Vacation Trip & Pics & Travel Tips
Joined: Mar 24, 2002
From: seattle, wa
|Posted: 2006-03-15 2:45 pm  Permalink|
Dogbytes 2006 Maui Vacation Trip & Pics & Travel Tips
Weather was much better on Maui ~ We stayed at the Westin because we got a killer deal (6 days, 5 nights, midsize rental car, free professional photos and $75 to spend at the resort) but be warned, the Westin and the Starwood Properties want to sell you timeshares or to "introduce" you to their other resorts. No high pressure tactics but its always present. Very good concierge service. Gotta say, the rooms are definitely not soundproof, and we could hear every person in the hallways, and the family of 4 getting ready at 6:15 am.
If we visit Maui again, i'd stay in Wailea instead ~ the drive to Kanapaali is brutal.
The Salvation Army Stores were a waste of time ~ i'd venture to say, all the shopping done there are by locals trying to scrape by. Goodwill Stores were a bit better, we did find a few long sleeved hawaiian shirts! All the Church and Hospital Thrift Stores had bizarre hours (first and third tuesday) if they opened at all. i'd suggest calling first! A few antique shops in Wailuku where i found some treasurecraft things.
Again, some of the best deals on Rum and souvineers is at Longs Drugs! I loaded up on bottles of Maui Rum.
plenty of other places on our food list that we didn't get to, email me if you want even more reccomendations!
Between returning the rental car, flying to Maui, getting our luggage and the new rental car, and getting to our hotel, there wasn’t a lot of time for lunch. I had a pastry from Ted’s Bakery stashed in my purse while driving, then we went to an early dinner at Lahaina Fish Company. Sunset is a great time to be here anyway, its a beachfront restaurant with a great view of the ocean to the west. They had opakapaka, one of our favorite types of fish, though this preparation (heavy beurre blanc) overwhelmed the delicate fish and was disappointing. Our other choice was “The King’s Moi”, a whole moi wok-fried, but the moi served us was a pretty small fish (not much flesh on it) and we’ve had the same presentation done much better at other places (e.g. Sam Choy’s on other trips). Despite the great setting the food thus gets only a qualified recommendation, and the drinks a negative one as the mai tai was pineapple juice and rum. Not Recommended.
Lahaina Fish Company
831 Front St
SATURDAY, MARCH 4
Wailuku is an older town, close to the port and commercial area of Maui and far from the major hotels (so far, but there is some major development going on in the area). This is the sort of place where you are more likely to find true “local grinds (eats)” This is the oldest bakery on Maui. We split an excellent cold pastrami sandwich with tomatoes and lettuce on a great baguette, followed by a piece of wonderful macadamia pie and a piece of “Hawaiian strudel”. Definitely worth a visit.
Maui Bake Shop
2092 Vineyard St
At least the Maui Bake Shop is on a major street. Sam Sato’s on the other hand is hidden in the Wailuku Industrial Center at , which doesn’t even show up on the maps they give you at the rental car places This is another old standby, starting out as a grocery store in the sugar mill days and becoming a restaurant (various incarnations are pictured on the walls) that has been a local institution for many years. Even though tourists have a hard time finding the place, that does not mean it isn’t packed; arriving at 1:45 we waited a good fifteen minutes for a table. The menu consists mostly of homemade noodles and sandwiches/burgers, all inexpensive but *big*. We had won ton mein and their specialty “dry” mein with two “beef sticks” (teriyaki skewers), all excellent. They also have a limited assortment of baked goods.
1750 Wili Pa Loop
Aloha Mixed Plate in Lahaina has something of a glow in our memory, as it is one of the first places we ate on our honeymoon. Nowadays it is heavily advertised and much busier with tourists (we saw people still wearing their greeting leis), and maybe not quite as good as it once was; the rice was cooked wrong and the mac salad had little flavor. The fried teri beef though was still very good, as were the kalbi ribs; the mahimahi and plain teri beef were good though not great, as were the “spicy drummettes” (though the last were not spicy in any way). Mai tai was pineapple juice with a small splash of rum; you can’t have alcohol at the tables on the lower patio, so opt for the better view and skip the drinks.
Aloha Mixed Plate
1285 Front St
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
SUNDAY, MARCH 5
Swan Court at the Hyatt apparently no longer serves brunch (too bad, as it was a great brunch in a great setting). The concierge at our hotel instead recommended the Gardenia Court at the Kapalua Bay Hotel. A good brunch though certainly not the best we’ve ever had. It had the usual things for a grand Hawaiian brunch (roast beef carver, omelet station, lots of hot trays of breakfast foods, good fresh fruit, Japanese breakfast items including miso soup, tofu, and a few sushi choices). Of interest was that it included a commercial kitchen juicer so that you could create your own fresh juice, and a chocolate fountain. The baked goods were only fair. Nice setting but not Swan Court, and the ocean view is pretty much limited to the front line of tables. Pricey at $34 per person.
Kapalua Bay Hotel
One Bay Dr.
We decided to check out China Boat thinking that it might be the out-of-the-way Chinese restaurant we stumbled across on our honeymoon (18 years ago!) where we had a very amusing encounter with an irritable Chinese waiter whom we asked one too many questions. China Boat was indeed the same place, though we didn’t see the same waiter and the young waitress was happy to answer all of our questions. Excellent mixed-meat “noodle cake” (pan-fried noodles done the way we like them). Something new, pineapple-coconut shrimp ~ deep fried shrimp served in a sweet, clear coconut sauce with chunks of fresh pineapple ~ a spin on the traditional Sweet & Sour. The fried fish filet in garlic sauce was gargantuan and fantastic. Big portions and it was all done perfectly! There are tropical drinks on the menu, but these are to be avoided; the “zombie” was bright red and sickly sweet.
4474 Lower Honoapiilani Hwy
MONDAY, MARCH 6
Stillwell’s is another local bakery in Wailuku, this one on the Kahului edge of town instead of in the old downtown. It’s famous for its pies, particularly cream pies. We had a really good crab cake sandwich, the crab cake better than some we’ve had in fancy restaurants, the sandwich large enough to easily share and came with some rather good Caesar salad (again better than some we’ve had in fancy restaurants). We shared the sandwich to have room for more pie, and had slices of their chocolate cream (extremely chocolaty and rich) and coconut cream. Very reasonable, and has more tables than most of the small bakeries mentioned.
1740 Kaahumanu Ave
Wailuku, Hawaii 96793
Between the late breakfast and the fact that this trip had been making both of us gain weight, we skipped lunch entirely but had a fairly early dinner at Mama’s Fish House. Mama’s is an old standby, well worth visiting both for its wonderful ambience (open air covered dining on the beach surrounded by tikis and bamboo poles) and its excellent fish. We started with the Maui French onion soup and then had the Hawaiian plate whose name I can’t remember and the mahi; all excellent. Very pricey, entrees start at $30 and rapidly go up (expect to pay more like $40-45 for most, without soup or salad). The drinks claim to be accurate renditions of the famous cocktails (Trader Vic’s mai tai, Don the Beachcomber’s scorpion); the scorpion seemed about right, but it’s hard to tell when it’s served in a hurricane glass and not in a bowl with long straws.
todd & soup!
my entree, macadamia-crusted crab-and-shrimp-stuffed mahimahi
Fresh baked Maui Onion Bread and complimentary bisque
Todd's Entree: two kinds of fish cooked in coconut milk, kalua pork, a steamed coconut, and other traditional items
799 Poho Pl
Paia, Hawaii 96779
our last stop for the night was Don the Beachcomber Go for the atmosphere. Avoid the mixed drinks entirely.
TUESDAY, MARCH 7
Back on Saturday as we were driving in Wailuku we saw Tasty Crust with its proud proclamation “Serving Maui for over 50 Years,” and my husband said, “we’re going to eat there.” After eating there today I was talking to Rose the salesclerk in the boutique at our hotel and mentioned it, and she said. “Only locals eat there! I love the pancakes.”
Exactly the sort of place we try to find. My husband had the pancakes (“World Famous”) and they were indeed darn good and enormous pancakes with a crust that was just a bit crunchy at the dges.
I had chicken katsu (sliced breaded cutlet) with fried rice which was extremely bacon-y. absolutely the best Mac Salad.
Chocolate Cream Pie. Real Whipped Cream. Chocolate-y beyond words.
Tasty Crust Restaurant
1770 Mill St
Wailuku, HI 96793-1298
Humuhumunukunukuapua’a might be considered the Kihei-Wailea coast’s answer to Mama’s Fish House, and is even more expensive. Access is through the very ritzy resort entrance and grounds, and the restaurant itself is a series of palapa-roofed wooden decks over large salt-water ponds full of reef fish. We started with the combination appetizer; were all excellent, but despite what the menu claims do not expect this to feed more than two people (there were six ribs but only two pieces of everything else). I chose the opakapaka nightly catch. My husband opted for seared ahi with baby bok choy, which he liked (I am not thrilled by fish that isn’t cooked all the way through). Mention should also be made of the Pele’s Revenge drink, the creamiest rum and coconut drink we’ve ever tasted, served in a whole green coconut.
bread basket (maui onion rolls, poi rolls and lavosh)
combo appitizer~ the baby-back ribs, coconut shrimp, kalua pork wonton, and tempura ahi on lemon-grass
my entree: opakapaka very lightly blackened over jasmine-coconut rice and sauteed spinach, edamame beans and red peppers
Pele's Revenge and a virgin Lava Flow
Grand Wailea Resort Hotel
3850 Wailea Alanui Dr.
Wednesday March 8
back to the Tasty Crust and Maui Bakery (for sandwich and baked goods for the flight home)
Saimin with Wontons with extra vegetables
Fried Chicken and Fried Rice
Macadamia Nut Custard Cream Pie
and home again to Seattle.. where i must diet again ~ even the muu muu's feel tight!
Joined: Oct 17, 2005
From: Sandy Eggo, CA
|Posted: 2006-03-15 3:04 pm  Permalink|
mmmmm...now I'm hungry.
sounds like you had a grand and tasty trip!
thanks again for the mug dogbytes
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Joined: Apr 08, 2002
From: The Lounge of the Seven Pleasures!
|Posted: 2006-03-15 5:33 pm  Permalink|
Dogbytes, this is EXACTLY the kind of reporting I've been hoping to find- not just someone hunting out where the locals go, but also the scoop on whether the drinks are any good! We can't quite crawl through the computer screen to join you, but this is the next best thing- and really useful when making our plans for the big trip!
Call me a wuss, but if I'm going to be on a plane or a boat that long getting there, I want to have a few good solid leads toward where to go (and where not to go) before I'm there. (Then the other 8/10s of the fun is breaking with all those plans and stumbling across the happily unexpected so we can make some recommendations to whoever's next after us!)
And, of course, it's great to see the two of you so obviously having a wonderful time!
"You're getting more interesting by the drink!" -Pepe le Tiki
Joined: Jun 10, 2004
From: Reseda, calif.
|Posted: 2006-03-15 8:31 pm  Permalink|
You are killing me with these great pictures. I am so hungry ayyyyyy. By the way thanks for the post and all the info anyways.
Joined: Jun 24, 2004
|Posted: 2006-03-16 07:18 am  Permalink|
Krustiki and I are going to Maui in June. Thanks for the heads-up on the hits and misses for food and drinks. Glad you had a great time!
We were in Maui a few years ago, and the only restaurant that sticks in my memory is Mama's Fish House - very good food, and very expensive.
I'll definitely print out your post and use it as a "food guide" when we go.
Joined: Mar 24, 2002
From: seattle, wa
|Posted: 2006-03-16 6:01 pm  Permalink|
On 2006-03-15 17:33, Sabina wrote:
Dogbytes, this is EXACTLY the kind of reporting I've been hoping to find- not just someone hunting out where the locals go, but also the scoop on whether the drinks are any good!
i wish i drank, so we could give 2 drink reviews per restaurant! but alas..
i've not been able to find many drink review sites cept for kevin's site
and this article mom and her Mai Tai
plenty of food review sites, but i like onokinegrindz best.
Joined: Apr 08, 2002
From: The Lounge of the Seven Pleasures!
|Posted: 2006-03-16 10:15 pm  Permalink|
Those'll keep me busy!