It’s been quite a while since my last post. I have had so much going on! My dad was visiting and then my baby girl turned 1! We went to Disneyland for her birthday. TJ and I are such Disney freaks (we got engaged there!), so you can imagine our excitement taking Olivia for the first time! She had a blast!
The day after Olivia’s birthday/First trip to Disneyland, we headed to Maui! That’s right! Olivia gets a trip to Hawaii for her first birthday. Ok, Ok….she’s not THAT lucky! Our wedding anniversary is two days after her birthday! We had celebrations all around.
That’s why we haven’t been cooking. With birthday celebrations, my dad in town, a vacation coming up, we didn’t want to stock the house up with too much. And I know I promised more recipes, but I thought I would share with you some of our delicious eats on our vacation and tell you a little about our wonderful trip.
We stayed in Maui for just about a week. In that short week, we got to relax, see some amazing sights, visit some wonderful places and, of course, eat some wonderful food. I can’t tell you how much fun we had. Our first morning in Maui, we heard of a breakfast place nearby called Slappy Cakes. It’s a Portland (Oregon) joint that has made its way to Maui, Tokyo, Singapore, and Manila. It’s a breakfast place serving your regular fare but what’s cool about Slappy Cakes is the Cook-Your-Own-Pancakes concept. A griddle right in the middle of the table, like at a Korean BBQ joint. In Maui, they’ve got a little spin on their menu incorporating some local favorites. We decided to order the Imo pancake batter. Imo is a purple sweet potato. Since this was Olivia’s first pancake, we figured we’d let her try something a bit more ‘exotic’. We ordered blueberries, bananas, and whipped cream as our toppings (well, the whipped cream was mainly for me and TJ) and topped off our lovely pancakes with coconut syrup. Instead of maple syrup, a delicious way to top off your waffles or pancakes is with coconut syrup. Let’s just say…everything was delicious!
We also ordered a Slappy Moco to share, Slappy Cakes twist on the Loco Moco. Instead of a gravy, they served theirs with red pepper sauce and spinach oil. Super yummy. I almost didn’t miss the gravy 🙂
We were also lucky enough to visit the Surfing Goat Dairy and Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm in Maui’s Upcountry. You may think about gorgeous beaches and palm trees when thinking of Hawaii (and you should, it’s stunning), but Hawaii has so much gorgeous and diverse landscapes! Up and up the mountain we went. Stunning views of the oceans and beaches below. Our first stop was the Surfing Goat Dairy. You can take tours here, see how goat cheese is made, visit with the baby goats, feed the baby goats some hay, do a goat cheese tasting (and buy some afterwards, of course), and try some goat cheese truffles. Not only did we buy so much goat cheese (goat cheese pesto, anyone?! Amazing!), we also tried some goat cheese truffles. Absolutely delicious.
We then headed up the mountain a little further and went to the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. Here, we did a little walking tour of the grounds (you’re probably getting tired of me repeating the word “gorgeous”, right?) and tried some lavender scones, a lavender chocolate brownie, and lavender lemonade. The lavender scones came with a pat of butter and lilikoi (passionfruit) lavender jelly. I do like lavender, but if the lavender flavor is too strong, I tend to shy away. Their scones, brownie, and lemonade had just the perfect balance of lavender. It wasn’t overpowering at all, but fragrant and delicious. Olivia certainly enjoyed her first scone!
On our way back to Ka’anapali, we stopped by Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop for some pie. TJ and I shared a banana cream pie and a chocolate macadamia nut pie. Rich, delicious, and totally indulgent!
The next day was a Saturday. I was especially excited about the weekend. There is a chicken place I had been hearing about and they are only open on the weekends. Huli Huli Chicken is a roadside stand, serving up amazingly tender and flavorful grilled chicken. Find them on Hwy 30, just north of Front Street in Lahaina. Yes, I don’t know how to tell you better directions than that! A family is there grilling up loads and loads of chicken right by the side of the beach. Order yourself a 1/4 chicken plate for $8 or a 1/2 chicken plate for $13. Comes with a side of corn and white rice. Ok, here is my warning. Don’t go getting too excited about the sides and then getting all angry when it doesn’t live up to your culinary dreams. The corn – well, it’s just canned corn they’ve warmed up. And the rice is just plain white rice with some soy sauce. Instead, go and look at those as a little add on to the amazingly tender and moist chicken. It is fall off the bone juicy and delicious. Some of the best chicken I have ever tasted! Go early – around 10 am. They are there until they sell out and they sell out fast!
Heading to Maui, or Hawaii for that matter, you can’t not have a Mixed Plate lunch. We were lucky enough to stumble upon a hole in the wall (our favorite kind of stumbling) that served up delicious local and Filipino food. Appropriately enough, the place is called Local Food. Just a window with one woman working. We ordered ours to go. We got a Loco Moco and some Pork Adobo. TJ and Olivia really enjoyed both dishes!
We also made a pit stop to Ulu Lani’s Shave Ice for some Hawaiian shaved ice. Funnily enough, Olivia who eats just about everything, didn’t particularly like Hawaiian Shaved ice! She totally turned her nose up at it. Hey, we will take it for now!! Bring on the meat and veggies for now!
TJ and I went to Honu Seafood & Pizza to celebrate our anniversary. Besides the luau we went to, this was probably one of our ‘fancier’ meals while in Maui. But, of course, ‘fancier’ in Maui still means flip-flop acceptable. Here, we had the oyster shooters, fresh burrata mozzarella served with tomatoes, cherry hazelnut toast, olive oil, and Kona sea salt, fresh fish dore style, and the Pork Osso Bucco. The service was lovely and the food was delicious. I could have had about 100 more of those oyster shooters and a tub of that burrata!
Our last memorable meal of the trip was at Star Noodle. We had to head here as TJ and I are huge Top Chef fans. From Top Chef Seattle, there was a chef who we absolutely adored – Sheldon Simeon. We had to come here and taste some of those dishes we had heard so much about during the show. Everything is served family style, even the main dishes (although there are a few dishes you can order for a single or half order). We ordered the Steamed Pork Buns, Ahi Avo, the Filipino Bacon and Eggs, Hapa Ramen, Look Moore Fun, and Garlic Noodles. Wow. Everything was just melt in your mouth delicious. My three particular favorites were the Ahi Avo (Ahi with Lemon Pressed Oil, Sambal, and Usukuchi), the Hapa Ramen, and the Garlic Noodles. I could eat those every day! To finish off our already indulgent dinner, we ordered Malasadas. Malasadas, originally from Portugal and a common dessert in Hawaii, are fried balls of doughy goodness. The doughy balls are then covered in granulated sugar. Our malasadas came with crushed peanuts, caramel, and chocolate. Delicious!
Of course, woven in between all these meals and treats we shared some amazing memories and experienced some great adventures together. But, as this is a food-related blog, I won’t bore you with that just now 🙂
~ M ~