Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Maui Babymoon & Food Tour

When we've mentioned taking a "babymoon," half the time we get blank looks in response. I guess it's a newer term than we thought. My husband surprised me with a trip to Maui this month to relax, celebrate, and enjoy our life as two before we become three. Our babymoon.

That's right, folks. A little baby Ringler is due to arrive in early November! We're almost 6 months along and I can hardly believe it. Blogging has already started to become difficult to fit in...I'm afraid I might drop off when our son arrives, but hopefully his coming into our lives will inspire me even more as a new mom trying to feed healthy and creative foods to a growing boy. We'll see!

For now, though, I had to post about this trip because of all the great places we discovered on the island of Maui. We were there for a short 5 days, but it did not disappoint. Along with the relaxed nature and beauty of paradise, the food there was amazing and I can't wait to go back. Here's where we ate and ate and ate...

Da Kitchen Cafe in Kahului Home cooking, island style, perfect for your first meal when you fly in to the airport (it's only 2 minutes away) and when you fly out! You will find Hawaiian plate lunches and more. But all I really wanted was Loco Moco: rice, hamburger patty and a fried egg topped with a lot of brown gravy. It was amazing. The husband had Kahlua Pork with brown rice. The pork was a little too salty, but the rice was really good - soft and sticky - surprising for a whole grain. We also tried the Chicken Katsu and Teriyaki Beef and Teriyaki Chicken. Those were all excellent. Each dish was enough to feed two people. We enjoyed our leftovers on the plane home!

Kihei Caffe We also ate here twice because we loved it so much. This little "dive" is in Kihei, the town between Wailea and Lahaina on the west coast of the island. You order at the counter and they bring your meal to you outside on the patio. The people that work there are so friendly, it's like coming home for breakfast (or lunch). And you can have breakfast all day - well, at least until 2pm when they close up. They are located across from a beach park, so I'm sure they get a lot of local surfers coming for grub. And is it goooooooood grub! We had the Breakfast Burrito with Chorizo and we also tried the Cinnamon Roll French Toast (with coconut syrup - yum!). Both were fantastic. They have pancakes and pork chop & eggs, and they even serve meusli and yogurt parfaits. It's fresh and the flavors are really wonderful.
Mama's Fish House This is the best-known fine dining restaurant on the island. It's expensive, but you get a great experience for the 4 dollar signs. It's located on the north shore, at a private beach outside of the town of Paia. It is a huge restaurant and you need reservations whether for lunch or dinner, on the weekend or during the week. The fish is caught fresh everyday and the service is excellent. They start by serving fresh baked bread and a tiny taster cup of tomato and ginger bisque. It is a perfect beginning to a meal. The cocktail and wine list are quite extensive as well. We ordered the Shrimp Wontons (whole shrimp wrapped in a wonton wrapper and fried), Pulled Wild Boar and Mahimahi, and the Opakapaka served upcountry style (pan-fried) with carmelized onions and bok choy. For dessert, we had French-pressed coffee and the Black Pearl Lilikoi Chocolate Mousse. Beautiful presentation and taste all around. Our whole dinner came to about $160 for the two of us.

Jawz Fish Taco Truck & Ululani's Shave Ice We met some locals at a happy hour, and they recommended Jawz fish tacos. We found the food truck on the way to Kihei so we decided to stop and give it a try. The fish is grilled and the tomato salsa on top was almost a little creamy. It was very good - but I'm not sure I would go back...maybe just to try something else. If nothing else, it's a cheap way to eat. Two tacos for $7.

Ululani's now has shave ice shops all around the island. With a 5-star rating on Yelp, you can't lose here. It was definitely one of the best authentic Hawaiian shave ices I've tried. It's super soft and finely shaved ice, with just the right amount of syrup. The ice cream and mochi add-ons are so yummy, and the "snow cap" of condensed milk adds a perfect sweet creaminess to the treat. I'm so glad we tried it!

Tommy Bahama & Lappert's Ice Cream & Coffee at the Shops at Wailea
Our favorite stops in Wailea, where we stayed, were the Tommy Bahama Restaurant Happy Hour, and Lappert's Ice Cream. Both are located in the same shopping mall. You may know Tommy Bahama's as a clothing store. Well, it is, but they also have a bar and restaurant! The happy hour was a deal with drinks at $8 and apps at $7-9 each. The prime beef sliders were our favorite, followed by the macadamia encrusted goat cheese. The atmosphere is great, and we met some great new local friends there.

Lappert's is an ice creamery in Kauai, which has stores on the other islands. The ice cream is so rich and creamy, and you get flavors you can only find in Hawaii, with coconut and kona coffee and macadamia shortbread pieces. Delicious.

I'm ready to go again. Maybe next year to celebrate baby's birthday?!? wink, wink.


  1. I'm so glad you guys enjoyed Da Kitchen. It is my heart-language food, and the FIRST place I recommend to anyone visiting Maui!

    1. I loved it! I bet you are getting your tanks filled with access to that yummy food everyday! Hope you are well. Can't wait to hear about baby's arrival!