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Maui-Wailea Food Experiences

Everyone knows how I love a fine meal, so my blogging experience just wouldn’t be authentic if I didn’t share some restaurant experiences. As a wrap up to our Hawaii vacation, here’s a run down of some stand out meals.

While driving to & fro around the island, our noses told us that a place very near our house in Wailea might be a good option.  A wood-burning pizza oven is like a siren song to the hungry, sun-kissed, ocean-tossed beach-goer.  I have to obscure the restaurant name here to protect the guilty (I’ll elaborate in a minute), but if I say that it sounds like “DonkeyRod” you should be able to figure it out.  We enjoyed it so much the first night that we returned for another round a couple nights later.

As the waitress greeted our table, Ken mentioned to her that he and his friend AJ had played golf that day with Buzz, the owner’s father in law, and that he had offered to buy the table a round of drinks.  Now – Ken is a laid back, honest, fair & somewhat subdued kind of guy, so none of us had any reason to suspect a thing. The waitress returned a bit later to let us know that although Buzz hadn’t called in the gratis, as per policy, she was going to pick up the tab for the round of bevvies ($75).

cocktail When she left the table Ken’s face broke into a sly grin and it was then that I learned that he does have a very small mischievous streak in him.  Buzz was indeed the father-in-law of the owner, and they did play golf together that day, but Ken had fabricated the part about freebies

Although I don’t endorse taking advantage of people, I am opportunistic, so maybe Ken was experimenting with this trait. In this case it seemed ok as he was quite proud of himself – and it was fun to see Ken be a little wicked, a side I’d never seen – and the waitress got a big tip.

Did I mention we returned to the scene of the crime? There was a good variety of fun cocktails, specials & pies. The pork tacos were full of flavor, slightly spicy and tender, much more so than the fish tacos.  The first night’s fish special was Lehi which is similar to snapper, and was topped with lobster and a spicy curry coconut sauce.  We practically licked our plates clean.  Also a star was the strawberry cream pie, and I’m not much of a pie person.

Later in the week after a day of whale-watching in Lahina, we strolled along the streets killing time while we waited for AJ and Ken to meet us girls for dinner.  The plan was to eat at Kimo’s which is on the water and famous for Hula Pie.

While we paused for a minute to admire some wood carvings, we were recruited by a guy into Fleetwoods on Front Street (yes, it is indeed owned by the Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac).  Thank goodness we were convinced, since we would have missed it altogether as it’s entrance was tucked back in an alley. It was a sleek, inviting 3 story contemporary restaurant with a gorgeous rooftop bar complete with couches, lanterns, a stage for live music and a killer view of the sea.


At 2:15 in the afternoon we were too early for happy hour, which started @ 3:00 and included free tacos with any drink order. So we sipped some delicious un-discounted cocktails, gazed at the boats in the bay and hatched a plan to return after dinner for sunset.

In hindsight, we should have changed plans and had dinner on that rooftop, sitting in our comfy couches and just hit Kimo’s for the Hula Pie after dark.  Oh well.  Lin did report that her “Beach Bunny” burger at Kimo’s was the best she’d ever had in her entire life. The Hula Pie, standing 6 inches tall and properly bathed in hot fudge didn’t disappoint (we shared 3 pieces between 7 people).


We did later return to Fleetwoods for another round of unusual & delicious cocktails on the roof, some island entertainment to celebrate the setting of the sun and if we had stayed longer, we would have heard Mick himself play the drums.  This place is a definite must if you’re ever in Lahaina.

Lastly, but not least, I’ll mention Longhi’s in the Wailea Shopping Center.  Our breakfast there was amazing, far better than our old favorite “The Wave” which has now turned into a Mexican place (boo).

They do have the quintessential macadamia nut pancakes which I’m sure are fabulous, but having been there done that earlier in the week at “Stella Blues”, Lin and I shared a stunning eggs Benedict – two poached eggs floating in just the right amount of lemony Bearnaise a top homemade Italian bread.  Ann and Jen enjoyed perfectly cooked eggs & bacon, and the 4 of us shared a giant cinnamon roll. All the bread is made fresh on site, even the toast got raves, but topping my baked goods list was definitely the giant cinnamon roll – enough for 2-4 to share, depending on your glycemic tolerance.




All in all, there were plenty of culinary & libation highlights, enough Mai Tai’s to float the Titantic, that we felt thoroughly satisfied and ready lay our old eating habits to rest. We will enjoy a good meal and a tasty cocktail again soon, but first we got some fat fannies to lose.