in Hawai'i. When we travel we like to eat where the locals eat. On our recent vacation to Lahaina and Kona we found a couple of gems. When we arrived on our first night we did the usual touristy things. We walked down the main drag and ate at a waterfront restaurant but these are places where vistors like us are directed. You seldom see locals in these places.
At our first opportunity, we asked a few locals where the good places were and they muttered something and we were not sure what they said but pointed south of town. We thought they meant south of the tourist strip. We walked up and down and back and forth but couldn't find the place. Then the next morning we drove our rental car further than walking distance and came across a delightful outdoor restaurant, on the beach
Aloha Mixed Grill, Lahaina, Maui
It was here, for breakfast that we finally had a chance to experience local cuisine prepared by award winning chefs. Mrs Skoot had the Loco Moco which are two hambuger steaks covered with over easy eggs and covered in gravy. They also serve their version of Hawai'ian fried rice which has a mixture of BBQ pork, spam or bologna, and chinese sausage. It tastes better than it sounds. I had the Nalu omlete; shrimp, tomato, spinach, onion and cheese. It was all very delicious
One day after driving all day, all around the Island of Maui we ended up in Kihei, a resort area with sand beaches about 16 miles south of Lahaina.
On our way to Big Beach, near the end of the road we passed by some people BBQing in a parking lot by the side of the road. We didn't stop but made a mental note to stop on the way back, and a couple of hours later we managed to get there "just in time"
I've never seen chicken BBQ'd this way before. They butterflied the chicken and had racks to BBQ them flattened. These racks rotated on a special trailer designed for this, and we were lucky to grab the last chicken. There were already people waiting in line.
The chickens were $10.00 each and we took ours back to our hotel in Lahaina and devoured it while sitting on our lanai (balcony). This was our first introduction to "HULI HULI" chicken, which is an Hawai'ian institution.
We left Maui and ended up in Kona where we asked the shuttle driver where to eat, and he mentioned a few places, one of which was BITE ME Fish Market
We didn't know where it was, but we eventually found it north of Kalua and south of the Airport. It wasn't a great day and we were staying close to town and it was inbetween lunch and dinner, but we thought perhaps we should go there to have a snack
It is a small place nestled in the harbour amongst the charter boats. They also do fishing charters which is how they started the business, only serving locally caught fish. It was luck that we arrived between 3:00 and 5:00 pm as they have happy hour every day.
I can't remember now, but we had the "sampler plate" which was an appetizer, fresh fish of the day, their special fish salsa. I think the catch of the day was Marlin. Fish taco combos were regularly $9.95 but during happy hour, the tacos were only $2.50 each which were filled with Marlin (catch of the day)
Our server told us that the Happy Hour tacos were "full size" , the same as they serve on the regular menu. The tacos were so inexpensive we came back again the next day where we had Sailfish