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Aloha! (As In, Goodbye) [Maui Part Three]

Posted Jul 21 2009 10:32pm

What a great weekend! It’s been almost a year since I started talking to Sarah outside of the blogosphere, and we realized pretty quickly that we are a lot alike! This past weekend, we decided it was about time to finally meet in person – and she came to Chicago to visit me! We had an awesome time, and I can’t wait to share photos in my next post. But first, the final installment of my trip to Maui!

- Aloha! [Maui Part One]

- Aloha! [Maui Part Two]

Aloha! (As In, Goodbye) [Maui Part Three]

The last leg of our Maui trip moved from Paia to Kaanapali. My mom and I enjoyed our drive along the coast to our resort hotel location, a much different atmosphere from the small inn where we spent out first two nights! But before we got there, we made a stop at Maui’s only winery: Tedeschi Vineyards at Ulupalakua Ranch.

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This winery was well worth the trip because it has a very interesting history. It was tucked away on Mt. Haleakala, and the drive was breathtaking. We were on a small two-lane road that bended and twisted up the volcano, but at any moment, we were faced with a gorgeous view of the cliffs and the ocean.

The best part about our trip to the winery was the pineapple wine. Yes, pineapple!! We were able to taste 3 different varieties, and each one had its own unique flavor. They also had the traditional grape wine, but I loved the Maui Blanc and Maui Splash so much that I bought some to bring home with me! It has a very fruity taste – one variety even has a “splash” of passionfruit.

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After our tour and tasting, we made the drive to Kanaapali. On the way, we stopped for lunch at a local hidden gem (at least according to my dad’s friend!) called Hali’imaile General Store.

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This place has quite the unique menu. My mom and I decided to be daring and start with the jalapeño and cilantro margaritas – yes, it’s just as spicy as it sounds!

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Apparently these margaritas were written up in some chili pepper magazine! They lived up to their name, and while I probably wouldn’t order one every time, it made for a very interesting change up!

My mom and I then decided to split two of the restaurant’s famous entrees. We started with Bev’s “Famous” Crab Pizza, a “handmade six-inch pizza crust with the ‘I’ll never tell’ crab topping.”

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This pizza was so rich and delicious! The middle was a creamy crab mixture – I have no idea what “Bev” used in her recipe, but I wish I could replicate it. This was a small plate, and my mom and I were perfectly content splitting two pieces each. A little went a long way.

Up next: Brie and Grape Quesadilla, with “cilantro Macadamia nut pesto and sweet pea guacamole.”

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Another decadent option! The rich Brie cheese combined with the sweetness of the grapes was such a great combination. The sweet pea guacamole was also an interesting addition. I used it to top my quesadilla slices, and it added another layer to the entire dish. Two thumbs up once again!

Last but not least, there was dessert! My mom and I had a lot of trouble deciding just which dish to go with, since there were so many great options to choose from. Eventually, we agreed to try the Lilikoi Brûlée and Almond Brittle Cup, a “rich Lilikoi Brûlée served in an almond brittle cup over fresh berries in a raspberry coulis.”

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Can you imagine anything much more perfect than that? ;) The almond brittle cup was the best part – I have always liked peanut brittle, so this was a natural favorite of mine. The brulee was just as rich as the other dishes, and I was actually glad that the strawberries were subbed for the raspberries because strawberry shortcake is one of my all-time loves.

I really can’t say enough about the Hali’imaile General Store. If you’re ever in Maui, GO!

After our delightful lunch/dinner, my mom and I made it to our hotel and spent the evening watching the waves. The views from our room were tremendous.

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The rest of our trip included a lot of this:

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Lounging by the beach with pineapple wine and a good book :) Heaven.

It also included a lot of this:

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I miss my mom already! Piña coladas and mai tais …life wasn’t too rough that week. Here is another view from the beach.

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My mom and I decided to keep things low key for the rest of the trip. Between days spent at the beach, afternoons spent shopping and nights spent watching movies in the hotel room, we had an absolute blast. We even decided to make our mom-daughter trip a yearly event. Any tips on where to go next year?!

I want to end this post by highlighting a few more delicious restaurants we visited. I think the pictures speak for themselves, but if you have any specific questions, feel free to email me or comment below.

Wednesday Appetizer:Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

I had never been to Bubba Gump before, so I was excited! We started out with a gigantic batch of strawberry margaritas which were divine :)

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And the split a shrimp-spinach-artichoke dip as an appetizer mid-afternoon while shopping.

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Wednesday Dinner:Kimo’s

This was one of my parents favorite restaurants when they first came to Maui (before I even existed). My mom was so excited to go back, and I can see why. It’s in a town called Lahaina and sits right on the ocean and the food is superb. I started, of course, with some white wine – if you couldn’t tell, the drinks were free flowing while we were on our vacation.

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Then the waiter brought out fresh dinner rolls and carrot-zucchini muffins. Yum!

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For my entree, I started with a Caesar salad, which I haven’t had in ages! I think it all must have started when I read some article somewhere that said the Caesar dressing was “highly unhealthy.” Well, that may be true, but I forgot how much I love it! I ate and enjoyed every bite.

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For my main dish, I went with the special: coconut-crusted opah (white fish) topped with mango salsa and a Thai peanut dressing. Holy moly – it was sensational! Remind me to coconut crust just about anything now that I’m home (even if I’m the only one in my family who likes it!).

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Then came dessert. According to my mom, Kimo’s is known for its “Hula Pie” - in fact, the menu boasts that it is what the sailors swim to shore for ;) We’re talking macadamia nut ice cream topped with chocolate topped with macadamia nut topped with whipped cream, people.

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Yes, it was HUGE!!! So huge, in fact, that my mom and I couldn’t have more than a bite before we groaned and doubled over. Fortunately, the ice cream was frozen solid, so we had the waiter box it up and it was still standing by the time we got back to the hotel. We were able to keep it in our hotel freezer for the remainder of our trip and enjoy it in parts – trust me, it was worth the effort!

Thursday Dinner:Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine

Eating here made me think of Jenna. I loved that they gave us edamame to start instead of bread.

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My mom and I ordered the appetizer sampler platter first. It was so delicious! From the far left there was a sushi roll, spring roll, baby back pork ribs, lobster potstickers and chicken satays.

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We both also decided to try a bowl of the kabocha soup – it was my first time trying the squash, and after reading about it on countless blogs, I must say…it’s damn good! The ball in the center was, believe it or not, fried blue cheese. Didn’t know you could fry blue cheese, but it worked :)

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For our entree, my mom and I finally wised up and decided to share the special (so as to not stuff ourselves all over again!). We got the Mahi Mahi, which was served with a creamy sun dried tomato sauce and mushroom risotto. The risotto may have been my favorite part of this dish!

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For dessert, we tried Roy’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. You can’t leave Hawaii without trying pineapple upside-down cake! It was sensational, and our last dessert of the trip.

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There was so much great food on this trip. And while the price tag was kind of a downer – don’t go to Maui if you’re looking for easy-on-the-budget travel – it was worth it for the time well spent with my mom (easy for me to say, since Papa Bender was nice enough to take care of the bill)!

If you are thinking of a trip to Maui and have any questions, feel free to email me: eatingbender@gmail.com. I would also love to hear from anyone who has been to Maui before. I’ve been reading through some of your comments and it sounds like a lot of you have been to the same places I visited during my trip!

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P.S. Vote for Danica! Visit this link and click on “Nectarine Raspberry Sorbet over Fresh Fruit.”

Aloha,

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