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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

We Were Foodies in Lahaina

Lahaina, Maui- as a kid growing up, yes WE WERE FOODIES back then. I can remember the drive-inn, Sunset Freeze, they were famous for their Sweet Sour Spare Ribs, their Hamburgers that were juicy, on a soft bun, some lettuce, and their mustard and mayonnaise mixture made it beyond tasty, so simple it rocked! And their wavy fries, doused with mustard and ketchup. Those meals were just epic. Drive through Front Street, a stop at Sunset Freeze was a must.

Sushiya's was a small building that still stands on Prison Street in Lahaina, right across the Kamehameha Third School, our elementary school. Before and after school, this was the place to get some candy or some chow fun, a soda, or maybe a rice ball and shoyu chicken. And before I forget, Sunset Freeze was on the opposite end of the school, so we had two places to sneak away for good local food.

Also on Front Street was Yamamoto Store, owned by Mr. Yamamoto and his wife, we would go there for his hamburgers just as tasty as Sunset Freeze's, but Mr. Yamamoto had his famous shave ice, he'd put ice cream in the cup then top it with shave ice that was fine, and top it with some strawberry syrup. Yes! And then, if you needed fishing supplies, he'd have those too. It was a one stop shop, food and fishing gear.

For Chinese we'd hit the Golden Palace, your typical Cantonese American style Chinese, famous for their crisp gau gee mein, a gravy rich chow mein with crispy fried dumplings on top, and the won ton min too, as well as the kau yuk, everything was very good and you could smell the ingredients well outside the parking lot.

For cream puffs, long johns, cinnamon twists, chocolate Dobash cakes, and pies we'd visit my mom who was the lead cashier at Nashiwa Bakery. They had the coldest soda machine too, I remember when the cans of soda were a quarter, it's amazing we weren't diabetic back then, c'mon a glazed doughnut and a coke?

Food was simple back then, their wasn't any chain restaurants except for Mc Donald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken, and later a Pizza Hut. But back when we were kid kids, it was just mom and pops that ruled the school, and looking back, it was the best times. After baseball practice, we'd race down towards the Lahaina Shores area as it is now, but across the street there was this little green stand that still stands, it was called Mango Stand, where the elderly woman would sell her pickled mangos, and candy. Yeah those were the days.

For ice cream, we didn't have any Baskin Robins and stuff like that, no Ben and Jerry's, but we had Ed and Don's, it was in the Pioneer Inn Hotel street level. I loved their vanilla ice cream with some nuts on it, it was the bomb back then.

And we can't forget this place called Okazu Ya, that was it, it's Japanese for small portions of food, or something like that, you go in, and pick food by the pieces, and I used to go in there and raid the doughy shrimp tempura and Chinese sausage. The good thing was my classmate Karl Yamada's family owned it, and whenever we had a school outing, we'd give our money to Karl, and he and his family would show up early to pass out the box lunches, that was true customer service way before companies were instilling that idea of going beyond the call of a sale.

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