by smmmarti guide
August 29, 2003
At Take Home Maui, visitors find a grand array of hand-chosen specialties that represent the best of Hawaii’s bounty. Fresh tropical fruits including guava, papaya, mango and pineapple are displayed along with many items you may have come to know and love during your stay. Maui onions, although originally imported from a similar Texas onion, thrive beautifully on the slopes of Haleakala and are infused with the sweet island environment making them even superior to their origins. Li-hing-mui, the dried, sweet plum powder used to accentuate everything from candy to popcorn is an acquired, exotic flavor that is a favorite of children in the islands and sold in various forms here. Macadamia nuts and protea flowers, actually raised on the Big Island, are Take-Home Maui mainstays. What java addict could leave Hawaii without a satchel of Kona coffee, especially at such reasonable price? For tea lovers, a wide variety of island flavored blends and Maui’s famous cookies make gift-giving easy with one-stop shopping.
To stimulate even further envy in those you left behind, send them a videotape of the road to Hana or Hula girls competing at the annual Merrie Monarch festival. Any and all of these items can be packed and shipped in a custom gift box order. For a smaller treat that packs a wallop, ship someone a full-sized coconut through the regular U.S. mail service.
Even if gift shopping is not your motive for stopping in, smoothies are. Take Home Maui’s version of the mom-approved treat are known locally as the best on the island. The four-fruit combo includes fresh, ripe, sweet strawberries, banana, papaya and pineapple whipped up to order with a bit of ice and POG (pinapple, orange, guava juice), providing a full daily supply of tropical style vitamins and little extraneous nonsense. Surfers, divers and paddlers often add a dose of protein power, making it a meal in a glass. Also on the menu are custom-made deli sandwiches with a of choice fillings and five different breads, topped-off with the outlet’s specialties; ultra-fresh veggies; Maui onions, (what else?), lettuce, tomato, avocado and sprouts. Prices are reasonable (sandwiches, $5.25, smoothies, $3.25) and the street side seating on the plantation style porch is an ideal place for people watching, especially on "boat days" when the cruise ships bring in hoards of browsers to downtown Lahaina.
The talking mynah bird on the front porch is a favored attraction for keiki. Listen as he cackles wisecracks such as "get yer own!" in a remarkable mimicry of my son’s voice. Also, like my son, he is one smart bird dishing up very sound advice. Drinking those four-fruit smoothies could be the secret source of their surprising wisdom.
From journal Maui with Keiki