Herewith some words on real ale, fake wine, and Fran’s Island Grill, with pictures for atmosphere and a recipe even.
This trip is our first attempt at a vacation with the daughter in the traveling circus, and the addition of a strong-willed 20-month-old in tow has made it a little tough for me. The grown-up activities that I’ve tended to enjoy, things like snorkeling, swimming, hiking, and extended periods of sloth, are largely replaced by child-care. Supervising a toddler and an eight-year-old at the beach or pool has its charms, but I’ve once or twice caught myself feeling sorry for myself because I’d rather be doing something grown-up. Whatever; time is on our side.
I’m happy to report, though, that we’ve still been able to eat well and enjoy some grown-up drinks. First, the beer because, well, beer comes first.
Ales · The first trip to the grocery yielded two local products: First, the “Volcano Red Ale” from Mehana; the site is a wiggly Flash-pit, probably don’t go there. Maybe bad Web design goes with bad products? Anyhow, maybe their other beers are good, but the Red Ale is average at best, you can find something better.
The other was the “Big Swell IPA” from the Maui Brewing Company, and I liked it so much that I’m going to run this picture I stole from their website.
It’s light-coloured and with a light malt background and is absolutely loaded with hops, the aroma fills up your whole head. I just can’t think of anything better to counter the after-effects of a few hours on a beach or walking up a mountain trail in the tropical heat.
It’s interesting that this microbrew comes in cans. The website doesn’t say why, so I guess I’ll have to open another can to read the explanation... hmmmm. I’d reproduce it but it contains some fairly fanciful claims about the environmental virtues of aluminum. I can testify, though, that it doesn’t seem to interfere with this beer’s flavor.
MBC has a brewpub, we’ll try to drop by before we leave.
Wine, Sort Of · And now for something completely different... that first shopping expedition also brought back something they described as “Pineapple Champagne”. In fact that would be “Hula O Maui Sparkling Wine” from Tedeschi Vineyards at Ulupalakua Ranch.
The question has to be asked: Can this be as bad as it sounds? Well, no, it’s not that bad. But it’s not great either. We opened it to go with something light, but then we closed it again and had a nice bottle of Okanagan white. I was going to let it go, but Lauren stuffed a cork in it for some reason, and that was good, because the next day I was going to barbecue some chicken kabobs and she assembled the following marinade from what was on hand:
Hula O Maui Sparkling Wine
Some vegetable oil
Fresh-squeezed lemon juice (quite a lot)
Sam Choy’s Chef’s Recipe Pineapple Teriyaki sauce
The kabobs came out really excellent.
Lunch · We were going through Wailuku and Lauren noted there was a craft-supplies store she wouldn’t mind visiting. This was on Lower Main Street, a cheerfully grubby and industrious kind of place, just thick with eateries that are not particularly aiming at tourists. We had lunch at one.
They gave us a quick, hearty, tasty, inexpensive lunch in a friendly atmosphere. I suspect that not that many tourists will end up on Lower Main Street, but if you do, drop on by; tell ’em the haoles with the Really Loud Toddler sent you.