Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Two Restaurants, Two Times!

Day two of our Hawaii trip saw us eating in restaurants that we would come back to later in the week, so I'm going to give you a rundown of both visits to each establishment.  One restaurant was a casual, laid back, reasonably priced joint and the other was a high end, expensive, culinarily creative institution.  They could not have been more different, but we enjoyed them both anyway.

Our day two adventure started early...very early, at least for the boys.  They were going on a trip up Maui's volcano, Haleakala, to see the sun rise and then were going to bike back down the volcano. They had to meet the Maui Downhill van that would carry them to Haleakala at the hotel entrance at 2 am. Scott had biked the mountain the last time we were in Hawaii, so he chose to sleep in this time and let the boys go on their own.  We were looking forward to going back into Lahaina to shop while the boys were on their adventure.  We had most of the day, because they wouldn't return until around 2 pm.

By the time Scott and I got to Lahaina, we were ready for some breakfast.  We found a lot of shops with pastries and sweet rolls, but neither of us wanted anything sweet.  As we strolled down Front Street, we noticed that Cheeseburger in Paradise was open for breakfast, so we decided to give it a shot.  We were directed upstairs to a table overlooking the ocean.  When we weren't looking at the menu, we spent a lot of time reading the car tags plastering the walls and ceiling of the restaurant. The tags were from every state and we are truly amazed at the creativity of people when it comes to spelling things out on their license plates.

As far as our breakfast selections went, Scott decided on a cheeseburger scramble, which was hamburger, cheese, eggs, tomato and onion all scrambled together with hash browns on the side.  I got just a plain cheeseburger, with a side of fruit.  I love eating breakfast at a place where you don't have to order breakfast foods! We both enjoyed our breakfast choices, the view out the window and our server, Lucie.  She was quite talented and very entertaining! 

Our view out the window...Lanai and the sparkling blue water
Lucie delivered drinks stacked on top of one another!
My burger and fruit

Scott's Cheeseburger Scramble

In fact, we enjoyed it so much, we brought the boys back to Cheeseburger in Paradise for breakfast before leaving Maui for the Big Island two days later. Again, Scott got the cheeseburger scramble, but I got the Eggs Benedict. The boys all got cheeseburgers.  I think the burgers were better than the Eggs Benedict.  That really should not have come as a surprise! 

Reading the car tags!

The flowers at Mama's Fish House are gorgeous!
After our breakfast, we shopped in Lahaina until the boys got back from their bike ride.  By that time it was late afternoon and we were all hungry again.  We went to our favorite restaurant on Maui...Mama's Fish House.  We had made reservations for Mama's the minute we stepped off the plane when we arrived in Maui, but because of our plane delay, we missed getting to Mama's the first night.  When I called to reschedule, I just went ahead and made reservations for two lunch and one dinner. So our lunch was a late one after the Haleakala bike ride.  We were all hot and tired by this point and ready for some cool drinks.  Aren't they pretty?  They just scream Hawaii!

Our server, Bubba, quickly became a favorite.  We told him we were stopping by for a light lunch, but we planned on coming back the following night for dinner.  He told us to be sure the hostess told him when we arrived the next night.  

Tomato ginger bisque
Bubba got our lunch started off with an amuse bouche of tomato ginger amazing little wake up for the palate!  Here's the recipe: Tomato Ginger Bisque

Let me stop right here and tell you the amazing thing about Mama's Fish House.  The fish is so fresh, the menu tells you the name of the fishermen who caught each fish that day and where each fish was caught.

Ono with pink salt, Ahi with Kukui nut salt, and Onaga with Hawaiian Black sea salt
JD ordered a trio of sashimi. Each of the delicate pieces of glistening fish came with a sauce all its own and each was sprinkled with its own kind of Hawaiian sea salt.  The ono had calamansi citrus and Molokai pink salt.  The ahi was seasoned with ponzu sauce, red shiso and kukui nut salt. The onaga came with charred pineapple, pomegranate and Hawaiian black sea salt.  JD said they were all so fresh they practically melted in his mouth.  

Papio cheeks
Tyler ordered papio cheeks. They were fried and came with sliced cucumbers and carrots and a traditional dipping sauce.

Mahi Mahi stuffed with lobster and crab and baked in a macadamia nut crust


Scott ordered ono topped with lobster and shrimp, saving his favorite...macadamia encrusted mahi mahi stuffed with lobster and crab, for dinner the following night.  His fish was sitting on a bed of coconut rice and swimming in some kind of buttery, citrusy sauce.    

Rob's beautiful piece of macadamia crusted mahi mahi was stuffed with lobster and crab and  served with fresh asparagus.  
Mama's Spring Salad
I went light for lunch with Mama's Spring Salad.  The beautiful greens were topped with hearts of palm, cucumber, tomatoes, mango, honey macadamia nuts and goat cheese. It was tossed in a Tahitian vanilla vinaigrette.  If that doesn't just scream island food, I don't know what does!

We also sampled some wild boar and octopus luau.  The boar tasted a lot like the kalua pig we had at the Old Lahaina Luau.  The octopus luau did not look so appetizing, but it was wonderful!  It was kind of gray green in color and looked sort of like a bowl of wet seaweed, but it was sweet and amazingly tasty.  I was totally not expecting to like it as much as I did. 

A little visitor who stopped by our table

More tropical drinks!

For dinner the next night, we started with tropical drinks for Scott and me and local root beers for the boys.  Scott could not resist another lava flow and I got a mango colada. Both were wonderful and the boys loved their Waialua root beers.

We were sipping our drinks when our buddy, Bubba came running out to tell us he had our table ready.  And he not only had our table ready...he had it ready early and it was one of the best seats in the house.  We were seated right by the window so we could look out on the ocean and the beautiful twinkly lights in Mama's gardens.  Again, Bubba started us off with another amuse bouche of soup...this time a lovely asparagus concoction.   

Then we were on to this tray of shrimp heaven.  I think it was the best thing I had all night, except for our dessert. All I know about the shrimp is that they were fried and served on a bed of delicious, crunchy slaw with a yummy, Asian inspired dipping sauce.

Our shrimp appetizer

Prime beef short rib...Pulehu
This time around, Rob couldn't resist the prime beef short rib served with asparagus. It was falling apart tender and he loved it. He told us this short rib was the best thing he has ever eaten in his life.  I wish I had tasted it!

I had a lovely piece of fish, but honestly I cannot remember what kind it was.  It was delicious sitting on a bed of coconut rice and topped with some beautiful sauteed vegetables.  But, for me the most remarkable thing on the plate was some local avocados with skin so thin you could eat it and I did! The avocados, skin and all, were buttery and tender.  I could have eaten a bowl of them!

 Scott finally got his most favorite fish, the macadamia crusted mahi, stuffed with crab and lobster and served with fresh asparagus.  I think Tyler also had the mahi mahi.

We had so much fresh and gorgeous fish and their Hawaiian names are so hard for me to remember, that I have trouble describing each plate,  but everyone of us loved our entrees.  Here is JD's beautifully cooked fish. Again, he had 3 different pieces of fish on his plate and they were swimming in some kind of creamy sauce.   

The beautiful bar at Mama's Fish House
Are you ready... Here is the most amazing thing we ate.  It was a black pearl of Liliko'i chocolate mousse sitting in a pastry oyster shell.  It was absolutely stunning and a dessert I will never forget.

A black pearl...
The most beautiful dessert we have ever eaten!
A perfect ending to a perfect day in paradise!
Our server, Bubba, made our night extra special and we hope one day he comes to visit all these other bubbas so we can treat him to some good old southern cooking!  Thanks, Bubba, you were great!
Bubba and the bubbas!
Three Friends and a Fork give double thumbs up to Cheeseburger in Paradise and Mama's Fish House. And a big Mahalo to Lucie and Bubba!

Mama's Fish House on Urbanspoon Cheeseburger in Paradise on Urbanspoon
Three Friends and a Fork
Three Friends and a Fork

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