If our Founding Fathers wanted us to care about the rest of the world, they wouldn’t have declared their independence from it—Stephen Colbert
To me nothing says “America” like small town celebrations. And Waldron, Indiana puts on a beaut. They call theirs “Freedom Fest”.
As soon as you drive into this small town in southeast Indiana you see what seems like all of the townspeople assembled out on their front yards and the rest of southeast Indiana looking for a parking spot. People dressed in the red, white, and blue are everywhere. Cars are everywhere. There are food trucks and vendors. There is a live band and a dunking booth. There is even a hot-air balloon giving rides to the extent of the length of the tether. But everyone is there for one thing…FIREWORKS!!!
So our mission was to somehow find a place to park, eat some food and leave before the fireworks. We knew how difficult it would be to try to leave this congestion after the fireworks with two small grandchildren and a granddad who is always an intestinal twitch away from a public spectacle.
So we parked about two miles out of town on the road by a cornfield. This is something we couldn’t do for previous fireworks shows in eastern Kentucky, big hills and all. Flat land is great for fireworks and avoiding traffic.
When there are two food trucks serving BBQ, it was hard to decide. So…of course I started eating one serving of rib tips from one truck while waiting in line to get a brisket sandwich from another. This was an excellent plan.
The rib tips from Mel’s Catering were very tasty and tender. When you can eat them with a plastic fork, you know they are very tender.
Mel’s Catering had a great menu for festival eating.
My second BBQ meal was from Dave’s Double Barrel BBQ. This was my second time eating Dave’s food and it was just as good this time. The brisket sandwich was really good and the cole slaw may have been some of the best I have eaten as a BBQ side dish. I loved the sweetness of the dressing.
The brisket sandwich from Dave’s Double Barrel BBQ is so good, especially with Dave’s sauce.
I was very impressed by this cole slaw from Dave’s. Even my grandson loved it.
Check out this line for the pineapple whip.
Most of the festival was set up at the Waldron High School athletic complex.
A large crowd awaited the fireworks.
I hope they stopped the balloon rides when the fireworks started.
Some of the fireworks pictures that were taken outside of town.
I know some folks were unhappy with America this 4th of July but I didn’t find any in Waldron, Indiana. And Big Surf had the freedom to eat as much BBQ as he could handle.
I believe Hawaii is the most precious jewel in the world—Don Ho
With my apologies to Chuck Mangione, the title of this blog was how Mrs. Big Surf and I felt the whole week we were in Maui.
This blog is about the food we ate in Maui, other blogs to follow will entail the rest of our trip because with me the food is the most important part of the trip.
I’m sorry, but this blog is lengthy because I eat a lot. And since Hawaii was still in the throes of Covid protection, most of our food was take-out and styrofoam and plastic doesn’t photograph as well as fine china.
Now realize I researched many restaurants on all parts of the island and was ready to put my eating plan in action on the first day. So no matter where we were on Maui, I had multiple restaurants on my radar. Until we discovered….FOOD TRUCKS!!!!
We did sit down in a few restaurants, but due to Covid, if you needed reservations, some were hard to come by. Also I discovered the Maui sunset from our patio on the beach. So whenever a restaurant was marketing their sunset view, and somewhat elevated prices, and the wait for reservations, the option of a delicious meal from one of these food trucks looked a lot better. We just took the food back to our patio for our own private table to view a sunset like the one in the above photo, taken from our patio on Sugar Beach.
Day one started with an early breakfast pick up from Sugar Beach Bake Shop in Kihei. They have incredible malasadas, a Portuguese fried dough. Think of a solid cream-filled doughnut. We had these every morning. I also picked up some good coffee at the Java Cafe in the Azeka Mall in Kihei.
These malasadas were simple and delicious.
We had an early lunch from the OAO Sushi Go food truck. We had the Hawaiian Poke Bowl, the best thing we ate all week. We enjoyed this dish so much, we went back two more times for the poke bowl. We also got some wonderful sushi here during our last day, the Black Mamba roll…so good.
This Hawaiian Poke Bowl from OAO Sushi Go was the best thing we ate all week.
This Black Mamba sushi roll from OAO Sushi Go was really, really good.
We had a late lunch or an early dinner in Kahului. We stopped for carry out at Tin Roof, operated by Top Chef finalist, Sheldon Simeon. This was great food for a picnic at beautiful Ka’a Point on the north shore and a great starting point for our sunset viewing trip up to Hakalekulae Crater.
This pork belly was such a good dish, pork belly Kao Kao tin, from Tin Roof.
The Missus allowed me one of her pork belly spice wraps from Tin Roof. I was glad she did.
Day two in Maui started with another visit to a food truck, this time for coffee. Kraken Coffee served very good coffee for me and decaf for Mrs. Big Surf, this was a common stop for coffee.
After watching whales all morning and sitting on the beach, we worked up another appetite and decided to visit another food truck and eat in the setting provided for the food trucks behind the Azeka Shopping Center.
We had lunch at Vidad Local Kine Grindz food truck. We split an order of very tasty fried calamari and dry main noodles with braised short rib and had a ginger lemonade. Grindz is a local word for food.
The fried calamari and dry main noodles with braised short rib was a really nice lunch from Vidad’s.
Earlier in the morning, I stopped at Maui Farmer’s Market in Kihei and picked up some fruit, pineapple jam, and great homemade guacomole.
We couldn’t pull ourselves away from the beach and watching the whales and the sunset so we had an evening sunset meal of assorted goodies from the purchases of the day.
The Farmer’s Market Maui in Kihei had wonderful fresh fruit and very good homemade guacomole.
On day three, we went to Lahaina for a whale watching tour and had a great time. Afterward we stopped in Lahaina for lunch at Down the Hatch. Mrs. Big Surf enjoyed her fish tacos and I had a delicious local fish and fries. Very good lunch in a busy tourist town, but was really good.
On the way back to our condo in Kihei, we stopped for some fresh homemade pies at Leoda’s. This was a great idea. The pies were a delight, especially the key lime.
Fish tacos from Down the Hatch is a good choice.
If you are in the mood for some fried fish, I recommend the fresh fried fish and fries from Down the Hatch.
Satisfy your sweet tooth for some of Leoda’s homemade pies, these were coconut cream and key lime.
I highly recommend a stop at Leoda’s outside of Lahaina on the way to Kihei.
Lunch on day four was at a local favorite in Kihei, Nalu’s South Shore Grill in the Azeka shopping center. It was a good lunch menu, however Mrs. Big Surf called an audible and went for the late breakfast since she could not pass up the banana pancakes and I must say they were impressive. Big Surf on the other hand went for the raw salad to show his sensitive side.
These banana pancakes at Nalu’s were special.
The raw salad at Nalu’s is beautiful and great for a light lunch.
After snorkeling at beautiful Wakapu Beach in Wailea, we stopped for some take-out from highly recommended Paia Fish Market. We split an order of seafood pasta and clam chowder and headed back to the our patio for another Maui sunset.
This seafood pasta from Paia’s Fish Market is so good and was big enough to split for two people. The clam chowder was also delicious.
On day five of our week in Maui, we traveled north and hiked to Twin Falls. On the way back we found a roadside fruit stand and a huli huli chicken stand beside each other. The fruit and the fruit juices were so good and fresh.
Huli huli chicken is a Maui staple, often seen at roadside stands, if you are able to get some, by all means eat some of this. We love to sample local delicacies and traditional food when we travel and huli huli chicken is one of those traditions.
This lovely fruit stand outside of Paia was a great place to find fresh fruits and juices and the bonus was the huli huli chicken.
After consuming guava jelly most of my adult life, this was the first time I had ever seen fresh guavas in the wild. Now I understand my love of guava jelly.
Star fruit and passion fruit from our stop at the roadside fruit stand.
More fruit from our fruit stand purchases, mangoes and guavas. The pineapple and orange we got at the local grocery store. Don’t judge, the pineapples were local, fresh and cheap. We ate pineapple every day for breakfast.
We saved the huli huli chicken for a sunset dinner and stopped at the food trucks in Kahului for lunch. We settled on Aloha Thai Fusion. The missus ordered garlic shrimp and I ordered the Thai drunken noodles. We took back it back to our condo to consume. For some reason, I was given cashew chicken instead of the drunken noodles, but it was a very good mistake.
Though I was disappointed to not have the drunken noodles, the cashew chicken was delicious and also the garlic shrimp was scrumptious from Aloha Thai Fusion.
Day six was our last day in Maui and we finally got some Hawaiian shaved ice from Ululani’s.
Most of the blogs recommended Ululani’s for shaved ice and I have to agree. This is so refreshing and large enough that Mrs. Big Surf and I shared.
Our last meal was at Dinah’s sandwich shop at the Sugar Beach Resort. We didn’t feel like going anywhere, just wanted to stay on the beach and watch another sunset. We ordered a saimin, a traditional Hawaiian soup. I highly recommend this tasty Hawaiian staple for at least one meal while on Maui.
Dinah’s Sandwich Shop served a wonderful bowl of saimin.
Though most people don’t go to Maui for the food, you could. If you enjoy food as much as I, you can’t go wrong on Maui. This is a sample of a week’s worth of good food, not fine dining, but relatively inexpensive fare to enhance our week on Maui and I was not disappointed in any meal I was served. Part two of Maui…Wowie will be about all the other stuff we did on Maui.