Saturday, October 26th, 2013
Wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of our Disney-esque resort, LC and I rented a car so we could drive around and see some sights. Our new friend B, a California transplant that moved to O’ahu three years ago, joined us on a drive along the coast that took us to the North Shore, with miles of beaches and dozens of shrimp trucks.
Unlike food trucks here on the mainland, these trucks are stationary, each with brightly colored handpainted menus. B suggested we stop at the second group of trucks including Giovanni’s, a popular shrimp truck. But before we made it to the shrimp, LC spotted the bright yellow BBQ corn stand. It was Uncle Woody’s and serves just what the sign says, grilled corn. Ears are seasoned with a choice of five flavors…we chose the baja blend.
We gnawed off the tiny sweet and spicy kernels as we walked over to the covered picnic tables that serve the constant stream of diners at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. Offering only three flavors of steamed shrimp, we opted to try some of each…lemon butter, scampi, and spicy, which warns no refunds are offered to those that can’t handle it.
Plump shrimp were doused in either crushed garlic (scampi), fiery hot sauce, or nothing at all. Anyone can steam shrimp, it’s the seasonings that makes the difference, and theirs had too much of everything. My favorite were the lemon butter because they were essentially plain, served with melted butter.
Both plates came with scoops of boring white rice filler, commanding the price of $13 each. Thankfully, we only ordered half a dozen of the garlicky ones. Even B didn’t eat them.
Continuing on the road around O’ahu’s shores, we arrived at Haleiwa town, with some cute shops and restaurants, so we decided to take a break and enjoy a cocktail. B suggested Haleiwa Joe’s, a seafood grill on a bay. We started with a round of margaritas with tangy li hing powder rims instead of salt. Although we had eaten 2 1/2 dozen shrimp just hours before, we decided to order a couple of things.
Among the authentic Hawaiian dishes B recommended, lumpia was a favorite and on the menu at Haleiwa Joe’s. Basically, lumpia are enormous spring rolls, these stuffed with kalua pork and taro leaf, and served with lomi-pineapple and sweet chili sauces for dipping. Nice.
LC added island white fish ceviche to our order, and since there were three of us, I figured we needed one more small dish, spiced edamame. Both arrived, the marinated fish, chopped and pleasingly presented in a small fried tortilla bowl, was freshly caught that day, just like the shrimp served by the trucks. Chopped cabbage was a great crunchy accompaniment, but the combination was somewhat dry. A citrus-y dressing would have made the difference.
Ignoring our dinner reservation at Town just three hours later, LC and I polished off most of the plates. See what happens when we try to eat even more at Town…
Uncle Woody’s BBQ Corn 66-1550 kamehameha Hwy (808)551-7716
Giovanni’s 66-472 Kamehameha Hwy (808)293-1839
Haleiwa Joe’s Seafood Grill 66-011 Kamehameha Hwy (808)637-8005