Hawaii Is For Eaters
Recently my precious husband, Timmy, and I went on a VERY special trip to Hawaii! It was sort of celebrating our second wedding anniversary, but also just a fun getaway for us! We definitely needed a nice, relaxing trip and it fit the bill! We stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Maui.
We went into this trip knowing we wouldn’t eat too healthy, we just wanted to enjoy every moment! SOME healthy choices were made, but these pictures will show you that we made MANY unhealthy (but delicious) choices. I usually eat very healthy and believe that food is fuel for our bodies, but when I’m on vacation and I want nachos, I get them! I did continue to workout while we were there which helped I think. I got back on track when we got home which is the hardest part! My goal for this trip was to eat fish for every meal and I almost did it! That’s what my mom always says when she goes to the beach and I stole that idea! Without further adieu, here are all the things I ate!
Our first night in Hawaii we got drinks and appetizers at the little indoor/outdoor restaurant at the hotel called Aoaloa Lounge and our first pick was a Mai Tai of course! It was delicious but VERY strong! We also got bigeye ahi tuna on spanish toast which was like an ahi tuna tower on a little cracker. Delicious! It had ahi tuna, avocado, flaky sea salt, olive oil, and garlic shoyuzuke which is basically just garlic soy sauce. Yum! Next we had firecracker shrimp which wins my award for “the prize.” When I was little and we would go to restaurants my mom would always say, “ok, who got the prize?” So this shrimp was the prize! The actual shrimp was incredible- large, juicy, perfectly cooked. And it was coated in some kind of delicious crust. I think it was a mix of panko and coconut. And I don’t like coconut shreds (it’s a texture thing) but these were AMAZING! Oh my gosh I wish I could have them again right now! They were served with a sweet sambal sauce. Sambal sauce is a spicy sauce or paste used in Asian food. You might recognize it as the red chili paste you can mix with soy sauce. This samba sauce was perfect! Sweet but spicy, and thick. SO GOOD! We may have ordered this dish again a different night! Guilty as charged. It was so good! I swear the whole time we were there Tim kept saying, “why doesn’t our seafood at home taste like this?” I wish we could get it that fresh! Two thumbs up.
After our first day on the beach (and only full day on the beach- don’t judge, we don’t like getting sandy) we ate lunch at the Burger Shack at the Ritz. Tim had a bison burger and I had a delicious mahi-mahi sandwich and I totally failed to take pictures of those! Forgive me!!! BUT I did take a picture of this INSANE milkshake Tim got. He got this right after I asked him why he always ordered milkshakes... I mean they are one of the highest calorie items you can order on a menu and I could really take them or leave them. Then this milkshake came into my life and I ate my words... and the milkshake. We ate at the Burger Shack another time and I ordered it that time! It is called the Nutty Cocomel. It is part chocolate, part peanut butter, part salted caramel, and 100% delicious! As you can see, there is a reese’s cup in it and a nutter butter! What more could you want?
One night we ate at The Banyan Tree at the resort! I think this was my favorite restaurant but I’ll probably say that about a few more.. I can’t help it! I started with this grapefruit cocktail- it was legitimately the best cocktail I’ve ever had! It was basically Titos, grapefruit liqueur, lemon, and champagne. So refreshing and so good! Then we had the AMAZING Hawaiian sweet bread with came with strawberry foie gras and black pepper jam and whipped goat cheese butter. Delicious! Then we had these AMAZING crispy 5 spiced duck buns! I think these were my favorite! If I could make duck taste like this I could make it all the time! They were perfect in every way- crunchy on the outside, soft and savory on the inside. They were spiced perfectly and the steamed buns were perfectly done! They also surprised us with this smoking tray of fruit, graham cracker crumbs, and sorbet! It was so fun and very, very yummy! Fresh fruit is such a treat!
For breakfast one morning at The Terrace I had this Mahana Green Goddess smoothie. I was delicious! It had spinach, kale, avocado, kiwi, apple, agave, chia seed, and macha powder. It was topped with a cute little chia seed covered piece of pineapple! It was so yummy and it kept me full for a long time!! I’m a huge fan of greens in my juice and smoothies.. it’s such a quick and easy way to get your greens in.
NOW FOR MY FAVORITE THING I ATE THE WHOLE TRIP! This is not a drill. These, my friend, are TUNA.POKE.NACHOS!!!!!!!!!!!! Would you just look at that tuna? We ordered these....more than once and that’s all you need to know. These were a special at the pool grill. It goes like this: crispy tortilla chips, perfect red fresh tuna, avocado, sesame seeds, crunchy seaweed, jalapeños, Sriracha mayo and wasabi aioli. One day I might try to recreate these but for now, you may feast your eyes.
One very special night we went to the Plantation House which is basically the clubhouse for the Plantation Course. Timmy loves to play golf so we were excited to eat here! We started with a half bottle of Piper champagne! We thought this was TOO CUTE because one of our dog’s is named Piper! How cute is it that they put a flower on my champagne glass?! Love it. For an appetizer we had the ahi poke tacos. YUM! Can you tell I love tuna? These were served in a won ton taco and put every other ahi tuna taco to shame! They had avocado, sriracha mayo, and wasabi tobiko. Tobiko is the roe they put on sushi. For dinner I had the most incredible piece of meat I’ve ever had in all my days of life- braised short rib with tomato rosemary ragout over braised kale and polenta. Yummmmmm! So good. It tasted like butter! Tim had a 45 day aged pork rib eye which was something neither of us had ever heard of. It was delicious! It came with carrot puree, snap peas, toasted hazelnuts, and mango gastrique. For dessert I had Maui pineapple cake which was basically a teeny tiny pineapple upside down cake. What a treat!
Merriman’s is neck in neck with The Banyan Tree for my favorite restaurant! I only took a picture of my dessert, probably because I was eating my food so fast. It was amazing! Not to mention the view- gorgeous! For dessert I had a chocolate purse. YEP A CHOCOLATE PURSE! Anytime I see this on a menu I order it faster than a hot knife through butter! It was amazing! Perfectly crunchy on the outside, ooey and gooey on the inside. Take me back!!! I could order this 25 times.
For my final breakfast, I went big. How big? As big as these pancakes. Something to know about me: I LOVE PANCAKES! Once I wrote Tim a note that said, “I love you more than pancakes” and he said, “wow, that’s a lot!” Pancakes are life. My dad used to make me pancakes all the time and actually made something very special we call surprise pancakes. It’s kind of a big deal. Do you want to know the surprise? It’s chocolate chips, and LOTS OF EM! The point is, this girl loves pancakes. I had seen these pancakes on the menu literally every day and I saved them for the last day. Let me tell ya bout these pancakes. They were banana macadamia nut pancakes. Omg. I can’t even. I want them again!!!! I was a little bit anxious because I don’t like nuts in my dessert. It’s a whole things and I just don’t like them. Luckily these macadamia nuts were large so I could pick them out and eat them on their own. Another thing about the macadamia nuts. They were candied... basically coated in sugar aka heaven on earth. The pancakes came topped with creme anglaise. Drooling. They were served with coconut syrup (I can die now) and maple syrup. They were so good!!!
Final review? My favorite dishes were the tuna poke nachos and the banana macadamia nut pancakes! Thank you for coming on this adventure with me! For the record, I had salmon and asparagus when I got home. Boring but clearly a detox was necessary after this delicious and fun trip!