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As a foodie, I do my best to sample different types of cuisines as well as different restaurants, eateries and other food loves that I can taste and share with all of you.  Today on this Foodie Friday, I am excited to share with you a little place I discovered after watching the YouTube Channel Aloha Stoked.  Kalani Prince, a vlogger and Travel Guide website owner visited the location I’m about to talk about today and I knew I had to head on over and take a look.  This little hole-in-the wall location that is just off the beaten path in a sleepy little town in Up Country Maui, called Makawao is worth sharing with you today.  This week’s Maui Eats is featuring Makawao Garden Cafe.

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PC: Makawao Garden Cafe

Makawao Garden Cafe is owned and operated by Kathi and Jody Sparks and is nestled right in the heart of the paniolo and rodeo town of up country that we call Makawao.  A peaceful, laid back and tranquil little bistro that offers a small menu of sandwiches and salads – perfect for a day of venturing and visiting the art galleries and site seeing among the little village.

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Makawao Garden Cafe is located right on Baldwin Avenue.  It’s next to the Sherri Reeve Gallery (down a small alley way) and across the street from Maui’s famed Komoda Bakery.

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PC: Makawao Garden Cafe

I arrived at the location just as they had opened, about 5 minutes after 11 o’clock.  They were still prepping some of their food, which I would have expected for a small bistro, but I was able to place my order and my food took about 10 minutes to complete.  As I waited for my to-go order, I walked around the immediate area to kind of get an idea of what the place is like for those who decide to dine in.  Majority of the seating for this bistro is located outdoors.  I was told recently that they had acquired a small area with indoor seating just off to the site of the cafe area.  It’s a great location for spring and summer months when it’s warm out, but it was quite chilly the day I went, which is why I opted to get my food to go – I was not dressed to sit out in the open with that cold breeze lingering in the air.

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If you are looking for fast food service or quick food, this is certainly not the place you will want to find yourself.  Everyone is made for you to order and there is a staff of 2-3 on hand on any given day.  If you are in a rush, I suggest trying to call your order in or check to see if they’ll accommodate a take-out that day.  The service I received was sweet, the owner greeted me with kindness and everyone that I talked to that day was very pleasant.

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So, let’s talk about the food.  Whenever I eat somewhere and have thoughts of reviewing the establishment here on the site, I try to order more than one meal to test and see how I like each.  I ordered the Crab & Avocado Sandwich ($9.97 whole).  Served on focaccia and mixed greens with tomato and sprouts.  I also got the Curry Chicken Salad (Whole $9.00) which came highly recommended by a customer that was behind me in line, as well as the gal who took my order.  She mentioned that it is the most popular on their menu.  The Curry Chicken Salad came with diced chicken, carrots, zucchini and served with sweet curry dressing, on mixed greens and topped with papaya.

Let’s talk details on each dish – shall we?

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I was happy to find that the Crab and Avocado came with a side of salad.  I opted for ceasar and while it was tasty – it definitely was not the showstopper of this particular sandwich.  If I can be absolutely blunt here… the focaccia is fricken awesome.  It was fresh baked (baked by the owners) and one of the best focaccia breads I have ever tasted and trust when I say – I have had my fair share of focaccia.  It was delicious.  The avocado was fresh as was the rest of the vegetables in my sandwich.  The crab was light and definitely tasted good.  I was impressed that my sandwich included real crab for the price point and the sandwich was very filling.  If you are doing hiking or anything that will require walking, etc. I think this would be a great selection – light, but hearty.

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Should I get a sandwich again, I’ll be trying the Sliced Turkey Breast, but since it’s not on this delicious focaccia bread, I’m not sure I’d enjoy it as much – we shall see.

Next up I tried the Curry Chicken Salad.  This salad is quite big and filled most of the take out container they put it in.  I ate half of it and saved the rest for my eldest son Kevin Kaeo.  When I opened this salad to eat it, I didn’t quite expect to see what I was looking at.

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This portion size (I ordered the whole) was large enough to feet at least 2 people, especially if you purchased it in combination with other food.  I was quite impressed with the size considering the price point.  The diced chicken was chicken breast, but it was very tender considering the cut it was.  I was quite impressed with how the entire salad in a whole had tasted.  The dressing that they used was very tasty and I liked that the salad didn’t taste like it had taken a bath in mayonnaise (we all know how I’m not a fan of that creamy white stuff).  The dressing was sweet (not hot or spicy at all) but definitely had a curry flavor.  I would describe it as a curry without the heat.  The salad was placed on a bed of greens – a mixture of different lettuce that was fresh and crispy and I also got two toasted pieces of crostini on top.  This salad tasted really good and not soggy considering I had to drive 10 minutes to get home to eat it, but I would definitely suggest putting the bread separately because the dressing did cause it to become a tad bit soggy.

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Overall – I think I really enjoyed the salad.  The vegetables definitely tasted fresh and the nice crunch of the carrots definitely gave it a lot of texture.  The little papaya on the top was delicious and really gave the salad an extra something.  If I had to make any suggestions, I would love to see cashews in the mix for this salad – I think it would make it absolutely perfect.  I make a pretty darn good chicken curry salad myself and that papaya though, it definitely made for a great addition to this dish.

The second time I went to grab some food to go, I ordered the Taro Salad ($9.75 Whole – I really wanted to eat that from the first time I had gone) and the Catch of the Day Sandwich ($8.50 Whole).  Service was quick and I was on my way with my sandwiches and a Nirvana smoothie that I ordered.  The smoothies are $5.50 and are not made with milk which is a plus on my tummy.

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The Taro Salad was simple, but I rather enjoyed it.  I got it regular (not Cajun spice which they also offer) and it was served with mixed greens, cheese (I was able to select between goat cheese and Parmesan, I went with goat cheese), carrots and zucchini.  The salad also came with tomato and was dressed with a light basil vinaigrette topped with crispy taro chips.  Here’s the low down on this salad…  the taro chips, well, they were the ones I buy in the bag at Costco but I enjoy them and never would have thought to put them on a salad – they were great and because of the taro, they held up to the dressing and were not soggy when I got home to eat.  The Taro itself is actually veggie patties diced up and the veggie patties of chunks of taro in them.  When I was first told what it was, I’ll be honest, I had regret ordering it.  I thought to myself, hmmm… why couldn’t I just get chunks of taro in my salad?  But, I was pleasantly surprised.  The veggie patty (which was diced/cubed up and tossed in the salad mix) was really good.  There was a lot of taro in that patty and I enjoyed the flavor.  Because of the veggie patty with taro, I think it lent for a lighter meal and with the actual taro cubed up as I suggested, it may have been too heavy for lunch.  While I didn’t have high hopes for this particular salad after being told what it was, I was pleasantly surprised.  If I had to make one suggestion, it would be to add some avocado in the mix… it would really bring out the sweetness of the taro and give the salad a depth of flavor.

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The Catch of the Day sandwich was simplistic as was the Crab and Avocado.  It was a few pieces of their Catch of the Day which was Mahimahi for me today, served on focaccia and a wasabi mayo with tomato and mixed greens and sprouts.  The taste was really nice, but I would have loved to have more to the sandwich.  The wasabi mayonnaise had a light wasabi flavor, with no heat and it looked like regular mayonnaise, so tasting it was the only way to really know what you were eating.

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The cut of fish was nice, but I definitely would have wanted to have more to the sandwich.  Of course, it was on that delicious focaccia that I’ve been swooning over which made it great.  Overall, I think the sandwich is nice, but I would love to get more from it.  Maybe a smear of pesto aioli or something along those lines to really bring out the flavor of the fish.  Even some avocado would make a different here.

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Makawao Garden Cafe is perfect to grab a meal while out exploring the area but keep in mind that due to limited seating, if they get busy – you may want to get that meal to go.  My overall experience with them has been great, and I know I’ll be back again to try more food – I have my eyes set on many of the items on the menu.  If you are looking for fine dining, then this place is definitely not it.

Makawao Garden Cafe is open from 11am to 3pm, Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays).  They do not take reservations and parking is free.  You can park directly on Baldwin Avenue if you can find a stall (it can get really congested and busy at times) or you can use the Garden parking behind Baldwin Avenue in the open parking lot (it’s a walk up stairs and there is no wheelchair access)  Keep in mind that the back parking lot is gravel and the walk up the stairs is several flights.  

Positives – there are quite a bit in my opinion.  All of the menu items are under $10 so you and a friend could easily get a bite to eat for under $25.  Considering I’m born & raised here on Maui and have seen how expensive things can get, that’s quite a steal considering the amount of food you get with your orders.  The focaccia is bomb.  Like seriously I can’t stress this enough, order a sandwich with it to taste how great it is.  The owner and staff were very delightful and friendly.  Parking is free -which is great.  And, most of your options are healthy and fresh.

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Now – there are a few cons to this location that I figured was worth sharing.  While I didn’t experience dine-in service here, I was told by someone there that service can be slow when they are busy.  I think that’s understandable considering that there are only 3 people working (sometimes one or two) at any given time and I honestly can’t attest to that myself seeing as the two times I went, they had just opened, so there really was only one or two people there.  Remember, as I stated previously, if you’re in a rush – get it to go and call ahead.  If it is raining or cold, even if they have a covered seated area that is indoors, you may not like the experience, so keep that in mind.  The first time I picked up my food, it was chilly and very cold.  I wouldn’t have been able to sit and enjoy my food comfortably.  Roosters are everywhere in that area (it’s a part of Makawao town) so it can be frustrating at times, just don’t feed them because they’ll come around more while you’re eating.

If you’re on the hunt for something interesting to try – I definitely suggest checking this place out.  I’m all for supporting local eats and Maui eateries that are owned by locals so I definitely enjoyed it.  They offer smoothies as well and there is quite a selection which is great.  This place offers a true laid back environment so it’s perfect for those that are looking for something casual.  Also – take note that if you’re walking too fast, you may miss it… so this little place gives you the opportunity to “take the long way home” so to say and stop and smell the roses.

My goal is to offer more “Maui Eats” for my readers near and far so be sure to come back for more.

Have a wonderful Aloha Friday and a great weekend,

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  This post is not sponsored.  I purchased any thing mentioned in this post with my own money.  Affiliate links may be posted through out.

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When it comes to snack food, I am always on the hunt for something I know my family will enjoy but that offers healthy alternatives to the sweets that we see plastered all over the market.  Over the last few months, my family and I were given the opportunity to try some Crispy Fruit Snacks from Crispy Green and we loved them so much – I figured I would share them with all of you.

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Crispy Green believes in a simple philosophy – keep it pure, keep it tasty and keep it wholesome.  My sons were immediately excited to see these delivered and crossed their fingers in hopes that it didn’t taste like the traditional freeze-dried fruit you get in the store that tastes like it’s 40 years old.  We were able to try out 7 delectable and delicious types of dried fruit, packaged individually – making them great snacks for on the go.  The seven flavors available are:  Cataloupe, Apple, Asian Pear (our favorite), Tangerine, Pineapple, Mango (second favorite) and Banana.  All of them taste delicious, but the boys and I do have our favorites.  Each package includes 100% pure fruit, nothing else!  The Crispy Fruit snacks are 100% freeze-dried fruit slices that are made up of real fruit and the taste of Crispy Fruit comes from the fresh fruit itself.  There is no sugar, sweeteners or other additives used to enhance the taste or appearance.  Crispy Fruit is perfect for indulging in a guilt-free snack without the worry.  The Crispy Fruit snacks are an all-natural snack choice for anyone looking to live a healthier lifestyle without compromising on great taste.

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Crispy Fruit by Crispy Green offers yummy snacks that are:
  • Light and flavorful
  • Retain nearly all the nutrients of fresh fruit
  • Long shelf-life
  • Convenient – having natural fruit at your finger tips all the time!
  • No additives or preservatives
  • No fat, no cholesterol
  • Low in calories

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Crispy Green was founded in August 2004 with a vision to be the leading provider of high quality, natural food products desired by everyone who wants to live a healthy and better life.  Since that time, the team at Crispy Green has been consistently providing high quality freeze-dried fruit snacks and adding new flavors to the Crispy Fruit line.  They are a hard-working, diverse group of individuals who believe that educated customers are the best customers and they strive to empower all who enjoy their products.

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As I mentioned before, the Asian Pear is one of our favorites and the Mango definitely a close second, though my family and I enjoy all of them.  Each piece of fruit you bite into has the flavor that you would expect them to have and the snack is light but fulfilling.  We love how travel friendly and portable each pouch is.  We absolutely loved the taste of each fruit snack that they didn’t last very long in our household and we picked up a bunch of them to give to the twins’ classmates for Halloween.

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What we love about Crispy Fruit the most is the quality that goes into each bag.  Sometimes fresh fruit may not be available or may not be the most convenient option.  But, Crispy Green has perfected the “fruit to go” alternative by freeze-drying fresh fruit and transforming it into a delectable, incredible, light and crispy texture that is so satisfying, it reminds me of a chip.  With the freeze-dried process – the nutrients from the fresh fruit is retained without adding anything.  As a mom – I am always looking for the healthy alternative to snacks and I’m loving the fact that my children enjoy these just as much as I do.

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Crispy Fruit has easily become one of my family’s favorite snack foods.  My boys love fruit, but it can be so messy to eat when on the go.  Crispy Fruit allows us to take our treats with us, enjoy and not have the mess.
We stock up on Crispy Green at our local WholeFoods or Safeway stores (I’m so glad it is available locally).  You can see a list of locations to purchase Crispy Fruit here.  Do you love fruit but wish it were more portable?  Are you a fan of snacks like this for on the go?  If so, my family and I definitely suggest checking out Crispy Fruit by Crispy Green and see how delicious they for yourself.
 Signature Honey
Disclaimer:  The products featured in this post were sent for review consideration.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest & unbiased.  Affiliate links are posted through out.
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July 1st is Canada Day and I thought it would be perfect to celebrate by sharing a few delicious finds that are made in Canada.  I have met and established wonderful relationships over the years with friends around the World and one of those places happen to be Canada.  In that time frame, I have had the opportunity to receive wonderful gifts from these friends, many of which includes delicious treats from the Country itself… including Maple.  Today I wanted to share with you some treats that I love and hopefully you can celebrate Canada Day along with me while treating yourself to these awesome finds that you can get from CanadaTheStore.com.

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As I mentioned previously, these products are from CanadaTheStore.com.  Canada The Store is a site that proudly showcases a collection of products that are either designed in Canada, Made in Canada or are products of Canada. They offer Apparel to Watercrafts and a variety of products from simple to sophisticated.  Canadian companies create a variety of quality products that are in demand worldwide.  Canada The Store is well respected across the world, offering people from around the globe an opportunity to purchase a multitude of fine Canadian made products.  Canada The Store is located in Toronto, Canada and has been doing it’s thing for the last four decades, focusing on providing services without compromise.  The true “Made in Canada” success story.

Their Tag line – “Buy Canadian.  Expect Quality.”

So let’s chit chat about two products I was able to try out from Canada The Store.  The first product is Jakeman’s Pure Canadian Maple Syrup.  The product retails for $11.95 CAD with 250 mL / 8.5 fl.oz. worth of product.  It is a bottle of the 100% Pure Canadian Maple Syrup produced by Jakeman’s and voted Canada’s best tasting Maple Syrup in the National Post.  Now, we love pancakes in our house hold and I love maple candy, so I knew I would easily fall in love with this product.  It’s delicious and rich in color with a distinct maple flavor.  If you have ever tried fresh maple syrup before, this is what it would remind me of… it has a warm, rich flavor that really stands out among other syrups.  This product is great served over breakfast foods (like pancakes or with some sausage and bacon) or used as a glaze on meats or dessert.  I especially love the thickness of this syrup and it would be perfect to glaze a ham with.  I’ve tried many types of maple syrups before and this would have to be my favorite – it’s delicious!

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Since I love Maple candy, I couldn’t wait to open up this jar of Canadian True Maple Tea.  When the box arrived at my house, I could smell the tea from the outside of it – it smells absolutely wonderful.  The Canadian True Maple Tea comes in a 3 Pack for $26.95 CAD.  I’m a tea drinker daily so I was very excited to try this tea out.  Each container (you get three of them) comes with 25 Tea Bags so I shared one with my dad since he is my tea drinking aficionado.

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Canada True’s unique flavorful Maple Tea is idea for serving to guest or to give as a special gift.  It is Pure Premium Ceylon Tea with a Nature Identical Canadian Maple Syrup Flavor.  The Teas are packed in Sri Lanka and this tea offers a bold tea flavor with a beautiful and fragrant sweet scent.  Immediately upon opening the box I could smell a sweet vanilla or maple syrup scent coming from the box and it was coming from the tea.  This is a wonderful tea to have with your breakfast or for tea time with biscuits.  It’s hearty in flavor but taste wonderful and I love the sweet perfume that comes from my cup.  I add a little bit of coconut milk or creamer and that is all I need to drink this tea.  I love and my dad absolutely loved the flavor of it as well.

Frequently referred to as Canada’s Birthday, Canada Day is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act 1867.  This act united three Colonies into a single country called Canada within the British Empire.  It was originally called Dominion Day but the holiday was renamed in 1982, the year the Canada Act was passed.  Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as among Canadians internationally.

If you are looking to celebrate, I highly suggest checking out some of the treats and goods that Canada The Store offers and check out all the wonderful items created, made by and made of Canada.

Happy Canada Day!

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  The products mentioned in this post were sent to me for review consideration and feature.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and I was not paid to provide my thoughts.  Affiliate links are listed through out.

 

It’s absolutely no secret that I’m a huge fan of seafood and sushi so when the opportunity arises to get some stellar grinds, know that I’ll be the first one in line.  How else do you think I became a plus sized girl? lol My husband and I have dined in at Makawao Sushi and Deli Maui before and have always enjoyed our food there and since it is just a short drive from where we live, we decided to satisfy our sushi fix there on Saturday night.

Makawao Sushi and Deli is a quaint little hole in the wall off of Baldwin Avenue in Makawao.  This little establishment has been open now for quite a few years, since my husband and I first ate there about 9 years ago and it was open before then.  You can find a variety of Deli type items on the menu from sandwiches and yummy delights like chocolate cream horns, croissants and cheesecake – though that is not the reason we visit the Deli.  Inside the sandwich shop is a little sushi bar filled with a variety of fresh seafood for anyone’s desire.  I have eaten at many sushi bars and establishments, but one so quaint and small normally does not host fresh seafood as Makawao Sushi does.  Here is a line up of the food we ate on Saturday.

Makawao Sushi & Deli Sashimi Platter

The first platter served to us was the Deluxe Sashimi plate which includes fish like Ahi (Tuna), Salmon, Hamachi (Japanese Amberjack / yellow tail), Hamadai (snapper) and another type of fish that I did not get the name of.  This particular plate costs $49.00 (21 pieces) but considering how fresh the fish is and the amount on the plate, definitely worth it.

Makawao Sushi & Deli Spicy Ahi

Next on the menu we ordered the Spicy Ahi (tuna) which is a blend of spicy mix and ahi (tuna) which is quite popular for sushi lovers.  It is hand-rolled and is $9.00 for six pieces and we got four orders.

Makawao Sushi & Deli Rainbow Roll

Yummy yummy, the Rainbow Roll.  As beautiful and colorful as the rainbow, this delicious roll is a hand-rolled sushi with crab on the inside and wrapped with fresh ahi, salmon and hamachi along with avocado and tobiko (flying fish roe).  If I had to suggest any sushi on the menu, this would definitely be it.  If you love seafood, this will satisfy your craving as the fish is fresh and layered beautifully on the roll giving you yummy fish in every single bite.  Each roll is $18 and we ordered two rolls since I could easily eat one by myself… lol.

Makawao Sushi & Deli Spider Roll

This fun presentation is the Spider Roll or otherwise known as the Soft Shell Crab roll.  This is filled with soft shell crab, avocado and rolled up with a little tobiko on the top.  One of my favorites to eat because I’m a huge lover of soft shell crab and the presentation is surely eye appealing.  This roll is $16.50.

Makawao Sushi & Deli Tempura Roll & 69 Roll

This is a combo plate with the Tempura Roll (left) and 007 Roll (right).  The Tempura Roll ($16.50) is a traditional california style roll with tempura fried shrimp.  The 007 Roll ($20.00) is a traditional spicy tuna (ahi) roll topped with Ebi, Avocado and Unagi Sauce.

Makawao Sushi & Deli Uni Sushi

Last but not least is the Uni sushi.  This sushi is probably one of my favorites and when prepared with fresh Uni (sea urchin), it’s delicious and butter in flavor and texture.  Makawao Sushi & Deli ALWAYS have fresh Uni which is wonderful because not very many places will have it as fresh as they do.  This is definitely an acquired taste and expensive… sold at Market Price per piece, this one piece of sushi can cost anywhere from $5.75 – $9.00 but in my opinion – it’ swell worth it.  I grew up eating this stuff (the yellow sea urchin) fresh from the ocean as a kid and it is now difficult to find.  If you are in to trying interesting food, you’ll love this.

Now that we have gotten the food part out of the way – let’s talk about Makawao Sushi & Deli in general.  Again, this is a small deli which will comfortably host about 25-30 people.  It has a small restroom within the establishment which is nice since the nearest restroom on that road is no where to be found.  I consider this place pretty kid friendly as you can purchase a variety of beverages in the bottle or cup for your littles and it is a casual environment so shirt and shorts are fine.  Makawao Sushi does not sell alcohol which is something traditionally expected at a sushi bar, but they allow you to bring your own alcohol and they do not charge a corkage fee.  I think for a girls day out, or a night out with friends, this would be a nice little place to hang out and enjoy some sushi delights.  The sushi pictured is not all they carry and they offer a full menu where you can easily pick and choose what you want to eat.  Keep in mind that there is usually only two to three people working at a time – the sushi chef and the waitress/host so service can be slow as each sushi plate is made to order.

My family and I enjoy eating here.  Again – the environment is casual and the sushi really is fresh and delicious.  While the prices can seem a bit steep, I consider them reasonable since you are getting fresh ingredients and they are made to order.  Keep in mind parking can be a bit difficult sometimes but usually not enough to keep you from eating there.  I hope you enjoyed this, I certainly loved sharing it with you.  All photos were taken with my cell phone and the lighting was not ideal, so I apologize for that.

Bon Appetite!  If you visit Maui and find yourself in the sleepy old town of Makawao – stop by and visit Makawao Sushi and Deli for some yummy delights.

Signature Honey