Craving the real deal in Maui, we abandoned the beach.for a day upcountry, exploring Haleakala and Kula, then topped it off with a simple yet delicious meal at Hana Hou. The drive to the little town of Haiku was scenic, coursing around the curves of the country roads in the hills below the mountains. Suddenly we came upon the small shopping center and the modest cafe, with a hen and several chicks skittering about. Our sweet server, a young French woman, led us to a table on the covered patio. We ordered the local brews on tap, and the kahlua pork plates. For an additional $1.50 I substituted a fresh and tasty salad from local organic greens while my husband had the traditional Hawaiian side dish, macaroni salad. It was the best kahlua pork we had had in a long time: juicy, flavorful without being salty, served with cooked cabbage and a scoop of sticky rice. All was served on a leaf-shaped, divided wooden plate, with a pineapple garnish and piece of haupia, a gelatinous coconut treat usually served at luaus. Making the meal even more perfect was the musical entertainment by the Hula Honeys, a talented trio who soulfully performed old standards and Hawaiian tunes. We were tempted to linger but had a long drive back to the beach and reluctantly departed.
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