Santa Fe Cantina
Guac is a quintessential food for those inclined to socially gather and/or party (when the respective governing body allows, or is at least not looking). West side visitors and residents in search of a dynamite example of the green stuff need look no further than Front Street’s Southwestern eatery. 900 Front St., Lahaina, 667-7805.
Have you ever stepped off an airplane or other large vessel with the notion that you could eat a substantial portion of guacamole? If not, I question your capacity for human feeling. This joint is conveniently located in a spot where one can nurse his or her airplane (read: bloody Mary) hangover with a spot of the bright green staple. But for the love of God, go easy on the salt. It’s bikini season, after all, and you can’t exactly tell random strangers it’s just water weight. 395 Dairy Rd., Kahului, 877-8707.
Guacamole is one of the greatest paradoxes in the history of food. On one hand it’s loaded with essential fatty acids and a slew of other macro and micro nutrients. Yet it has tons of fat and salt, especially when you factor in the chips. An order of chips and guac is hearty enough to satisfy two at Milagros, as their portion verges on bucket-size. Plus it has big chunks of avocado, which serve as a reminder that what you’re eating is real food. It also goes quite well with the margaritas. 3 Baldwin Ave., Paia, 579-8755.
Life’s a Beach
Another place offering a generous portion, Life’s a Beach has the added benefits of sun-soaked lanai seating and dollar—yes, dollar—mai tais (which are actually pretty good; I mean, they’re mai tais). Of course, with this combination, all attempts to convince yourself that nutritive value is your main concern will be out the door. Like Milagros, the people-watching quotient is high, albeit it with a totally different, substantially less hippie-saturated crowd. 1913 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei, 891-8010.
The general consensus (admittedly to a lesser degree among vegans like myself) is that you can’t go wrong with Mexican food. Maui Tacos exemplifies this. Guac is one of the most important menu items here, unless you’re one of those soulless individuals who claims not to like guac. Not liking guac is an indictment of one’s overall character and ability to function soundly within civilized society. Look it up. Wait, don’t. Islandwide. MTW