1670 Honoapiilani Hwy., Waikapu
Thurs.-Sat., 11am-6pm; 243-7427
Ribs. If the mere mention of the word sets your stomach rumbling, you’ve either already discovered Bruddah Willy’s or you need to, ASAP. I say “discovered” because, until recently, it was easy to miss. Tucked away in a single-window stand by the side of the road in Waikapu, I drove by dozens of times before a friend’s glowing recommendation motivated me to stop.
A couple months ago, Bruddah Willy’s moved into new, expanded digs at the Maui Tropical Plantation (and put up a big sign to make sure people know where to find them). But thankfully one thing hasn’t changed—the ono, finger-lickin’ grinds.
The menu is simple, just ribs and pulled pork and an array of classic barbecue sides. The pulled pork holds its own, but the ribs steal the show: fall-off-the-bone tender, loaded with meat and slathered in a rich housemade sauce, with extra on the side (trust me—you’ll want it).
Sides include steamed rice, buttered corn (off the cob), potato salad, coleslaw and baked beans. I generally opt for the latter three. The potato salad, featuring creamy, chewy hunks of skin-on baked potatoes, is a refreshing change of pace from the usual, ubiquitous potato mac. The slaw offers the ideal marriage of sweet and tangy and is augmented by bits of bacon, which, every meat-lover knows, make anything better. The beans are slow-cooked with Portuguese sausage, plus onions, celery and a blend of herbs.
Where the old location was takeout only, the new spot features shaded outdoor seating. (Calling ahead to place your order is still a good idea.) And, after you’ve stuffed yourself to the gills, you can take a stroll around the stately grounds to feed the ducks and watch the tourists ride the tram.
The BBQ stand is open three days a week—Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11am ’til they run outta ribs (usually 6pm). But owner Will Bailey and his crew also do catering. (In addition, they’ve taken over food and beverage operations at the Tropical Plantation as a whole and reopened the old Lagoon Grill as the Waikapu Grill Restaurant.)
So yeah, I’ll say it again: ribs. Hungry?