Cafe Mambo is trying to outdo themselves for their 11th anniversary this year. If you dine at the restaurant, you’ll get entered to win one of their their fabulous prizes announced weekly. You’ll also take part in their Haiku School gift–the cafe is donating 10 percent of their sales for October and November to the cause they like to call “If you get, give.”
It’s not a tall order to drop by. They have a solid pau hana and their stylish Paia cafe has gotten famous for its unique duck preparation, Moroccan tagines, seasonal vegetarian dishes and organic burgers. They also do a brisque breakfast business, stacked with meal options.
“We keep the same exacting standards with the coffee as we do with the food,” says owner Olga Betham. “We truly shine making the foamiest cappuccinos on the North Shore. We have a selection from the fantastic Plantation Breakfast, quesadillas and croissants, to my personal favorite, the Mambo Bagel stacked with egg, cheese, sausage, turkey and bacon. If you are recovering from a big night out, first order a Bloody Mary followed by my overstuffed breakfast burritos and maybe one of our home-baked goods. You may not be able to eat again all day, but maybe that’s the point.”
The menu isn’t the only thing that attracts their clientele. The artwork on the walls features a new artist every month, and they were painting the walls in between shows to keep it fresh. Their rustic tables, benches with pillows and big open windows beckon a mixed Paia crowd of North Shore water sports enthusiasts, upcrunchy hippies and meandering tourists.
Their duck is irresistible. It’s drenched in honey and orange and served in salads, sandwiches and fajitas. The menu has a series of proteins that are provided on sandwiches, salads and fajitas, so no matter how hungry you are, you can find a dish that suits your appetite.
“The simple formula is still working with delicious, fresh, organic meats and produce from local vendors,” says Betham. “The Tia Concha tagine is a recipe handed down from my Spanish aunt Tia Concha and it is the definition of soul food–nourishing and comforting. Burgers are created using local grass-fed meat from Maui Cattle Co. We combine it with grilled pineapple for the Aloha Cheeseburger. Nothing is quite as insane as our Mixed Tapas Platter with a sample of each of our tapas, or the Spanish Paella with seafood, meat and rice sizzling in saffron spices.”
Happy Hour is 3-6pm every day, with $3 beer and $4.50 for cocktails, or the Burger and Beer deal for $10.95.
“When I paddle out in the morning, I’m usually greeted by other surfers yelling, ‘Burger and a Beer!,'” says Betham. “It’s recognition of how hooked these guys are, and how much they love Mambo. I’m flattered.”
To give back to their customers, Jamie and Olga Betham will be giving away weekly prizes like a 10-class pass for Paia Infusion Yoga Studio, Maui Paintball pass for six, two Lomi-Lomi massages at Crystal Spa at Lumeria, a 10-class pass for Haiku Fuzion Fit, zipline for four, a personalized necklace by Ocean Elements Jewelry and more.
To enter, write your name on your receipt and throw it in their Anniversary Box. Every Monday, they choose a winner and post it on their Cafe Mambo Facebook page and announce the next prize. For their grand prize, on Dec. 1 they’ll pick a winner for a three-day stay at Makena Resort.
Photos: Jen Russo