My gym is a sprawling mecca for those who, either out of compulsion or with great reluctance, have to move their bodies. It’s not pretty and parking is hell, but I and legions of others drag ourselves to this bare-bones beacon of hope and vanity several times a week.
About half a year ago I began to notice a handful of good-looking people assembled in this storage shed near the facility’s front door. They seemed to be constantly working on the space, hammering and painting. My curiosity was piqued.
A few months ago it became apparent that some kind of eatery was taking shape. Upon inquiry I was informed that the space was indeed set to become a restaurant that would sell sandwiches and smoothies. And right by the gym. Not inconvenient.
The proprietors of this establishment, dubbed Da Smoothie Shack, are originally from Argentina and have been on Maui for years. When they came across the vacant space on Hana Highway they deemed it most hospitable for a place peddling wraps, fresh fruit, vegetable juices and other convenient pre-gym fuel.
The place has a sunny, tropical aesthetic and a cozy outdoor seating area, while the menu is surprisingly diverse for a place whose primary clientele is clad in workout regalia.
I ordered the Green Thoughts salad, which features lettuce, green bells, avocado slices and a few other items similar in hue. The thing was enormous, even for a salad. Balsamic vinaigrette served as the dressing, and I was surprised at how flavorful such a simple salad could be.
Buffy, my dining companion on my first visit, ordered the caprese prosciutto, a sandwich that consisted of prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and little else. She said it was phenomenal and unexpectedly reminiscent of similar fare she experienced while traveling in Italy.
Available smoothies run the gamut; you basically choose your own ingredients and they blend ‘em. Available bases include apple juice and milks derived from soy, rice, coconut and cow. You can choose to incorporate as much fresh fruit as you like, including pineapple, papaya, melon and numerous others.
Other items on the menu include various pastries, the Aloha Veggie sandwich, the Shaka (Virginia ham sandwich) and the tuna sandwich as well as an assortment of salads. They also sell gazpacho, a cold tomato soup that’s loaded with flavor, which might be my favorite item.
Beverage-wise, in addition to smoothies and fresh fruit and vegetable juices (carrot, beet, apple etc.), they can also satiate your caffeine fix. Options include lattes, espresso, filtered coffee and the like.
So far, says one of the girls who works the counter, the fledgling eatery caters mostly to gym-goers and those employed at surrounding businesses. But they’re working on spreading the word. Hellish parking aside, this sunny spot is an excellent addition to central Maui’s short list of healthy dining options. MTW