It’s hard to beat life on Maui but occasionally I long for the city streets and cafes that populated my youth. Last Friday I had a nice taste of home when a friend and I stumbled on the Main Street Bistro in Wailuku. The simple lime green exterior disguises the elegant and undeniably urban interior. Many pass by without catching a glimpse of those dining inside, but those fortunate enough to cross the threshold are handsomely rewarded with delicious, reasonably priced food and a variety of excellent people-watching opportunities.
The Main Street Bistro menu offers that it serves “refined comfort food.” It’s a pretty accurate statement. The menu is divided into small plates ranging in price from $2.95 to $9.95, big plates $5.95 to $11.95 and bistro favorites running $9.95 to $13.95.
The big plates section includes a wide variety of salads—the traditional Caesar to the more creative Chinese Chicken or Curried Roasted Turkey Salad. Sandwich lovers can choose from Grilled Mahi, Crab Cakes and “Mother’s Roast Beef,” to name just a few. Since I was in the mood for something light, I ordered the Fresh Local Greens topped with blackened Mahi. My friend was tempted by the Turkey Sandwich but ultimately decided on the Blackened Chicken Pasta Salad served on a bed of greens.
As we waited for our food to arrive, I watched the inner workings of the kitchen. The highlight of the show was watching the chef use a good-sized blowtorch to finish off one dish.
Two large white plates piled high with salad arrived in no time. My friend’s salad bowl held colorful pasta noodles, tender chunks of blackened chicken, candied cashews, a generous helping of greens and avocado ranch dressing. He raved about the tender chicken pieces, the perfectly candied nuts and the freshness of the greens. He also ate much too fast, which he tends to do when the food is good.
My fresh greens were tossed in the house vinaigrette, then sprinkled with the signature candied cashews and topped with a steaming piece of blackened Mahi. The fresh greens alone seemed enough to satisfy my hunger, but after I had a bite of the fish I knew I had the perfect salad combination. The Mahi had a dark spicy crust to the tender, juicy fish.
If you’re looking for sophisticated and delicious food that won’t break the bank or just are just curious about how a real kitchen is run, don’t miss out on Main Street Bistro. Those arriving after 3 p.m. and before 7 p.m. closing can take part in their special tapas menu. No matter what you order then, get the onion rings. In fact, get the onion rings whenever you go—the huge pile of ultra-thin fried onions will whatever meal you have will be infinitely better. MTW