1300 N. Holopono St.
(Park Plaza Building), Kihei
Open Mon.-Fri., 7:30am-4:30pm. Breakfast served all day; lunch begins at 11am
I’ve always had this foodie fantasy about owning my own food truck. I would consummate my steamy love affair with food by creating gourmand meals in a tight space, but I also know full well that it would basically be a hot mess. The chefs who do actually get behind the wheel of Maui’s food trucks are damn near saints as they slave over a tiny, boxed-in kitchen to bring the hungry gourmet grinds at a reasonable price. Maui’s newest food truck, called “My Office” and run by Douglas and Belia Paul, now serves home style breakfast and lunch from their spot in the parking lot at the Park Plaza in Kihei’s Tech Park.
While you and I leisurely live out our Sundays, Belia and Douglas are up in their truck, roasting chickens, making soup and figuring out their specials for the coming week. My Office is nested in the back of the parking lot that wraps around the Park Plaza building. The kitchen inside is gorgeous. The Pauls tell me that it’s eight feet by 20 feet, but with all of the commercial kitchen accoutrements it looks smaller when you are standing inside. But you don’t need a huge space to create food; you just need quality ingredients, and that is exactly what they have.
The truck offers a stunning view of Ulupalakua. The morning I show up it’s blazing hot – so much so that I almost didn’t order a hot coffee. Stiff county permits and regulations for food truck establishments mean these guys can’t build a seating area or even a shade tent; they know it’s hot, but they just can’t do anything about it. Their food is strictly to go. Since they serve the 500 or so folks that are in the tech park, where most people eat in courtyards or their own offices, it’s not a problem.
“So far the breakfast burritos and spam musubis have been our popular morning items,” Douglas told me. “Our soups are flying out the door. For lunch, the ‘Big Maloney – a barbecue pork sandwich that was named after a dear friend that passed away – has been very popular. He is the one who encouraged us to get a food place going up here. He worked for Pacific Rim Land Company.”
The breakfast burritos start at $3.75 and contain eggs, potatoes, cheese and salsa. If you want additional protein like bacon, Chorizo or Portuguese sausage, your burrito’s cost will rise to a still very reasonable $5.75. The Chorizo burrito I sampled was fantastic. Everything from the potatoes to the scrambled eggs were freshly made and you can’t beat the flavor. The Pauls know they are up against Subway and other fast food grabs for breakfast and lunch and have priced their offerings accordingly. But the fast food joints cannot compete with the taste and quality of ingredients offered at My Office.
For lunch, the lure of lox was great – glossy salty smoked salmon is such a treat. The lox and bagel sandwich was scrumptious, with the sprouts and cucumber adding a nice touch of delicate greens that enhanced the salt and bread standard. The sandwich cost less than $6.
The quiche is baked in the truck and by Thursday morning they were already out. The Office always has a vegetarian soup as well as a meat soup on the menu, and they are amazing. You might just want to start with the 24oz helping so you can take some home.
The lunch menu includes a nice list of sandwiches and wraps. There’s the Italian sub, turkey, chicken salad, turkey or beef burger, with fries or salad for a side. The salad list is epicurean, with chicken couscous with pine nuts, watercress with tofu and bow tie pasta with feta and artichoke hearts. These are the kind of dishes I want to bring for lunch but don’t want to spend so many hours preparing.
There’s always a daily plate lunch special as well with the protein, salad and starch combo. My Office is also well stocked with fresh baked cookies, hummus, veggies and fruits for snacks. On the horizon the Pauls plan to offer take-home dinners so you can grab something healthy on your way home.
Douglas was a pastry chef at Spago and knows his baking chops. Now he’s turned that into his own business.
“Being your own boss is such an uplifting thing,” he said. “If someone wants a half sandwich, no problem. If someone wants a different kind of salad with their sandwich, no problem. It may cost them extra or less but I don’t have to check with the owner or go beg the cook to do this for me just this once. We just do it!”
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