On June 21, 2007, I wrote in this very paper that my beloved Ohana Café in Wailuku had “closed its doors” the previous month. In fact, I am very happy to report, the café’s closing proved just a temporary inconvenience. For the last couple months, Ohana Café has been operating pretty much as before—still operated by the good folks at Alive & Well in Kahului—though with a few changes.
It’s hard to convey how tough it was when Ohana Café closed, even for just a few months. Lunch options in Wailuku Town, while fairly numerous, tend to lack “healthy” food. Ohana Café, just a few steps from the Maui Time offices, was a refuge from McDonald’s and Subway and, yes, even that really nice guy who sells tacos in the vacant lot across from the Iao Theater. What’s more, Ohana Café’s counter made it easy to order food to go.
In the old days (okay, six months ago), I’d order my lunch and then chat with Gina Mariano, the pretty, diminutive brunette behind the counter. This doesn’t really happen anymore, though, because Mariano spends her hours at the café actually cooking everyone’s food.
Which brings me to the main reason why I spend at least one day a week in the café. Their menu is smaller than it was in the spring, but still contains an array of sandwiches, salads, smoothies and breakfast items. And as usual, most everything is all natural, nitrate-free and organic.
Lately I’ve been addicted to the Organic Grilled Chicken plate lunch. Served with either Shoyu or spicy Thai chili sauce (trust me: spicy Thai is how you want this one), the free-range chicken comes with a couple scoops of wonderful brown rice and their local mixed green salad, which contains Kula greens, organic tomato, cucumber slivers, red onion rings, shaved carrots, sprouts and a tasty papaya seed dressing.
The Triple Decker Club is still a massive sandwich, full of sprouts and avo and such. The Chicken Salad Sandwich and Smoked Turkey Sandwich (both also available as wraps) are thinner but still very satisfying options. Delicious seared ahi is also available, either as a plate lunch, wrap or salad add-on.
Originally just content to offer organic juices and smoothies during morning hours, the café recently added a few breakfast choices. The Macadamia Nut French Toast is a monster pile, heaped with whipped cream, raw mac nuts and maple syrup. You can also mix your own egg scramble with a variety of meats, cheeses and vegetables. But my personal favorite is the Breakfast Croissant—scrambled eggs and spinach with bits of Sunday Bacon (or ham, if you like), tomato and cheddar cheese on a flakey Croissant.
The café’s still not open on weekends or past two in the afternoon. Still, the very fact that it’s back open is good enough for me. MTW