Stillwell’s Bakery & Café in Wailuku is an intimate place. You’re always just a few steps away from whatever part of the bakery you need.
For most people, the part of the bakery you really need is the display case, which is next to the register. There you’ll find pastries such as cream horns, the chocolate caramel slice, tiramisu, the big brownie and baked apple crumb.
The chocolate caramel slice is a party for your mouth. It’s topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. The crust is a bit tough for the plastic utensils you’re armed with, but tasty, nonetheless. The “big brownie” is just that; a big, rich brownie topped with chocolate icing. The cream horn is flaky, sprinkled with powdered sugar and filled with creamy goodness. The shelf behind the display case is also dripping with baked goods, like the delicious pecan cookies. If you’ve got a sweet tooth—or like me, a sweet jaw—Stillwell’s is the place to be.
It would be difficult to write about Stillwell’s without mentioning their sandwiches. They should serve as an example to the rest of the sandwich community. After treating yourself to one of these sandwiches, you’ll find it hard to return to those untoasted, soggy vegetables, thinly-spread-filling and stagnating-there-for-a-couple-of-hours sandwiches that many of us hide with shame within our lunch bags.
Stillwell’s tuna sandwich has been heralded as the best on the island. If you want a warm sandwich, I’d recommend the tuna melt, gooey with cheese and served with tomato. Then there’s the Reuben sandwich, grilled with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island Dressing. Their sandwiches come on wheat, white, rye, focaccia or whole grain bread. And they’re served with either Ruffles chips or Caesar salad (for a little extra cash they can also come with the soup of the day).
Perhaps you’re in the mood for something a little bit more local? They’ve got somen salad, as well as dry mein. Interestingly, their dry mein is garnished with baked ham, instead of the charsiu that I’m accustomed to. Even so, the change in ingredients doesn’t make the dish less delicious.
On a diet? Stillwell’s also has a variety of salads, including Chinese chicken, crab salad and Greek salad. Stillwell’s is also vegetarian friendly, offering dishes like the garden burger, tofu burger and tofu salad.
If you sit outside, you’re treated to a spectacular view of Kahului. Inside, you’re offered respite from the hustle and bustle of Ka‘ahumanu Avenue. This time, we decided to sit outside; while I appreciate Maui’s ohana vibe, I’d rather not have a member of my ohana jabbing me in the ribs, every time he lifts his arms to eat. The staff is usually busy, but not so busy that they don’t greet you with a smile and call you by name when your order is ready. MTW