Every parent knows that the quickest way to soothe a screaming child is to stick a popsicle into their mouth. This works especially well after a visit to the doctor where bumps, bruises and vaccinations pale in comparison to the promise of frozen Red Dye #40 and high fructose corn syrup.
I’ll admit that I first discovered Thida’s Curbside Café outside of Kaiser Maui Lani while negotiating entrance into the clinic with my child. What I found there was a lot more than just kid-friendly treats.
Thida’s offers a great selection of espresso drinks that are way, and I mean way better than any of that corporate-coffee stuff. My favorite is the ice-blended Caramel de Leche which is creamy, sweet and strong with a bold shot of espresso.
They also offer a Coco Mocha Nui, White Chocolate, Extreme Coffee Toffee and a Chai blended coffee.
If you’re not in the mood for something fancy, you can always get a good ol’ cup of joe. They use Maui Coffee Roaster’s house coffee, which just happens to be my favorite.
In the food department, Thida’s has pretty much everything: Redondo’s hot dogs, polish dogs, homemade chili, bagels with cream cheese or smoked salmon. They also offer fresh salads, bentos, turkey, beef, boca or veggie burgers with all the fixings and, according to faithful customers, “the best tuna melt”? on the island.
“It’s a family thing,” said Thida Gepkan as she grilled up a hamburger–fresh and made to order–for me the other afternoon, “My sister Thavy’s son and daughter run the one at Kaiser Wailuku.”
The curbside café over at Kaiser Wailuku has been up and running for about ten years and the menu is similar to the café at Maui Lani, except they don’t have a hot grill–so no burgers.
Let’s talk about those burgers. Thida’s cheeseburger is awesome. A fresh and juicy beef patty on a sesame bun with mayo, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and sprouts. In fact, I even chose to have cilantro on mine. I love cilantro and it’s great on burgers.
Thida’s also has a great selection of snacks, like chips, candy and soft drinks. The prices are fair and the service is good.
Next time you’re hungry and in the area, make sure to check it out.
Just so you know, you don’t have to have an appointment at Kaiser to go to Thida’s. In fact, you don’t even need to be a Kaiser member. It’s not like they ask for your medical record number or anything, and there’s always lots of parking. MTW