The Waterfront Deli is a very good place to eat just about any meal
of the day that suffers from just two small problems: it’s neither on
the waterfront nor an actual deli. Located inside the Whaler’s General
Store (!) in The Shops at Wailea (!!), the Waterfront Deli is pretty
much just a lunch counter selling “New York Style” sandwiches, salads
and cheesecake, as well as items like “All Beef” hot dogs, taro burgers
and pizza by the slice.
What’s great about Waterfront Deli is you can walk inside and just
order a sandwich off the menu like their Big Apple Reuben (hot corned
beef, swiss, sauerkraut on rye), New Yorker (roast beef, swiss,
lettuce, tomato, Dijon mustard, horseradish) or Soho Vegetarian
(tomato, roasted red peppers, lettuce, onion, cucumber, spouts,
chedder, mayo) and have a perfectly good, respectable and maybe even
healthy lunch. These and other combination sandwiches come complete
with a scoop of potato salad or coleslaw and a dill pickle wedge.
But real deli people don’t order off menus. They walk into a deli
and ask for a “pastrami on rye” or a “turkey and swiss” and that’s what
they get—a slab of sliced meat piled high on the bread of your choice,
maybe with some mustard and nothing else (except the pickle—especially
if you order pastrami or corned beef, you must have the pickle). And
you can do exactly that here—though they charge an extra $3 to “double
stuff” your sandwich.
Anyway, once you’ve ordered you pick up food at a counter offering
napkins, mustard packets, utensils and a basket of hardboiled eggs,
sold for 49 cents each. It’s easy to find, right around the corner from
the rack holding pre-made sushi and next to the Hawai`i coffee mugs
that have people’s names printed on the side.
Then you go pay at the cashier in the center of the store. The first
time I was there I stood in line behind an older tourist couple paying
for a couple bottles of wine and some bananas while a younger family
fidgeted behind me, waiting to buy a beach mat.
Of course, once you get your real “New York Style” sandwich or
hardboiled eggs or whatever, you’ll probably have to eat it in the most
un-New York environment around, which is most likely either one of the
little metal tables lined up outside the Whaler’s General or the big
fountain that sits a few yards away.
And you’ll be surrounded by the usual Shops at Wailea crowd—kids
playing around said fountain, older couples eating ice cream from
Lappert’s, tourists reading the “Wailea Living” section of the glossy
Shops at Wailea store directory (“Being
firmly rooted in the community, the company’s agents have played an
influential role in helping form design concepts for new developments
to serve the combined needs of an evolving resort/residence community
Showing up in the early morning for breakfast is also acceptable,
when they offer bacon and egg croissants, scrambled egg bagels and a
“breakfast combo.” For $3.69 American, you get a big Styrofoam
container stuffed with scrambled eggs, tator tots (or rice) and your
choice of bacon, Portuguese sausage or links. MTW