Rodeo General Store
3661 Baldwin Avenue
Makawao, HI 96768-9546
When I lived in Makawao Rodeo General Store was my go to spot for groceries. Back then it was a quaint go to country store. In 2008 the store got new owners, Dean Sturman, Darren Jones, Paul Lamparelli and Mike Fisher, and a major facelift becoming the new incarnation of corner market and deli for Makawao town. Now everytime I drop by the store it just keeps getting better. It started with a few morning stops for their hot organic coffee, breakfast burritos and english muffin ham and egg sandwiches out of their hot bar. Next I was picking up my health food goods like Bob’s Red Mill golden flaxseed meal and gluten free tortillas. But my tried and true attraction to this store has been their deli, serving up consistent delicious quality take out food.
Deli Manager Mike Fisher says, “I buy local products first. Our goal here at the deli is to provide good food fast, keeping our quality standards and offering them at the best price possible.” These goals are evident in their deli products like the eggplant napoleon a stack of carmelized onions, tomato, over a thick slice of dreamy eggplant topped by a scoop of seasoned goat cheese garnished with sliced roasted garlic. A vegetarian delight that can impress even this decidedly unvegetarian meat eater. The deli also has one of the most amazing varieties of salads, from pasta to beet to bean. I counted more than twenty. Rodeo General’s deli has a way with kale, a food that i barely know how to wash much less prepare. Kale is so good for you, yet I rarely see it on any menus, it seems most chefs steer clear of it. Try the kale ceasar salad, kale is a strong leafy vegetable and it holds up well under the heavy flavors of ceasar dressing. Even better the dressing seems to mellow the strong texture of the kale. Another favorite is the beet salad. They even have plain steamed beets in the case as well.
The sandwiches here feature natural meats that will be free of preservatives. Their hot bento bar that sits in front of the open doorway has grab and go fresh made local favorites like meatloaf, teri chicken, kalua pork, enchiladas, and chow fun also made with natural and local ingredients at lunchtime and dinner. One of their newest items is serving hot dinner take out for two for $19.99 or for one at $11.99. This is the ultimate hot food fast evening meal. Up on the counter you can find their lineup of dinners, a different item every night, like full turkey dinners on Thursdays with cranberry, mashed potatoes and stuffing, or next week Wednesday’s Mediterranean roast leg of lamb, tatziki, pita bread, dolmas, and quinoa tabouli. All are served with green salad, dressing and homemade dinner rolls. I am already strategizing my weekly meal plans around their pick up dinner menu.
The Rodeo General also has a cutting edge selection of raw foods, dips like their famous carrot cashew pate, and all the desserts your sweet tooth can take. Even better their baker Sha-nan is an artisan in vegan baking. Somehow that makes the sugar guilt free for me. The clever names like marzipan mistress and double coconut jumpoff make them more fun but honestly with one bite you could be converted vegan even if only for the duration of the dessert. You don’t miss the animal products here, texture and richness intact, I’d swear they were sneaking in the butter and eggs if I didn’t know better.
It’s refreshing to see another Maui food business dedicated to keeping it local and supporting other local businesses here. Their food retail shelves feature so many locally produced items its astonishing to see how high they set the bar here. Locally made tortillas, locally grown produce, made into quick foods for you to pick up and eat. That means more dollars spent at the store stay on the island too.