Not too long ago, I moved 8 minutes away to a new house in a new town on this island of Maui. In New York, such movement is rarely paid attention to. Case in point: When my sister and I moved our things to an apartment one block away via a valet baggage cart past city dwellers at the outdoor cafes on 105th Street, not one eyebrow was raised as we rattled back and forth with boxes, clothes, food, vacuum cleaner and the like during the entirety of their meals. So it comes as no surprise that New Yorkers don’t usually ring on doorbells wearing Welcome Committee badges and bearing homemade pies. But in Makawao, my new town, I came home to find a big bunch of green bananas, freshly cut off a tree, on my stoop. How’s that for a tropical welcome? Quite nice, I’d say.
One of the best things about moving is exploring a new neighborhood and finding your place within it. My new favorite haunt is the Rodeo General Store. First of all, it opens early and stays open past Maui midnight, which is 9 p.m. in case you were wondering. It’s clean, well stocked and the staff is friendly. They are eco aware as well, never giving you a bag without asking if you need one. When I don’t, I’m told, “That’s awesome!” and I walk out with my head held high.
It’s a bit pricey if you have a huge grocery list. But, need brown sugar for baking? No problem. Want a coconut smoothie? Yum! Vegan carrot cake that makes non-vegans like myself very happy? They got it. Hot soups, hot dogs, chilled wines and beers (including gluten-free), smoked trout pate, salad bar, raw food, breakfast burritos, deli sandwiches, and a freshly made entrée dinner each night of the week. I recently partook of the turkey dinner. It came with mashed potatoes, cranberries, a fresh salad, dressing, roll & brownie, cost $10.99 and fed two of us easily. I’ve got my eye on the pasta primavera that’s on the upcoming menu. Home is where the heart is, they say. Good food helps, too.
Rodeo General Store hours: 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (9 p.m. closing on Sundays). 3661 Baldwin Avenue, right in Makawao town center. Green bananas not necessarily included.