Eating Out Food Truck Travel

Oahu’s North Shore

Due to Covid-19, I seem to have a lot of time at home, so it feels like the perfect opportunity to revive the blog. I’ll be sharing some of my favourite recipes and reliving some of the amazing travel moments I’ve experience in the last few years. Let’s start with our amazing trip to Hawaii from 2018!

While on Oahu we spent one day driving around the island and exploring everything the North Shore has to offer – big surf, beautiful scenery and, of course, food trucks. Unfortunately, although we had great weather for most of our vacation, it was grey and rainy the whole day. Rain isn’t the worst thing when you’re in the car, but it also isn’t the best when you want to do some sightseeing, meaning we made a few less stops than we had originally planned. I know, I’m not going to get much sympathy, I was still in Hawaii and we had a great time touring the island anyways!

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Our first stop was at the Manulele Distillery where we got to tour the facility and taste a bunch of different rums that they produce, including their Ko Hana Agricole Rum. It was quite interesting to learn about the native Hawaiian sugar cane used in the distillation process and even better to taste the rum. While we enjoyed all of the rums, I thought that their Kokoleka rum, which is made with cacao and honey, was incredibly unique and picked up a bottle to bring home. I haven’t cracked it open yet, but I think it will make for a lovely after-dinner digestif! **Update** The bottle has since been opened and the rum does indeed make for a delicious after dinner drink.

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Next up we stopped at the Dole Plantation, which is over-the-top touristy, but not a bad place to take a quick bathroom break and snack on a Dole Whip while using the free wifi to plan out the rest of the day. While eating our frozen pineapple treat, we decided to continue up to the North Shore and hit up a couple of food trucks.

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We stopped in the town of Haleiwa first, where a bunch of food trucks gather around a pavilion. I was on a mission to get some garlic shrimp from Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, one of the first and most well known shrimp trucks on the island.

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I was happy to see that despite the miserable, rainy weather they were serving up huge platters of shrimp. I ordered the Shrimp Scampi ($14) which includes a dozen jumbo shrimp, marinated in olive oil, garlic and lemon, served on top of 2 huge scoops of rice and drenched in garlic, lemon butter and enough caramelized garlic to keep us safe from vampires for the rest of our lives. Because it was so rainy outside, we ended up eating the plate of food in the back of our rental car, but that didn’t make the food any less delicious. It was actually Valentine’s Day and it was one of those hilarious, ridiculous experiences that was so much fun. I have a feeling we are going to have a hard time topping our Shrimp Scampi in the back of a rental car, in Hawaii, during a down-pour Valentine’s Day date.

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Next we continued along the North Shore to Ehukai Beach Park to watch the surfers on the Banzai Pipeline, which is notorious for the huge waves that break along the coastline. The day we stopped the waves were a decent size but maybe not quite as big as the last time I visited. We spent some time just standing on the beach watching the the surfers sit atop their surf boards waiting to catch the perfect wave.

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After watching the surfers we continued driving along the North Shore to another gathering of food trucks. We decided to try Kalbi on Fire, which serves Korean food out of an old school bus. We ordered the Short Rib plate which came with a generous serving of Korean short ribs, jap chae and macaroni salad.

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After the delicious Korean food we made our last stop on our tour around the island, the Byodo-In Temple, which is a non-practicing Buddhist template and smaller scale replica of the over 95- year old Byodo-In Temple in Uji, Japan. The temple was absolutely spectacular, especially in the misty, rainy weather.

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When visiting Oahu I can’t recommend enough how awesome it is to get out of Honolulu and explore the rest of the island. There is so much to see and do and we really only scratched the surface. I can’t wait until we get to visit again, but until then I’ll just keep daydreaming and sipping my Kokoleka rum.

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