On every trip to Oahu, I make a mandatory pilgrimage to the North Shore to partake of fresh shrimp and shave ice. Not much has changed since last year's sojourn, but I have a few updates:
Giovanni's Shrimp Truck
They now have hot dogs! The dogs are dipped in the garlic scampi sauce, and no, I didn't try one. I just couldn't resist the shrimp, but they looked good.
A new shave ice vendor, Haleiwa Shave Ice, joins Matsumoto's and Aoki's, but doesn't bring much to the table. Haleiwa's flavors were weak and watery and they skimped on the azuki beans. I'm always looking for a North Shore alternative to the lines at Matsumoto's, but this wasn't it.
This was the hit of the North Shore visit. I'd long seen the small sign advertising pickled mangos at the corner of Haleiwa Road and Kamehameha Highway but had never before acted on it. Just up the road on Haleiwa, across from the boat entrance to Ali'i Beach Park, there is another sign identifying the house where the mangos are. This isn't a fruit stand; it's just a house with a mango tree. The folks who live there make amazing pickles from their home grown mangos, pickling them in sugar and vinegar, with a li hing mui plum in the traditional style for home cured pickled mango. The mango slices are firm and crunchy with a perfect sweet/sour balance and a very slight mango inflection. They are sold in one pound bags for $9 and are highly addictive. Check it out!
Next Week: Farmers Markets, Hilo and More.