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Category: Tay’s Eats

Maui: Mama’s Fish House

The most consistent piece of advice we got from everyone before our trip was, “Go to Mama’s Fish House.” We always take restaurant suggestions very seriously, so we kept this item at the top of our list. When we got into the car in Kahului, I immediately turned to Anish and said, “Mama’s for lunch?” We had plenty of time before check-in at the hotel and a fresh seafood lunch sounded ideal. He agreed, so we called ahead to make a last minute reservation for lunch.

Because Anish’s sister Diya is THE BEST, she’d sent us a gift card for our Mama’s meal for my birthday. Thank youuu, Diya! We pulled in to the parking lot at Mama’s, let the valet guy take our car (complimentary!), and walked down the gorgeous path to the Mama’s Fish House cove.

WOW. The location is seriously incredible. It’s a restaurant with its own cove and beach surrounded by palm trees, bathed in sun, and cooled by the sea breeze. We were grinning like fools at this point and staring at each other like, “Can you believe this is real?” 5 hours earlier we were in the overcast Bay Area and now, we were standing barefoot in the warm sand on a private beach in Hawaii. Life is crazy.

We wandered around for a few minutes, taking photos and breathing in the island air, before heading over to the hostess station to tell them we were there. They sat us in a huge booth facing the beach and we immediately ordered tropical beverages. When in Hawaii, right? Another piece of advice we got about Mama’s… “Get the Ho’okipa Sunrise!” It’s a cocktail made with Stoli Citrus Vodka, pineapple, lime and Creme de Banana, i.e. DELICIOUS. I understand why our beloved Minards were raving over it.

For lunch, we shared everything so we could try more things, like a good foodie couple. 😉 Here’s what we got:

  • Hawaiian Ceviche: Uku (a local fish) with mango, kaffir lime, spicy Maui chili pepper and cilantro with breadfruit & sweet potato chips. — THIS DISH WAS HEAVEN. We were drooling over it and gobbling it up, while saying to each other with stuffed mouths, “Mama’s was worth it JUST FOR THIS.”
  • Grilled Maui He’e (octopus) caught by Rogelio Balala diving offshore from Spreckelsville. — Also delicious and super tasty. We loved having the details of who caught the fish and where. Local at its best.
  • Ono (another local fish) caught by James DeBussey trolling near Keanae, seared in a Hana ginger-panko crust with Kalua pig fried rice. — Pig fried rice?? Panko crust? Yes, this dish was an easy choice for us. We ordered the fish at the recommended medium-rare cooking, and it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The fresh ginger gave it a great flavor.

By the time we finished all that and I’d had another drink – this time a creamier one, Pina Colada style, but with a cacao liqueur – we were stuffed and couldn’t get dessert. Not a big deal and we were happy with what we’d had, and still craving more of that ceviche.

After eating, we went back out to the beach and put our feet into Hawaii’s Pacific for the first time. Ahh….

Overall, the food was fantastic and worth the hefty island price (pretty much the norm at all the restaurants we went to). If you go to Maui, EAT AT MAMA’S. Get the ceviche and the Ho’okipa Sunrise. You’ll thank me later.

We left Mama’s cove feeling full and happily on vacation. We were ready to zip across the island to the west side to see our gorgeous hotel and the beaches of Ka’anapali for the first time.

I was completely unaware that Anish had a ring hidden in his pocket and special plans for the days ahead…

Just look at this place! Such a lovely, private setting.
10 minutes of sunshine and I’m a happy girl. Add this view? Over the moon…
Mama’s beach!
The gorgeous island decor of the restaurant.
Pleased as punch to be on vacation together.
Thank you Diya for the gift card!
Best ceviche of my life. And those breadfruit chips? Surprisingly fantastic.
Grilled octopus!
The main dish – so good!
Vacation! Makes me smile to think that I had no idea what was coming later that week… 🙂
Hello Hawaii — now on to the hotel!
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Schwartz’s Deli

Back to our Montreal trip on the blog today –

Our first meal out in the city was at Schwartz’s Deli, a Montreal institution and the oldest deli in Canada. World Famous Original Smoked Meat, it boasts!

We skipped the sit-down restaurant side with its huge line and went straight to the deli counter to order sandwiches to go. It was a gorgeous day and lunch in a nearby park sounded perfect. Everyone opted for the original smoked meat sandwich, although turkey, salami, and chicken are options too!

I opted for the special of the day: smoked meat poutine! I can never (NEVER) turn down poutine. Fries covered in gravy and cheese curds with meat on top? Yes please.

We got our food and hurried off to the park to have a little picnic and enjoy the nice weather. We gobbled up the food in minutes. The verdict? Delicious!

With full bellies, we piled back into the car and headed off to explore the Jardin Botanique (Botanical Garden).

Signs in French – I love it!
Youppi, the Montreal Canadiens (hockey) mascot, was outside lamenting the team’s loss to the Rangers. Poor guy! 
Happy and hungry! Look at all the meat on that sandwich!
My poutine… om nom!
The crew was pleased with their lunch!
Gorgeous park statues, complete with two goobers sitting on the lions. 😉
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Home Cookin’, Indian Style

What was my favorite thing about having Anish’s parents in San Francisco? In-person love and support? Yes, but that’s not exactly it. Fun and adventures and conversations? Yes, but that’s not it either.

You know what I’m going to say, of course, because the title says it all. My absolutely favorite thing about having Mama and Papa here — the home-cooked meals!

They spent ALL DAY cooking when we were back at work after our Nor-Cal adventures that weekend. I came home to the windows thrown wide open and the delicious scent of homemade Indian food seeping out under our front door. They’d cooked enough food to freeze for a few weeks of meals for us! It’s such a treat to open the freezer and pull out a container of our favorite curry for dinner. Easy, simple, and made by Mama!

It wasn’t all for freezing though — we made sure to have a proper South Indian dinner at home and invited our dear friend Leigh over to enjoy it with us! Anish and I were so happy and ate two helpings of everything. We finished it off with tea straight from Munnar, made with my new Bella kettle!

Sigh… a homemade meal is just so good. And when you can share it with family and friends? Even better.

Wine and heaping plates with some of my favorite people!
Can’t say enough good things about this woman! She’s been a wonderful friend since we’ve moved to San Francisco. (And I was so happy that she loved the food!)
Top to bottom, left to right: banana chips, Kerala Chicken Curry, a dried masala potato dish., Beef Fry, Raita (yogurt dish), and green beans with chili flakes.
Nothing better than tea from Munnar in an elephant pot!
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An Adventure to the Marshall Store

The third day of Mama and Papa’s time in San Francisco was a Sunday and since we’d had so much fun the day before at Long Meadow Ranch and Farmstead in St. Helena, we figured we might as well enjoy another day out of the city. Sunday, it seems, is the perfect day to go to Tomales Bay for lunch and then visit Muir Woods in the afternoon.

We’d been to Tomales Bay before with Jesse and Brad in March and we’d been itching to go back and get our hands on some oysters. This time, though, our road trip was a little more eventful.

3/4 of the way, I realized our gas was getting pretty low and we needed to stop somewhere. The thing is, once you get off the highway and take the back roads over to Tomales, there’s pretty much nothing. Anish, techie that he is, said “I’ll map us to a gas station!” Trusty Google Maps came out and off we went, taking a detour, heading to a gas station. Upon arrival at the rusty old SHUT DOWN station, I started to panic. Tempers were flaring a bit (ahem, mine…), the gas light had been on for 10ish minutes, and Tomales was still 20+ miles away.

Before things got too dicey, Anish suggested we stop at a random cafe for directions. The advice we got? “Well it’s too far to get to Fairfax or any other place if you’re that low, but you can go over to the fire station and ask the firefighters for a gallon to get you there.” WHAT? I was skeptical, Pa was laughing, and Anish was adamant that we go try our luck with the local firefighters.

Luckily, despite the fact that I was mortified and refused to get out of the car, the firefighters were incredibly sweet and no-questions-asked gave us a quick gallon before sending us off with real directions to a gas station. Thank you, Marin County firefighters, for the gas. And a big thanks to Anish for always finding solutions when I may or may not be too stubborn to ask for help. 😉


An hour later, we made it to Tomales Bay and by that time, we didn’t want to do all the oyster shucking work ourselves, so we decided to Yelp it and find a local place to eat some oysters pre-shucked and fixed up just right. And that’s how we found: The Marshall Store.

It’s a small shop (shack?) right on the side of the bay. You order your food, grab your drinks and clam chowder, and then choose a seat either at the small oyster bar on the porch, on the deck by the water, or outside at the long wooden table right on the water. You’re surrounded by locals and folks who are lucky enough to know about the place.

It’s the sweetest spot on Tomales Bay and everything we ate was delicious, fresh, and perfectly prepared. One Coca-Cola for me, a few beers, and several oysters later, we were all feeling happy as clams (or oysters?).

Thoroughly stuffed, we headed back down the road to hit the 1 and take the Pacific Coast Highway all the way to Muir Woods.

Oyster bar and smokehouse – yes please!
I love these people. 🙂
The view from our seats – not too shabby!
I’m lucky that this guy puts up with me.
BBQ Oysters with Garlic Butter and House Sauce! Garlic Bread to dip into the juices…
Smoked Fish Plate, side 1: Smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Smoked Fish Plate, side 2: Smoked oysters over cream cheese with a special sauce. These were INCREDIBLE.
Headed south on the PCH – on the Stinson Beach lookout. This view never gets old.
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