Ma‘alaea General Store & Cafe expands horizon

The old Maalaea Store has come a long way from its original intent, from when it was built in 1910 and served red hot dogs and Green River sodas at the counter to fishermen and harbor area residents.

Since last August, it’s been turned into Ma’alaea General Store & Cafe and impeccably renovated by new owner Dominick Marino.

There’s all manner of seats on the covered lanai and in the adjacent dining room building.

Both are situated directly across the street from the Coast Guard Station at Maalaea Harbor, and there is plenty of parking in the back in the newly paved lot or on the street.

“Now, we’re open earlier than ever at 5:45 a.m. for all of the fishermen and for the Maalaea Harbor employees,” says General Manager Ed O’Malley, a former New Yorker and Coloradan with lots of deli experience.

“We’re still busy since our opening and we’re still going strong,” O’Malley continues. “We bake fresh pastries each and every day.”

Head baker is Patrick Brault, who is pretty well known on Maui as the man who created the famous Tahitian Black Pearl dessert for the iconic Maui’s Fish House in Kuau.

“We bake biscotti, scones, cinnamon rolls, mac-nut sticky buns and espresso brownies, as well as chocolate-chip pecan cookies,” says Ed’s wife, Cindy, who works there, too.

The signature dessert is rich bread pudding with vanilla custard drizzled with vanilla sauce.

“Besides our pastry case that is full of freshly baked goods, we also have a display case with grab ‘n go items such as egg croissants and our three-pound burrito, which is paralyzing. You may order breakfast burritos or ham and cheese croissants.”

There is also a full coffee bar with cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas, etc., along with smoothies made with fresh fruits and berries.

“We offer Maui Red Coffee from the red catuai beans. It’s 100 percent Maui grown.”

Health-minded diners will find acai energy bowls, and you may grab a nice cold drink such as, say, coconut water from the cooler.

The team also bakes rolls and breads for retail sales and uses only Boarshead meats with no nitrites or phosphates. Salads are plentiful.

“We’re a hands-on deli as we slice it by the pound for you to take out. We even make our own burger buns from scratch and people really rave about our bacon bleu burger served with chili-lime mayonnaise.”

With St. Paddy’s Day coming up on Sunday, you may sink your teeth into a tasty Reuben; or perhaps pastrami and Swiss on rye.

“We’ll be adding poke bowls really soon,” says Cindy. “It’s basically fresh ahi poke over a scoop of rice. We also do fresh ono sandwiches.”

Hearty housemade meat chili is on the menu daily. So are gluten-free and vegan soups such sweet-potato leek and tomato bisque.

Lovers of Mexican food will find tacos and quesadillas. The top seller is the Baja taco with battered mahi, and and grilled fish and chicken tacos and quesadillas are topped with housemade salsas and pico de gallo. Of course, the famous red hot dogs are still there, for the nostalgic among us.

For more details, call 242-5900.