Tator Tots never tasted so good. The chef loaded them with cheese, bacon, sour cream and green onions. We also wolfed juicy Kobe beef burgers, free of antibiotics and hormones, served on brioche buns with fresh pineapple barbecue sauce and Kula onions.

“The Tator Tots are high school cafeteria meets loaded potato skins,” says Relish Burger Bistro’s Restaurant Chef Jennifer Evetushick. “Tator Tot day at school was always one of my favorites.

“But that’s just one of the many fun things we serve at our new poolside restaurant. I just want to stress that we worked as a team, and really picked from the best ingredients that we can source here.”

In other words, those tasty Tator Tots are not the focus of the menu, which is really quite impressive for such a casual family affair.

For instance, chef also selects choice local flavors to make well-balanced and playful appetizers such as Maui Brewing Co.’s Coconut Porter fondue with Portuguese sausage, Kula onions, Gruyere cheese and house-made taro pita made from local kalo tubers.

“As chefs, we occupy the most interesting part of anyone’s vacation or lifestyle, EATING!” Evetushick continues. “The general public values our opinions on where to acquire ‘the best’ of any particular product. The more we promote local farmers, the more interest they receive and products they sell. It’s definitely a win-win symbiosis.”

Indeed. Salads are farm fresh and so are the numerous burger toppings. The Chop Chop salad combines Haiku greens, chilled Asian-ginger chicken, crisp won tons and rice noodles in sesame vinaigrette. The salmon BLT burger piles crisp bacon high with local tomato, watercress and arugula with caper aioli.

The Surf’s Up mahimahi burger combines fish plucked from the Pacific with popcorn shrimp, and pickled ginger in the remoulade. Spicy ahi poke tostadas feature fresh tuna on crisp won ton chips with local avocado and cilantro slaw for an island spin.

“If we take a farm-fresh product and turn it into something delicious, people want to get their hands on it. Especially here in Hawaii, we have the good fortune to live in a year round growing climate. We also have access to some of the most exotic produce in the world.”

The burgers are all served with these farm-fresh greens along with local sweet-potato fries – thick and crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside. In fact, you are invited to order burgers knife and fork style, a gluten-free alternative served bun-less with the above-mentioned greens and fries with passion-fruit ketchup.

As burger toppings, cheeses from Surfing Goat Dairy farm in Kula are offered and so are Maui Gold Pineapple in a refreshing Hawaiian salsa.

“We can always refer customers to visit great farms, take a tour here or there and even showcase the local flavors in our restaurants like Relish Burger Bistro. Not only do the guests get to see the farmers and what we produce, but the where, when and why that this is all happening. We get to showcase what we do here on Maui, both in culinary terms and agriculturally.”

Relish Burger Bistro is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., with extended bar hours. Sporting events are telecast live on large flat screen TVs. You may sip local brews and signature drinks, house wines and cocktails.

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