Game On!

Maui’s armchair quarterbacks gear up for gridiron action at restaurants, pubs — all ‘raising the bar’

Mulligans on the Blue bartender Bridget Cornell serves Bloody Marys and fresh corned beef and hash for breakfast in the expansive, open-air restaurant in Wailea with 14 flat screens for optimum viewing. Mulligans on the Blue photo

On Maui, football and Bloody Marys go hand in hand like fish and poi, Spam on musubi, beer with chips.

Prolific writer and part-time Maui resident Willie Nelson captured America’s favorite red morning beverage best with the song, “Bloody Mary Morning.”

At Charley’s Restaurant & Saloon in Paia, you and your pals may tackle gridiron action on the ginormous 12-by-9-foot TV along with four other flat screens in the large, cool and dark saloon area.

On Sundays, create custom drinks at the Bloody Mary bar and eat breakfast until 1 p.m. in the place where Willie definitely has played that famous song he penned and also where his Bigger Trigger guitar is displayed with other fun memorabilia.

“We’re doing the $6 Bloody Mary and Mimosa Bar starting at 7 a.m., on Sundays, “ Manager Renae Robertson explains. “The breakfast burrito and the eggs Benedict are popular and so are the monster pancakes. It’s all really good.”

The Bloody Mary Bar on weekends at Pint & Cork in The Shops at Wailea quenches game-day thirsts with juices and rotating condiments. Pint & Cork photo

The breakfast burrito is a flour tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, rice, and refried or black beans, topped with melted cheddar and jack cheeses, sour cream and salsa verde for good measure.

Charley’s eggs Benedict may be topped with your choice of Canadian bacon, strip bacon, smoked turkey or ham, or the No. 1 favorite, Cajun or grilled ono. Try it, you will definitely like it. For further details, call Charley’s at 579-8085.

Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea always seems to have its game on from morning to night, seven days a week.

“We have the biggest football room in Hawaii with 14, 70-inch televisions all on surround sound,” says Irish-born owner Mike O’Dwyer. We’re the only bar on Maui to open right at 6:30 a.m., serving breakfast immediately.”

Mulligans pours eye-opening $6 Bloody Marys and Mimosas, $4 aluminum Coors Lights, and it serves the island’s best fresh corned beef hash.

“We are open to all teams and supporters. It’s first-come, first-served on who gets to decide which game airs on the biggest TV,” says O’Dwyer. “We’re also now taking reservations for breakfast.”

For more details, call 874-1131.

Eggs Benedict is also popular at The Pint & Cork in The Shops at Wailea, which opens at 9 a.m. Saturdays at 7 a.m. Sundays. But Bloody Mary fans should note alcohol service starts at 8 a.m.

Pint & Cork’s eggs Benedict has a unique twist with sauce Bearnaise and its fragrant tarragon instead of lemony Hollandaise, its typical mother sauce.

Executive Chef Maka Kwan also does an enticing adobo moco and the best shrimp and grits this side of Louisiana. The Tito’s Bloody Mary bar includes up to two slices of bacon and fixings such as pickled asparagus, celery and peppers at the a la carte brunch served on weekends.

“Chef Maka Kwan makes steak and eggs, yogurt and fruit and a BLT with fried egg,” says Ashley Rivers about the rich, flavorful and diverse menu that the chef planned with Managing Partner Scott Pacer.

“We just added a new television and now we have 14 downstairs,” adds Rivers. “We do have two upstairs rooms available for any kind of parties or get togethers and one has a brand-new, 75-inch flat screen and the other one has two 60-inchers. Usually it’s a party for one team such as Broncos fans getting together.”

Pint & Cork also validates parking, has a comprehensive whiskey selection, pours 16 rotating craft beers on tap, and has cool and comfy air-conditioning. For more details, call 727-2038.

Montage Kapalua Bay serves a Bloody Mary Bar at its Sunday Brunch from 7 a.m. to noon each week at its signature Cane & Canoe restaurant.

Featuring an enhanced a la carte breakfast created by Chef de Cuisine Robert Barrera, Sunday Brunch features live jazz, shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles and many other gourmet delights.

The build-your-own Bloody Mary Bar comes with an assortment of liquor, mixers and all of the trimmings to make a decadent libation. Just step next door to the lounge to watch the game. Call 662-6681.

Situated on Keawakapu Beach in Kihei, 5 Palms Restaurant opens at 8 a.m. and you may have breakfast and lunch from the start of the day all the way until 3 p.m. Bloody Marys are legendary here.

“College games are on all day on Saturday and NFL games are on Sunday. Plus we screen Monday night football here,” says General Manager Moki Chong Kee. “At happy hour, you get half off appetizers and specially priced drinks.” Call 879-2607.

Poke, sashimi and bentos rule at TJ’s Warehouse in the Wailuku Industrial Area that daily sells containers and platters in sizes that range from 12 to 18 inches. For the latter, place your order in advance for fish such as ahi and salmon — and you can request hamachi. Order a platter by calling 244-7311 or stop by to pick up smaller items and beer as well.

Takamiya Market, the “little giant of Happy Valley” in Wailuku, purveys sashimi, hot pupu, ahi and tako poke and sushi, along with ready-to-grill Korean ribs, teriyaki beef and pork and chicken for your at-home TV parties. For bigger party orders, plan ahead and make choices from its main kitchen, Dani’s Catering. Call 244-3404.