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May 29, 2008
By CARLA TRACY, Dining Editor
NEW IN WAIKAPU . . . Hungry people were lined up outside the takeout counter before the soft opening last week, wanting to place their orders for the tender, juicy and saucy baby back pork ribs.

Bruddah Willy’s Sticky Ribs takeout is now open Fridays and Saturdays only from noon to 5 p.m., “But with the way the community is reacting, we may have to open extra days here and there,” says Lahaina boy and chef-owner, Willy Bailey. “We are in the old Waikapu Stop. The building is historic. In my small kid days, my mom used to bring me here for musubi and boiled peanuts, when we shopped at Peggy & Johnny’s and Woolworth’s.”

Peggy & Johnny’s, now that’s a walk down memory lane. But getting back to the ribs, you may order a half rack or full rack. Or get a plate with four ribs, garlic roll, extra sauce, coleslaw or potato salad and a complimentary “bite” of brownie for $7.95.

“We make our sauce in the California central coast style,” says Willy, who went to Maui Culinary Academy and has worked his way through Wailea hotels and restaurants as did his partner Terry Boal. “The sauce has vinegar and is tangy. Not tomato-ey in the Kansas City style. My wife, Lani, also works with us.”

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BITS AND PIECES . . . Popular among Kihei diners for its deep-fried ono, ahi and mahi is Alexander’s Famous Fish Co., on South Kihei Road. The crust comes out crunchy, the fish is flavorful and those looking to eat light may choose to order their catch grilled.

“From 4 p.m. to closing, we’re now offering kamaaina 20 percent off food all summer long,” says Alexander’s owner Kennan Randolph.

Hali‘imaile General Store Upcountry will uncork a wine dinner June 13 featuring B. Cellars of Napa Valley. The five-course feast includes five “killer B” wines. Cost is $125, plus tax and gratuity . . . H.G.S. will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year, and owners Beverly and Joe Gannon say there is no truth to the rumor flying around that it’s going to close. “On the contrary,” says Bev. “We’re stronger than ever. I didn’t make it this far just to board up the windows and call it a day.”

In addition, Bev just completed her second cookbook for the restaurant, due out in 2009 and she’s planning her Art & Soul Benefit for H.G.S.’s big anniversary in October. Mark your calendars . . . Maui filmmaker Ken Martinez Burgmaier and his production company Jazz Alley TV directed and produced two in-flight commercials about Beverly on Hawaiian Airlines, as she’s corporate chef.

We hear the Backstreet Cafe is a jumping little hot spot behind the post office and next to Ace Hardware in Kihei for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Wake up to eggs Benedict with kalua pig, and later in the day enjoy steamed clams, ahi poke and chocolate obsession.

“We also have a full bar and happy hour daily from 1 to 5 p.m.,” says Patti Domingo. “Sunday brunch is served from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Friday is our prime rib night from 5 to 6:30 at $12.95.” Live musicians perform on various days and evenings as well.

Heard this juicy bit of gossip at Maui’s best gourmet store, Maui Prime. One of the island’s top chefs, George Gomes, has jumped ship from the Tri-Star Group to head up the new Merriman’s Kapalua, set to open June 12 in the former Bay Club . . . Meanwhile, Tri-Star’s Geno Sarmiento has been promoted up the executive chef ladder to run all Tri-Star Maui restaurants:?Nick’s Fishmarket, Sarento’s on the Beach and Son’z at Swan Court.

Wanna drink some healthful wine this Friday from 7 to 9 p.m.? Come to the Organic Wine — Organic Food tasting for $30 per person at the Ikena Lounge upstairs at 505 Front Street in Lahaina . . . Charley’s is open again in Paia. You may once again enjoy ono eggs Benedict and a Bloody Mary in the bar for breakfast.

n Contact Carla Tracy at

Article Photos

Terry Boal and Willy Bailey were ready to serve hungry customers lined up on opening day of Bruddah Willy’s Sticky Ribs takeout in a historic building right on the highway in Waikapu.

The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo



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