It's easy to unwind at the Stopwatch Sports Bar & Grill in Makawao. In these winter months, you can chill out on the lanai in the cool Upcountry air, or you may sit at the bar or any one of the tables, some surrounding the delightful indoor garden area.
My friend and I went there for lunch the other day, and what we found on the menu board caught our attention and tempted us to order quick.
(Of course, you may enjoy buffalo wings, French fries, jalapeno poppers, clam strips and all of that casual fare, but there are gourmet options, too.)
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Chef Ohelo Brown showcases a popular Reuben sandwich and a special of wild-caught salmon with butter, garlic and capers.
"We feature a daily fresh mahimahi plate for $8.95," says partner Haru Hiu-Arian. "It's kind of like our recession- buster entree. We also do a special of an Asian-marinated steak, huli-huli style."
Other tempting specials at various reasonable prices are the country-fried steak and the chicken Marsala. Soups are made fresh daily and there are all manner of salads from Caesar to Haiku greens. The cashew-nut-and-garlic dressing is out of this world.
But we went for the wild-caught salmon. Chef Ohelo Brown, who's been with Stopwatch since it opened 15 years ago, knows how to cook it right.
"I saute it in butter, garlic and capers and top it with fresh Maui pineapple salsa," she says. "Then I serve it with your choice of mashed potatoes or steak fries, and soup or fresh Upcountry greens."
Haru adds that Stopwatch always has fish special such as wild-caught salmon, opakapaka and mahimahi. Wednesday and Thursday nights, you buy an entree and get the second at half off. Choose your fish sauteed as above, grilled or Cajun style. Cost of one fish entree is $15.95 with all accompaniments.
As for Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 7, Stopwatch will once again be "party central" for armchair quarterbacks with its annual bash.
"People like to get here early to get a good seat," says partner Jan Brown. (Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.) We open at 11 a.m."
As usual, Stopwatch will have tons of door prizes. The grand prize is a trip for two on Air Maui, a helicopter tour of the island, and there will be more. Savor its complimentary pupu buffet at halftime. Take note, those attending must be 21 and older. The Bud Girls will be sporting about and there is no cover charge.
"The menu is always bountiful," says Jan. "We really put on a nice spread. This year, it's baked ham sandwiches, chili and rice, macaroni salad, poke-style edamame, Chinese salad and sesame chicken wings."
For Valentine's Day, Stopwatch will run its New York steak and shrimp combo all day for $23.95 along with its regular menu. Stopwatch also stays open late until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Friday, The Crunch Pups will perform and there will be dancing. This Saturday, belt out your best karaoke tune with Pearl Rose. Both start at 9 p.m. and dinner is served until 10 p.m. Call 572-1380.