Game On!

Calling Armchair Quarterbacks: Maui pubs and restaurants are tackling weekends with aplomb

In Paia, Charley’s bartender Lindsey Stout serves fresh oysters on Sundays. Pint & Cork photos

On Maui, Bloody Marys and football go hand in hand like fish and poi at a north shore surf event.

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

The expansive landmark opens at 7 a.m. for breakfast and starts serving alcohol at 8 a.m., per Maui County law.

“On Sundays, we always have the Bloody Mary bar set up,” says Managing Partner Jonathan Herman. “We feature the NFL Sunday ticket, so we have the ability to play lots of games, and usually do.”

For $6, you may build-your-own Bloody Mary or Mimosa with POG or orange juice. Or upgrade with a house Bloody Mary for $15 with all of the fixings. Charley’s new oyster bar kicks in at 11 a.m. until the large Pacific Northwest specimens run out later in the day at $3 apiece.

Chicken and waffles at Pint & Cork in The Shops at Wailea are marinated house fried chicken with savory waffles, bourbon-maple syrup and fried egg.

“The oyster bar is a perfect fit for the Bloody Mary bar because all of the hot sauces and extras are right there,” says Jesse Sword, executive chef.

“I make fresh butter for grilled oysters — from garlic to red-pepper to citrus-thyme. I can barbecue them lightly over kiawe and guava woods to steam in the juices. They turn out buttery and have an artichoke flavor when cooked that way, or you can order them raw,” he continues

Breakfast burritos and eggs Benedict are popular and so are the monster pancakes. 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. Call Charley’s at 579-8085.

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. Bloody Mary fans should take note alcohol service starts at 8 a.m.

Pint & Cork’s Bloody Mary bar is all the rage.

“Our new chef is named James Wilfong. He used to be the executive chef at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky,” explains Managing Partner Scott Pacer. “He moved to the island about a year ago and took a year off to work on his farm in Kula and spend time with his family. Slowly but surely he wanted to get back into cooking. We ran into each other and further explored the idea — and now he’s here.”

Pacer and his partners are very excited to have Chef Wilfong on board.

“He is taking it to where it will get to a true gastropub menu,” says Pacer. “He’ll always be changing the menu to provide the freshest possible ingredients possible.”

“We have added chicken and waffles and the Bananas Foster French toast and the Elvis, which is also on the dessert menu,” says Pacer. “This is our new chef’s first brunch menu here.”

The Elvis is French toast, fried banana, peanut-butter cream cheese, vanilla-bean ice cream and salted caramel.

Pint & Cork also does an enticing adobo moco and the best shrimp and grits this side of Louisiana. The Tito’s Bloody Mary bar includes fixings such as pickled asparagus, celery and peppers at the a la carte brunch served on weekends. Its eggs Benedict has a unique twist with sauce Bearnaise and has fragrant tarragon instead of Hollandaise, the typical mother sauce.

“We have 14 televisions downstairs,” adds Pacer. “We also have two upstairs rooms available for any kind of parties or get togethers, and one has a 75-inch flat screen and the other one has two 60-inchers. It can be booked as a party room for sports fans getting together.”

Residents can take advantage of the 20 percent kamaaina discount on breakfast food items until 11 a.m. for weekend brunch while watching games and rooting for their favorite teams. The discount is available for dinner as well from 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays.

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.

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.

Famous 5 Palms breakfast items include Hawaiian sweet bread French toast, a variety of eggs Benedict with toppings such as ahi or lobster, and steak and hash browns. For lunch lovers, fresh catch sandwich of the day and sashimi are popular.

“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. Happy hour starts at 3 p.m. 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. Order a platter by calling 244-7311 or stop by to pick up smaller items and beer as well.

Takamiya Market, a “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, pork and chicken for at-home TV parties. Call 244-3404.