When I was younger I loved pancakes. Excuse me, I loved MAPLE SYRUP. Pancakes were a way to get as much maple syrup on my plate, my hands, and my face. Eventually, my mother realized I was leaving the pancakes half-eaten and we’d run out of syrup in two weeks instead of a month. It’s not that my mother’s pancakes were bad, it was that I didn’t know what a pancake tasted like that wasn’t drenched in dark, sweet, syrup.
Years later I had breakfast at a cafe in Maui and my life changed. My husband and I, on the advice of locals and tourists alike, pulled up to Kihei Caffe for brunch. I ordered the Banana Macadamia Nut Pancakes and the waiter suggested I try them without syrup. “These are the best pancakes you’ll ever have. Don’t you dare drown them in syrup!” He was right. The pancakes were crusty on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and sweet enough that just a hint of butter and they were perfect.
But hello, it’s me. So, of course, I had to try them with the coconut syrup that was sitting on the table. Mumm, yea! Sorry, I might have used half the bottle. It was so good. I am usually pretty good at deciphering ingredients and can reproduce many of the dishes I try at restaurants. Yet to this day, I have not been able to make anything near these delightful breakfast treats. Maybe I should go back and give it another try.
If you get to Maui, I highly recommend you try Kihei Caffe and the pancakes. It is in a tiny building on the main route through South Maui. You cannot miss it. It is the one with the ridiculous line out front. Don’t let that stop you. I promise it is worth the wait. Once seated the wait staff is very friendly. You wouldn’t even know they were overwhelmed with waiting guests. You are their only concern, and the service is very fast from that point on.
For me the pancakes, plain or with coconut syrup, or the best. My husband swears by the kalua pork loco moco and if you like pork it is not a bad second choice.