Random Revisit: Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop

meter-great-haLeoda’s is one of my favorite spots in the Hawaiian islands, so when the opportunity arose to pay them another visit I jumped on it. The drive from Kahului Airport to the west side of Maui takes you right past this local culinary gold mine, just about at the point in time you are tired of waiting in traffic.

Why hello there. It's nice to see you again.

Why hello there. It’s nice to see you again.

” The flaky messiness of the pies were part of the charm “

From the outside, Leoda’s didn’t look any different from the last time I visited. Same dirt parking lot, same glass case full of goodness, same awesome people working behind the counter. The spousal unit and I were already too full from the day’s previous eat-tastic adventures, so we just ordered a couple of apple handheld pies and a loaf of bread to bring back to the condo.

Leoda's scratch-made bread made some great toast throughout the week.

Leoda’s scratch-made bread made some great toast throughout the week.

Much later that evening, we managed to have enough room in our stomachs for a bit of dessert – out came the handheld pies. We were a little disappointed that Leoda’s changed their formula; the pies are now glazed and not dusted with baker’s sugar like they used to be. The glazing is undoubtedly easier to handle and tidier to consume than the sugar, but the flaky messiness of the pies were part of the charm.

I have to admit, the new glaze does a good job of keeping the pie in one piece.

I have to admit, the new glaze does a good job of keeping the pie in one piece.

The flavor of the filling and the crust was every bit as delicious as we remembered… but that last little bit of “wow” just seemed to be missing. Maybe we were remembering our previous experience more fondly than it actually occurred, but it seems Leoda’s has taken a teeny, tiny step backwards.

It's really all about the filling, and that's just as awesome as ever.

It’s really all about the filling, and that’s just as awesome as ever.

The good news is that they were so amazingly good to begin with, this minor setback really doesn’t make much difference. Leoda’s rating of 999 out of 1,000 tiny, angel-trained unicorns has been reduced somewhat – now they rank only around 950 unicorns. I still love Leoda’s, but I hope the sugared topping comes back one day.

+ Still the best pies on Maui
+ Lots of other great bakery options
+ It’s a great place to grab lunch
No more sugared topping. Sadface.

Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop
820 Olowalu Village Road
Lahaina, HI 96761
(808) 662-3600

I'm trying one of these next time. Promise.

I’m trying one of these next time. Promise.

The Waffle Roost food truck

meter-great-Every food truck needs to have some kind of theme, gimmick, or unique idea in order to attract attention. The Waffle Roost truck, as you might guess from the name, features chicken and waffles. While this isn’t a new or original idea, Waffle Roost just so happens to be the only one in the area serving up this deliciously weird combination. It’s one of those things that for whatever readon, just works.

This chicken must have grown up in the East Bay.

This chicken must have grown up in the East Bay.

” Waffle Roost somehow made a delicious food look exactly like collard greens “

I made my way over to this particularly-easy-to-spot-in-a-crowd truck and ordered the 2 Legit, which includes four unique and delicious foods: fried chicken, a waffle, mac and cheese, and collard greens. The boneless white meat fried chicken was darn near perfect and had a wonderful, flavorful crust on it. It was perhaps just the tiniest bit dry, but I still give it high marks. The waffle surprised me; it wasn’t the typical fluffy Bisquik style thing you’d expect, but rather a satisfying, whole-wheat-ish masterpiece with a wonderful crunch. It was excellent.

Please chicken, don't hurt 'em.

Please chicken, don’t hurt ’em.

The mac was cheesy and awesome, and it had a scratch-made flavor to it. I was starting to become impressed at this point. Last up was the collard greens, which I was not looking forward to. I don’t like cooked greens of any kind, collard even less so. Well, in for a penny in for a pound, as they say. Here goes a big bite of disgusting greens.

Hey. Now, wait a minute. Let me try that again.

Wow. They’re.. good! But they’re greens. I’m confused. I don’t know how they did it, but the magicians at Waffle Roost somehow made a delicious food look exactly like collard greens. I actually ended up eating the whole serving, I liked them so much.

This is the way they roll.

This is the way they roll.

Waffle Roost is undoubtedly one of the better food trucks in the SF Bay Area. Solid execution from the kitchen combined with high quality ingredients have made this mobile eatery the go-to spot for chicken and waffles within a 100 mile radius. I rate them a generous 215 out of 237 individual serving containers of maple syrup, a very respectable score indeed. The next time I spot this truck on the road, I’m going to follow it to wherever it’s stopping next.

+ Great waffles
+ Better collard greens
+ Can’t touch this
 –  Not the easiest thing to eat out of a to-go container
+/- But that’s just me being a whiner

Waffle Roost food truck
(408) 248-1289

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Small Bite: IT’S-IT

” Essentially San Francisco’s version of a Klondike Bar “

Every part of the US has a food item that they are famous for. Maryland has crabcakes, Chicago has deep dish pizza, and San Francisco has IT’S-ITs. If you’ve spent a reasonable amount of time in the San Francisco Bay Area, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of these delicious little ice cream pucks; if you are a native, you probably grew up on them.

This one is mine, you can't have it.

This one’s mine, you can’t have it.

What is an IT’S-IT? It’s two oatmeal cookies made into an ice cream sandwich and dipped in chocolate. That’s it. This tasty treat is extremely simple, but it’s an all-time classic. It’s essentially San Francisco’s version of a Klondike Bar.

For a lot of people, myself included, biting into an IT’S-IT is like taking a time machine back to the good ol’ days. It makes me think of sitting in the bleachers on a hot day for an A’s game, or maybe hanging out with friends after school and absolutely positively NOT causing trouble of any kind. Well, not getting caught anyway. Even if you haven’t grown up with melted IT’S-ITs running through your veins, there’s still something very comforting, even wholesome, about them.

Stop licking the screen. That's disgusting.

Stop licking the screen. That’s disgusting.

It’s not quite worth your while to buy a plane ticket to SFO just to try an IT’S-IT, but if you’re not from the San Francisco Bay Area and you happen to find yourself in the general vicinity, stop by a convenience store, pick one up, and savor the inevitable ice cream headache. Oh, and absolutely do not eat it in your car. These things are messy.

Nonstandard Disclaimer of Randomness
The author does not apologize in any way for waxing nostalgic or making you hungry for an IT’S-IT. The author also recommends that you do not read the calorie count on the packaging for the aforementioned delectable treat, because it will make you sad and guild you into running on the treadmill for three days straight. The author is also not responsible for any traffic accidents caused by ice cream headaches or melty chocolate bits dropped into your lap. I told you not to eat it in your car.