Geste Shrimp food truck

meter-ha-A friend recommended this Maui hotspot to me more than two years ago, and it’s taken me all this time to finally try it for myself. Frequent readers of my blog (my thanks and condolences to you all) know that I have a thing for sketchy food served on the side of the highway, so I’m sure you can imagine my excitement to visit this truck. In spite of nearly 800 days of anticipation, I was not disappointed in the slightest to experience Geste Shrimp for myself.

Food court, Maui style

Food court, Maui style

” Our rental car was never going to smell the same again”

Within 45 minutes of touching down on the tarmac at Kahului Airport, my wife and I were on the backroads of Maui, headed straight towards Geste Shrimp. After a couple of wrong turns in the industrial part of town, we finally spotted a cluster of cars stopped on the side of the highway. We parked amidst half a dozen food trucks and trailers and looked for the one with all the people hanging around it. Yep, there was Geste. It sure wasn’t much to look at – nothing more than a drab white box with a window cut in the side of it – but that didn’t have much effect on our appetites. We headed over to that side of the dirt lot and got in line.

The menu at Geste Shrimp is short and mostly devoid of useful information. We decided on spicy pineapple shrimp and placed our order. The soft-spoken and patient cashier explained that we would need to wait for about twenty minutes, and we were ok with that. Everybody else seemed fine hanging around waiting and besides, we were on island time. Nobody gives a crap how long anything takes when they’re in Hawaii.

This is my kind of tourist attraction.

This is my kind of tourist attraction.

The wait was slightly annoying but bearable, and before long our order was called. The cashier handed me a Styrofoam container, two forks, and a HUGE stack of napkins through the dingy, cramped window. Shawn and I went back to the car, bemused at the enormous pile of dead trees we’d been given, and opened up the container.

Three things were immediately apparent: 1) This was no typical food truck meal, 2) our rental car was never going to smell the same again, and 3) we were going to need a lot more napkins.

The generous helping of shrimp and pineapple chunks were absolutely swimming in an even more generous lake of wickedly seasoned butter. We plastered the car and our clothes with napkins, precariously perched the brimming food container on the center console, and started peeling shrimp.

There is no way mere words can explain how good this tastes.

There is no way mere words can explain how good this tastes.

Oh. My. Goodness. That flavor.

Those were the most incredible peel-and-eat shrimp I have ever experienced in my life. I didn’t even bother complaining about my burnt fingers, I just kept peeling shrimp and stuffing them in my face. I looked up at Shawn and she was in the same boat as me – loving the amazing flavor of those shrimp but making a total mess of everything. The conversation over the next ten minutes went something like this:

“I got some butter on my clothes. Crap! Twice.”
“Here take another napk… Damn it, I dropped some in my lap.”
“We should have brought a Tide pen.”
“Yeah, we.. Ack! Don’t move. There goes a shrimp tail.”
“I’ll get it before it falls between the seats.”
“Too late.”
“I’m glad this isn’t our car.”
“No kidding.”
“I dropped some shell down there too.”

Fortunately for us, week-old garlicky seafood odor is not explicitly called out in Hertz rental contracts, otherwise we’d be purchasing a brand new interior for a Kia Optima. And that, boys and girls, is reason number 783 for not ever buying a used rental car. Randomly Edible, bringing you restaurant reviews, recipes, and automobile buying advice.

Just like that, Geste Shrimp made the number one spot on our tastiest-meals-of-the-trip list. It might be the very best shrimp dish of any kind I’ve ever had, and it was certainly the messiest. Everything was amazing about the meal, even the crab macaroni salad and the sticky rice. Twenty minutes was no time at all to wait – we would have been fine with twice that. Geste Shrimp earns a nearly perfect rating of 89 out of 90 lost shrimp tails, darn near worth the price of a plane ticket to Maui just to try their food. You will never experience shrimp like this anywhere else, and neither will the upholstery of your car.

+ Best shrimp you may ever eat
+ You’re in Hawaii!
All other shrimp will seem terrible after this
Nowhere to sit and eat

Geste Shrimp
Kahului Beach Road
Kahului, HI
(808) 298-7109

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Best meal I've had in Hawaii by a long shot

Best meal I’ve had in Hawaii by a long shot

Product review: Texas Gunpowder

In spite of the name, Texas Gunpowder is actually food. It’s made from 100% pure jalapeño peppers that have been dehydrated and ground up into a fine powder. That’s it. You can use it anywhere you’d be inclined to use black pepper, as well as a number of places you wouldn’t.

A bottle of original Texas Gunpowder I keep stored in my secret underground lair.

A bottle of original Texas Gunpowder I keep stored in my secret underground lair.

” A good solid dusting will burn your face completely off “

Texas Gunpowder was originally created by Whit “Pappy” Pinnell and developed quite a cult following in the 1990’s, which is when I first discovered it. Unfortunately, Pappy passed away some years ago, and so the legacy of Texas Gunpowder was lost. I hoarded as much of the stuff as I could – a mere dozen bottles – and used it sparingly, but eventually my stash (and my spirits) began to run low. Then, earlier this year, I discovered that the rights to produce the spice were acquired by the unfortunately named SuckleBusters company, and there has been much rejoicing in my cupboard ever since.

This little bottle is full of sinus-clearing wonderfulness.

This little bottle is full of sinus-clearing wonderfulness.

A bottle of ground up jalapeños sounds scary, but it isn’t. This stuff is actually fairly mild, believe it or not, and the powdered consistency allows you to scale up the heat in as many little increments as you so desire, from mega-wimpy all the way up to Dante’s Inferno. One tap of the bottle can barely even be tasted, but a good solid dusting will burn your face completely off.

Strangely, Texas Gunpowder doesn’t have much flavor of its own. There’s no salt or vinegar or tang or sweetness or anything else; it’s just pure heat that can be turned as high or low as you like. This means that, unlike most other spices and hot sauces out there, Texas Gunpowder can be used pretty much anywhere. It’s amazingly good in Italian food, especially pizza, and it’s great on salads. Oh, and sandwiches – you have to try it on sandwiches. And eggs, and barbecued steak. And Mexican food. And… well alright, it’s good on basically everything. I haven’t tried it on ice cream but I bet it’s good there too.

Why you should buy this

  • Texas Gunpowder is a simple, natural way to add gentle (or searing) heat to a mind-boggling array of dishes.
  • It’s sodium free. That might even mean it’s healthy. *gasp*

Why you shouldn’t

  • Avoid if you are a weenie (e.g., you think ketchup is too spicy).
  • Invisible particles of jalapeño always, ALWAYS float through the air and into any available nostrils, causing violent fits of sneezing in most carbon-based life forms.

Where it can be found

Also available in red jalapeño, chipotle, and habanero, but regular old jalapeño is still the best though.

Also available in red jalapeño, chipotle, and habanero. Regular old jalapeño is still the best though.

Standard Product Review Disclaimer
No, I didn’t get paid to review whatever it was that I just wrote about. Shortest disclaimer ever.