Sunday, August 22, 2010


Almost a dozen of us were at Kaena Point Beach Park aka Yokohama's, just splashing around and eating lots of snacks and the beer drinkers were getting a little drink on. CantStayJose and I needed to run and get more stuff, so we drove out a couple of miles to Makaha and I spotted this roadside tent and sign.


There are a lot of Puerto Rican/mixed locals and they brought with them pastele (usually pronounced without the "s" in Hawaii - pah-tay-lay) from Puerto Rico over 100 years ago when they started immigrating to Hawaii. From back then, their cuisine (just like all the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Portuguese, Spanish, etc) were all mixed in to Hawaii's culture.

Pastele is like a tamale but it's not made with corn. It's made with mashed up green bananas. Then it's mixed with pork chunks, olives, onion, garlic, some oils, usually wrapped up in a ti leaf and served in a shape resembling a tamale. And like tamales, the pastele is often sold street side or out of the back of a Toyota Tercel hatchback with a guy calling out "PASTELES!!!!"

Rarely do you ever find pastele on a menu in Hawaii. It's total back street cuisine and I fucking love it. It's kicked up another notch when you find someone selling the elusive pastele stew. Hard to tell but in these photos that CantStayJose took, I was pretty stoked:
This guy just got back to Makaha from living in San Antonio, TX. At first, before ordering, I kinda felt it out a little bit. I'm not buying any food from someone on the road side unless they sell regularly. After poking around, I find out he's here every Thursday to Sunday. So I ordered up 4 plates for everybody to share.
Usual Hawaii combo. Bed of rice and a scoop of mac salad that had been chilling in the cooler.
He poured the stew on good.
We got the food and headed back to Yokohamas.
Oh shit, we never got a photo of the food itself! you'll have to do with this close up. Check out that big olive sticking out! Can't wait!!!:
Pastele stew is thick, textured with a slightly oily tomato-garlic type of taste to it. It sometimes can be a tad bit spicy, but not too much. You usually end up putting a little tabasco or chili pepper water on it anyway. Recipes for pastele and pastele stew is usually pretty highly guarded. It's just one of those dishes that takes a lot of time and effort to make so I can understand that.

Here you can see a quite pleasantly satisifed Dustinator. "Holy shit Nelson, this pastele stew is so fucking good. I can't stop eating it! where's this guy at?!"
Eh! Gotta share with our favorite spicy Mexican too, you know! Everybody was floored with the pastele stew. I think Brawny missed out because he was being too nice, letting everybody else get a sample first.

We shifted gears, packed up our little mess and headed to Makaha Beach. Caught a nice sunset there, splashed around in the amazing water, and ate more of whatever we had in the coolers.
Oh yeah, I'm not much of a rainbow photographer guy but here are some anyway.

Some rain in Makaha Valley but it never reached us. Makaha Beach was awesome as ever.

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