Monday, the fifth of May will be spicy as a chili pepper with fun at restaurants on island. You will find the "whole enchilada" - from spicy Mexican food specials to live music to cool drinks.
Las Pinatas of Maui will celebrate the start of its 20th year on Maui with food and drink specials Monday.
"When we opened on May 1, 1995, gas was only $1.50 a gallon, Costco wasn't even here yet, and my current general manager was only 7," says owner John Hargrove, who took the place over from his parents a few years ago. "Now, the kids are grown up, and we see second and even third generation customers. As far as Cinco de Mayo goes, we're more into acknowledging it and not getting trashed or ripped."
Liliana Darbouze, owner of the new Tortugas authentic Mexican restaurant at Maui Mall in Kahului, poses in front of a beautiful mural with Chef Michael Lopez Rock.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Las Pinatas owner John Hargrove sips a Mexican beer in anticipation of Cinco de Mayo.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
However, Las Pinatas will feature happy hour specials all day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in celebration. Quesadillas and nachos will be $1 off; chips are half price; and you get half off your second beer or wine.
The signature dish, is hands down, the kitchen sink burrito. Other popular items are the quesadillas fungo with mushrooms and onions; the fajitas; and the huevos Pinata's - a take on huevos rancheros.
"We have a great selection of Mexican beer, such as Bohemia and Negra Modelo," says Hargrove.
For more details, call 877-8707 or visit www.pinatasmaui.com.
Tortugas Restaurant opened near Baskin Robbins in the Maui Mall in Kahului last month, and it features breakfast, lunch and dinner items.
This is the first Tortugas in Hawaii, but the family-owned enterprise already serves up authentic Mexican cuisine across Southern California.
"My parents come from Mexico City," says owner Liliana Darbouze. "As for the decor, I bought everything there, except we asked a local artist to create the beautiful wall mural."
Tortugas is best known for its extensive selection of tortas, hot Mexican sandwiches using Mexican bread rolls stuffed with meat, veggies and/or cheese.
"Our Cubana is number one with breaded steak, pork ham, housemade pork chorizo, two cheeses, chipotle beans, Maui onions and pickled jalapenos," explains Darbouze. "Locals love the Warrior with ham, Uncle Louie's sausage, Maui Gold pineapple, Spam and more," she says. "We use as many local ingredients as possible, such as local Hass avocados. We do 12 different types of tortas in all."
Tortugas also offers varied kinds of aguas frescas, or Mexican drinks made with fruits, grains, seeds, water, sugar and sometimes herbs or spices.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served all day long. Machaca and eggs features shredded beef, grilled bell peppers, scrambled eggs and chipotle beans. Chorizo and eggs comes with Mexican table cream; and so does the chorizo con papas with potatoes and beans. Dessert lovers must try the platanos con crema with sliced local apple bananas, Mexican cream and spices. Call 419-6590 or visit www.tortugasmaui.com
Upcountry revelers will crawl out of the woodwork like iguanas on a feeding frenzy to check out StopWatch Sports Bar & Grill in Makawao for its chicken enchiladas, kalua pork quesadillas and margarita and Corona specials.
The new Sangrita Grill & Cantina in the Fairway Shops in Kaanapali will celebrate its grand opening on Cinco de Mayo with the live flamenco music of Indo and Avi, and a special tenderloin fajita plate, in addition to the regular menu. Enjoy happy hour cantina prices all day on handcrafted cocktails and such at the benefit for the Lahainaluna High School Agricultural Program.