There it was, on top of the stack of receipts that I was organizing to file taxes; a slightly greasy bit of paper from Giovanni’s shrimp truck just outside of Haleiwa on Oahu’s North Shore.
All I had to do was focus on it for a minute, and I could remember almost passing the little puka off the Kamehameha Highway where the food trucks are parked, but jerking the steering wheel over in time to drive into the “Haleiwa Town Food Court” as the local Chamber calls it (spot #24 on their PDF map of Haleiwa is mostly a simple roadside dirt area under some trees.)
My daughter Nancy and I were on the hunt for dinner using our personal recommendation list mashup of Yelp reviews, Foodspotting and, yes, a paper Frommer’s guidebook that said to look for Giovanni’s. I’ve always liked Frommer’s and hope they can survive being eaten by Google, having their data sucked dry and then getting a second chance when they were spit back out to founder Arthur Frommer.
So, you go up to the truck, review Giovanni’s menu of shrimpy yumminess, wait for your order at a nearby picnic table along with a few atmospheric chickens running around, and then when the plate is ready (grab a Hawaiian Sun fruit drink to go with it,) wave a few interested flies aside and dig in.
Here is the Shrimp Scampi I had that day; had to get a shot of it for Foodspotting, of course….
There’s nothing fancy-schmancy about a bunch of trucks under some trees with a dirt parking lot, but for fresh shrimp at decent-for-Oahu prices (the scampi was about $13) you can’t beat it. Here’s the Giovanni’s Facebook Page if you want to connect there.
Time for dessert? Drive or walk about a half a mile into the center of tiny Haleiwa and load up on shave ice at Matsumoto’s, established in 1951 and still pouring their flavored syrups atop little mounds of fluffy frozen water. Note: it’s never called “shaved ice” unless you’re a mainland visitor who is still learning the linguistic ropes.
Nancy ordered the classic Rainbow mix of strawberry, pineapple and lemon….
Hustle up and finish dinner, so you can hit the beach for an evening swim and admire sunsets like this one, taken on that same day at nearby Waimea Bay….
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