Celebrated our two year anniversary…Disappointing dinner out…Flowery walk…

Plumeria, often used in making leis.

Last night when we drove up to Saltimbocca Restaurant in Maalaea Beach, across the street from the marina, I expected we were in for a good meal. When I realized that I’d forgotten to bring a camera for food photos, I was tempted to go back to get it.

Kimi Pink Ginger.

Alas, we didn’t bother to return to get the camera, assuming that if the food was that good, we’d soon return taking photos at that time. Good thing we didn’t go get the camera. The photos would have been sorely disappointing. Then again, it’s not a bad idea to show some less than ideal meals in restaurants. Oh well.  Instead, I’ll describe the disappointment.

Most Italian restaurants have options for my way of eating; a nice piece of fish or a big meaty, cheesy salad on leafy greens. Although they had a fish option, a la carte at $29 without sides I could have, I couldn’t justify ordering the $12 Caesar Salad (sans croutons) as a side ultimately spending $41 for a 5-ounce piece of fish and a bunch of lettuce. (I saw the portion of fish walk past while we contemplated the menu).

Today, I searched through no less than 500 photos of Hawaiian flowers unable to find some of the names of those we’ve shown.

There was a New York steak option at $35 to which adding the salad would have ended at $47. I ended up ordering the appetizer of grilled calamari and prawns, $12, (why don’t they call them shrimp anymore?) minus the bread crumb topping and the Caesar Salad minus the croutons with extra anchovies, with these two items intended as my entrée.

A variety of Plumeria, wilted?

Of course, the “appetizer” arrived too early and was placed in the center of the table with two small plates. (I’d specified that both items arrive simultaneously along with Tom’s entrée). Asking the waiter to take it away and keep it warm, he apologized profusely and walked away with my 4″ plate of my main dish.

This must have been pretty before it began to fade away.

As for Tom’s options…oh, it was frightening. As we sipped our tap water, I asked Tom if we should leave as he perused the menu, not finding a single item befitting his picky taste buds. 

Now, I’ll admit, as he will also, he is a very picky eater. But, all he wanted was a decent Beef Bolognaise with some crusty bread. We’ve been to Italian restaurants all over the world for such a meal.


He’s never had trouble ordering a Beef Bolognaise, not even in Morocco. It was a staple he enjoyed when we often dined out when the taste of Moroccan spices would have sent him into a tailspin, not unlike a “whirling dervish” (guess we should save that expression for Australian with “whirling dervishes” originating on the island of Tasmania).

Nope. Saltimbocca had Bolognaise but no beef.  No beef sauce. No beef meatballs. The meat was ground turkey and pork as were the meatballs. The only other option for him was that $35 New York steak. We still had two beautifully meaty New York steaks in the freezer that I’d purchased at Safeway in Kihei for less than $8 each.

Soon, we’ll return to this tree to see what these white balls may become if they open.

The kindly waiter had the chef heat up one meatball so Tom could taste it. In an effort to avoid making a fuss, he ate the meatball and ordered the Turkey/Pork Bolognaise with no sides. 

The pasta was too “al dente” but he ate the dish anyway, not enjoying one bite. It took 10 minutes to get butter for the not-so-crusty bread. He doesn’t dip bread in olive oil especially when it had a glob of balsamic vinegar in the middle.

Maui goose.

OK. I get it. My guy doesn’t have refined taste buds. We accept this. Me, the foodie, former pseudo gourmet cook, accepts this. But, let’s face it. We’ve traveled halfway around the world and he’s always been able to order a delicious meal of some sort or other.

My four tiny pieces of grilled (unseasoned) squid and four pinkie sized “shrimp” hardly satisfied my hunger. The salad was flavorful enough especially with the “extra” anchovy on the top, a single sliver of anchovy begging to be eaten in one fine swallow. Extra protein. Yum.

White Ginger Plant.

We were home 75 minutes later, me still hungry, Tom nauseatingly full. I poured myself a big cup of macadamia nuts and we sat down to watch episodes three and four of The Last Ship, a timely series on a world ravaged by a virus. 

Gosh, we had to bomb sooner or later. At least our bill with a 15% tip came to a paltry $57, over which we were relieved. I can only imagine our frustration if Tom had ordered a few cocktails and a salad and we ended up with a $100 tab.

In Kenya, we had these same trees with these bean-like pods. We still can’t find the name.

Our two year anniversary of traveling the world wasn’t tarnished by the less than ideal dinner. We are pleased with our two years of tenacity, flexibility, adaptability and above all, our ability to find happiness wherever we go, except perhaps in an Italian restaurant back in the US. 

So, today, flowers instead of food. Befitting.

                                          Photo from one year ago today, November 1, 2013:

We laughed when we saw this photo of a camel at the Sands at Nomad on the Indian Ocean in Kenya, appearing to be laughing himself. Our three-day mini-holiday came to a close and we were ready to return to our outdoor living room for a remaining one month in Kenya. For details of this date, please click here.

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