Early on in my last trip to Maui I stumbled upon the 808 Deli (across the street from Kamaole II) while looking for lunch. I don’t even remember how we found it, since it’s set back a bit in a parking lot with a relatively unassuming sign.
When you go inside, the menu is posted on chalkboard above the counter. It’s really more of a pay-and-go kind of place, but they do have a few tables if you want to eat there.
The menu consists of salads, sandwiches, panini’s and hot dogs. Hot dogs are $6, the other options range from $7.50 to $9. My fiancé ordered the “Porkie” panini – Hawaiian pork, mango salsa, pepper jack cheese, and sweet chilli dipping sauce ($9). I ordered the Chef Salad with papaya seed dressing – romaine lettuce, turkey, ham, cheddar, egg, black olives and diced tomato ($9).
My salad was a good dinner sized portion and they didn’t skimp out on the toppings at all. Well worth the price, in taste and size, especially when you consider what you get at most restaurants in Maui.
Now to tell you about the “Porkie”. I don’t even know how to begin describing its awesomeness – and I don’t even like pulled pork much. The pork meat is super tender, juicy and a little bit sweet. The melted pepper jack cheese creates a layer of creaminess with a bit of kick, and the mango salsa adds bright splash of colour and tangy flavour. This is all in-between two slices of perfectly crispy grilled bread. On the side, is a dish of sweet chilli dipping sauce – dipping the “Porkie” in there before each bite is the final touch on an already-unreal panini. Every bite is filled with an explosion of sweet,salty, tangy, creamy deliciousness.
I generally like to try out different places to eat, but this place was good enough that we went back three times. We never even tried any of the other sandwiches, we just kept ordering the “Porkie”. We did try a few other salads: Cobb Salad – romaine lettuce, chicken, bleu cheese crumbles, bacon, egg, avocado, onion and tomato ($9). Just like the Chef Salad, it was a good size and true to what you would expect from a Cobb salad.
Chop Salad – romaine lettuce, feta, kalamata olives, walnuts, garbanzo beans, salami, fresh basil, tomato, onions with walnut vinaigrette ($9). This was my favourite salad. I was a bit weary of the walnuts because I often find walnut to be a bit bitter. These walnuts were like no other walnut I have seen or tasted before. The pieces were huge and sweet, with a bit of a creamy taste – no bitterness at all. The fresh basil, combined with the other ingredients, added a depth of flavour that really made this salad a step above any other chop salad I have had anywhere else.
Italian Pasta Salad – ($3 for a small container) -this is meant more as side to accompany the meal-sized menu items, but you can order it by itself or order a larger container if you wish to make a meal of it. It’s made with rotini pasta, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes and shredded parmesan tossed in a nice dressing. It’s one of the better pasta salads I’ve had at a deli. 808 Deli is only open until 5 p.m. so I think it’s meant to be a breakfast/lunch place.
If you’re in the Kihei area, looking for a quick, casual lunch, I definitely recommend this place.