Monday, September 16, 2013

Upcountry Farmer's Market, Pukalani/Kula

As someone who has been to lots of farmer’s markets, I know that which I speak of. While I admire the motto of the Upcountry Farmer’s Market (“Occupy Farms”) I can’t help but say that this market, held Saturdays 7am-12pm, is probably the weakest farmer’s market I’ve ever been to. Granted, I did not get there until about 9:30am, so it’s hard to say if all the best items were wiped out early or if the farmers just don’t have much to sell. Frankly, most vendors appear to have plucked whatever looked ready in their backyard that morning and brought it to the market. Then there is the matter of just how uninterested the vendors are to sell you what they do have, mostly ignoring you and opting to chat with their friends or the next vendor over. And it’s not like there are very many vendors; most are selling you already processed items or widgets instead of fruits and veggies. The only bright spot here was the vendor selling Indian food, which although early for lunch, was as close to good Indian food as you’re going to find on Maui. Unfortunately, the fruit and veggie vendor who set up in Kihei four days a week has been AWOL for months now, forcing me to try this market. Decent Indian food aside, I tried this market but I will not be back.

The Upcountry Farmer’s Market is located on Hwy 37 at the Kulamalu Town Center near Long's Drugs, Pukalani/Kula.

Bully's Burgers, Ulupalakua

Few eateries actually qualify as “burger shacks” but that is exactly what Bully’s Burgers is. Located on the mauka (inland) side of the road just a bit past Tedeschi Winery / Maui Winery, Bully’s Burgers is the last place to buy some grinds before hitting the general store in Kaupo a long ways towards Hana (assuming you’re headed towards Hana, doing the Back Road to Hana tour). Is it worth it? It certainly is the best roadside burger I’ve ever had, I’ll tell you that. It wasn’t a fancy burger either, just a plain and simple burger that they’ll tell you is 100% natural beef. (Ignore the pig in the pen next to the condiment table.) After tasting the burger I believe them, despite having to acknowledge the rest of their food and drinks are from Costco. But hey, you’ve got to give a little to get a little. It did take about 15 minutes to get the food but c’mon, this isn’t McDonalds here and there is a view to admire while you wait. Service was very friendly, too, another feather in their cap. I will mention that there are only a few tables here, so you may have to cozy up to a stranger or else eat in your car but I can’t imagine eating their burger without the view. So, if you like burgers, yes, stop here and you probably will not be disappointed. (Well, except by the prices maybe which are $9-$15 a burger. But hey, this place is out in the middle of nowhere. What do you expect?)

Location: 15900 Pi'ilani Highway; Open 11am-7pm (8pm in the summer)