There’s a weird phenomenon on the North Shore of Oahu: shrimp trucks. Now, I live in San Francisco and am very familiar with the whole street food cart craze—we practically invented it, and if you’re in the Bay Area and have yet to attend an Off the Grid event, you’re certified nutso—but even the novelty of the ubiquitous shrimp-on-wheels dining experience took me by surprise.
Apparently, this is no new thing; they’ve been around for ages. (Did the island inadvertently start the nation-wide movement and just not get properly credited as trendsetters? Who will ever know.) I’m not a huge fan of shrimp—and the idea of them coming from a mobile restaurant deterred me even further—but that didn’t seem to stop a lot of people.
I will say that one of the trucks between Kawela Bay and Kahuku allows diners to go out and pluck their own lunch from the shrimp pond, so I have no doubt it’s ridiculously fresh (and tasty if shrimp’s your thing).
One trend, however, I could get on board with was deliciously refereshing shaved ice. Generally, I’m not a fan of snow cones or frozen yogurt or anything that’s trying to serve as faux ice cream, but when I found out there was the option for a snow cone with ice cream, I didn’t hesitate in making my way for the first shop we found in Haleiwa.
That happened to be M. Matsumoto, which is arguably the most famous shaved ice shop on Oahu (of which there are many). One look at the line—which wound its way indoors and snaked around the outside of the building—stopped SVV and me from investigating further. Luckily, you can’t spit without hitting a back-up plan, and when we saw the much shorter line at the still bustling Aoki’s a half block down, we made a beeline for that instead.
But the question at these type of establishments where the menu reads like a novel is always: What to choose?
SVV went with some rainbow assortment of tropical fruit flavors. He seemed to like it OK.
(Appropriate shirt for the occasion, no?)
I opted for half strawberries and cream, half banana—with, of course, ice cream in the center (and a straw with which to drink it). Yum!
(It matched my dress, which naturally was the most important part.)
There are even trucks that combine the two favorites and offer both in one convenient stop. Genius.
(Plus, it’s “famous!”)
How about you: Would you eat shrimp out of a truck? Or, like me, would you be steered toward the shaved ice instead?
*Don’t forget to sign up for our twice-monthly newsletter! The next two contests slated for May and June will only be open to subscribers.