Eat Me: Flatbread Company in Pa’ia
By Kristin Hashimoto
Pizzas are made with a wood-fired, clay oven, using local organic ingredients. Yet, Flatbread Company is more than just really tasty food, it is a business that believes in social awareness and a “for the greater good,” kind of mentality. They frequently play host to fundraisers, casual get-togethers, and community events.
There are hand drawn pictures and posters tacked to the roof of the restaurant from local schools and organizations, a mission statement of sorts from the owner, and long wood tables and benches to seat customers’ family-style. Glass fixtures hang over the cozy bar, and pizza comes sizzling out of the wood-fired clay oven with rapidity.
Maui is the only island to have this small chain of restaurants. Flatbread in Pa’ia is one of nine locations scattered throughout the United States. The focus is of these eateries is a devotion to farm-fresh, local and organic ingredients. Their salads feature fresh greens from Hale Akua Farm with cheese from Maui’s Surfing Goat Dairy. Pizzas are also organic and nitrate free as they utilize tomatoes from Haiku, free range chicken, nitrate-free bacon, organic herbs and more of that Surfing Goat cheese.
Prices are reasonable at around $14.50 for a 12-inch pizza and around $21.00 for a 16 inch round. Prices vary by a few dollars depending on the type of pizza and salad ordered. Customers can also customize their flatbread by going piecemeal and creating their own pizza or salad from their ingredient list.
Service is prompt and friendly. Servers detail the special pizza of the week, and explain the menu offerings and the benefits of eating local. If you are lucky enough to visit Flatbread when they have the bacon, potato, sour cream pizza on rotation, just order it. You won’t regret it.
Flatbread is located on 89 Hana Highway. Call 579-8989 for more information. Parking is available at the municipal lot. However, as many locals are aware, lunchtime in Pa’ia means competing with tourists for a coveted piece of asphalt in the lot. Get there a little early and peruse the nearby shops, or enjoy a necessary cold drink before lunch. It’s like it’s the land of perpetual sunshine in Pa’ia. Wear shorts and be happy.