Leoda’s Pie Shop: More Than Just Sweets
Vanessa Wolf is a former head chef, previously working in Portland, Oregon. She offers her blunt assessments in the interests of honesty and improving Maui’s culinary scene.
By Vanessa Wolf
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: Leoda’s ain’t cheap.
If you are accustomed to a $9 pie feeding four, six or even eight people, well, better hope those people have anorexia.
But while the pies sold at Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop are pricey…with the high cost of admission comes a delicious few bites.
The Macadamia Nut Chocolate Praline (3” $4.75 and 5” $8.75) is rich and chocolatey. The crisp chocolate graham cracker crust has a flavor reminiscent of Almond Roca or Skor bars, and is filled with a dense and succulent chocolate pudding. Light whipped cream and macadamia nuts top it off.
The Banana Cream Pie ($4.75/$8.50) is also quite lovely. Homemade pudding loaded with fresh bananas in a graham cracker crust: what more could you ask for?
The Meat N’ Potatoes Savory Pot Pie ($12.75)?
It was satisfying and tasty…with some reservations.
The round of parmesan-rich crust sitting on top was delish: greasy, but oh so good. Underneath one finds a mix of braised short ribs and potatoes in a red wine demi glace…almost like beef bourgignon but without the tomato, carrots, and with a lot less wine. Somehow it was not quite flavorful enough, but it was homey and filling. Overall? Meh.
At the bottom of the dish an argument broke out.
“That’s a potato.”
“I think it’s a round of crust, actually.”
“It looks like a piece of fried potato.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s crust.”
“Tastes like crust.”
Whatever it was, apparently this is what made it a “pot pie” and not a “pastry-topped stew.”
Maybe we’re sticklers, but pot pie is supposed to mean the entire filling is encased in flaky crust…right?
Anyway, it’s been argued that you could fry anything and it would taste good, but as long as you’re already arguing, you could retort that that’s a matter of taste.
Then you could get into a fight about whether language is necessary for thought, the morality of cloning people, or whether Zeno’s Paradox proves that there is no real relative change.
Regardless, the Fried Mac n’ Cheese Bites ($5.75) were indeed good. Spoonfuls of mac and cheese are coated in bread crumbs and fried.
Vaguely reminiscent of fried mozzarella cheese sticks (maybe because they’re served with marinara?) but without the, um, cheese. There’s cheese in there, sure, just not very much. Shout out to the chef: maybe consider throwing a small cube of mozzarella or two in with each one before frying?
Okay, admittedly, so far there have been some hits and misses.
Well, have no fear, because Leoda knows her way around a pig.
The Pork, Pork…MMM, Pork sandwich ($12.75) is worth driving to Lahaina for.
One itsy bitsy complaint first: someone in the kitchen is in love with grain mustard. Maybe ask for it to be left off and use some of the Grey Poupon on the counter instead.
Otherwise, it is an awesome grilled Swiss cheese, duroc ham, prosciutto ham and bacon sandwich. Did we say awesome? AWESOME.
On homemade white bread and with generous portions of ham, it’s also a good value for the price. The accompanying vinaigrette is a puzzling accompaniment and the flavor overwhelms the sandwich, so just pretend it isn’t there.
The Ham’n sandwich ($13.25) is also excellent. Served on rye bread, the sandwich has the same duroc ham, but is accompanied by Jarlsberg cheese, pesto, garlic aioli and apricot tomato jam. It’s a crazy mash up that works amazingly well.
The ambience at Leoda’s is top notch, as well. Bright, cute, and friendly, it’s a welcoming place to sit down and eat.
Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop is on the right just as you pass Olawalu and are headed for Lahaina. It comes up fast and almost unexpectedly, so don’t freak out and cause a pile up if you miss it. Just turn around where they sell the overpriced pineapples if you don’t catch it on the first pass.
We welcome your feedback. Please let us know if you hear of any new restaurants opening or reopening, total menu overhauls, or simply know of a hidden treasure you want to share. Have a restaurant you want reviewed (or re-reviewed)? Drop us a line.
Dying to know how a certain dish is made so you can recreate it at home? Send in a request, and we will try to pry the secret out of the chef…and even take a run at cooking it up ourselves. Mahalo. -vanessa(@mauinow.com)