Maui Food and Dining

The Daily Grindz: Wear Your Fat Pantz

June 27, 2014, 3:20 PM HST
* Updated June 27, 3:36 PM
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By Vanessa Wolf

It's not easy to find, but this sign lets you know you did it. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

It’s not easy to find, but this sign lets you know you did it. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

Are you a sumo wrestler who can’t quite seem to fill up?

Does it take fourteen Hungry Man dinners to stop the rumbling?

Have you ever been chased out of an all-you-can eat restaurant for “taking brazen advantage” of the situation?

You may have an eating disorder.

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Look into it.

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Meanwhile, get your XXXL self over to The Daily Grindz in Haiku, where portion size is straight out of Jurassic times.

The Fried Rice and Eggs ($9.49) deserve their own zip code.

Enough to feed a small village, the heaping plate arrives chokablock with rice, onions, bacon and big, meaty, succulent chunks of Kalua pig.

The Fried Rice. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The Fried Rice and Eggs, because sometimes you just have to eat your feelings. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

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The dish is very nicely done; a bit oily, but not so much as to be out of line.

The pronounced flavors of soy and garlic complement the meats and the eggs on top were perfectly cooked to order.

Valhalla, we’re coming!

Although the price is more than fair for what you get, the restaurant may want to consider a lesser “Thanks, but I’d prefer not to Hulk out of my clothes right now” portion as well.

Speaking of purchasing a new wardrobe solely to accommodate your burgeoning gut/butt, the Chicken and Waffles ($10.95) are not to be missed.

Yes, it’s a preposterous amount of food, but you’ll be glad for that fact once your taste buds get a load of this brilliant, yet loyal rendition of the Southern comfort classic.

Savory yet sweet: we don’t typically like the sticky sugariness of syrup, but for this dish we make an exception.

The Chicken and Waffles, rendering "be still my  heart" both an expression and a palpable threat. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The Chicken and Waffles, rendering “be still my heart” both an expression and a palpable threat. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

The textures are as balanced as the flavors themselves.

Two crispy, boneless fried chicken thighs dusted with (what seemed to be) powdered honey are coupled with a large, soft, tender waffle.

Others have tried, but this is hands-down the best rendition of the dish we’ve had on the island.

Unless you’re already in the know, The Daily Grindz can be a little tricky to find.

Forget GPS coordinates: it’s across from Colleen’s in the Haiku Cannery, behind Electrical Sub Station #16, in the trailer-looking house structure that you may have once known as Northshore Cafe by day and Wayne’s Sushi at night.

Got it?

Good.

Daily Grindz slings breakfast and lunch seven days a week. One chef. One server. Serious food.

Service is friendly.

The restaurant is small, but also offers some tables on the deck. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The restaurant is small, but also offers some tables on the deck. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

Our waitress performed an impromptu yoga pose demonstration – no doubt extreme physical conditioning is necessary to manhandle these plates – on one visit and provided a referral to a trusted acupuncturist on another.

Nonetheless, (see: one chef) food takes a while, sometimes a loooooooooong while.

Go with time on your hands and a post-hibernation level of hunger, and you’ll be fine.

Attempting to dine in more modest portions, we ordered the Cheeseburger Deluxe with Fries ($7.99).

Foiled again.

The plate arrived piled with a serving of fries in a quantity suitable for building a small cabin.

The Deluxe Cheeseburger rests quietly in the shadow of Mt. McFry. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The Cheeseburger Deluxe rests quietly in the shadow of Mt. McFry. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

Bring your posse, and they’re sure to enjoy the well-fried and lightly seasoned potatoes when you hit the wall.

The burger itself is thick with a slight meatloaf quality. Seasoned with onion and garlic notes, it’s fat and homey, like something your mom might have made (or maybe Mom herself).

The patty sits on a buttered bun and also comes topped with cheddar cheese, onion, mayo, ketchup, tomato, and red lettuce.

It’s a bit soggy overall, but flavorful nonetheless.

We probably wouldn’t get it again, but that’s only because there are so many other creative items to choose from.

Our voice trembled as we spoke the words, but the advance praise rendered it impossible to pass upon sampling the Bacon Benedict ($12.49).

The Deluxe Cheeseburger getting a little more face time. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The Deluxe Cheeseburger getting a little more of the spotlight. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

Have no fear.

It’s once again enough to feed the Continental (or British, for the Arnolds in the bunch) Army.

The plate arrives with a heaping helping of well-seasoned cottage fries topped with cheddar cheese and green onions.

Unless you’re a huge eater, consider those decorative and save precious stomach space for the main event.

Four large slices of crisply fried bacon set atop dense cornbread waffles.

Normally we are die hard “Eggs Benedict should be made with English muffins” purists, but this works.

Give it a minute, and the two perfectly poached eggs soak in and soften the firm corn cakes.

As you continue to consume calories with wanton abandon, you realize how well the savory bacon, rich yellow yolks and lemon tang of the fresh hollandaise provide a balanced contrast to the sweet waffle base.

The Bacon Benedict.  Odds are you gained a couple pounds just looking at this. Photo by Vanessa

The Bacon Benedict. Odds are you gained a couple pounds just looking at this. Photo by Vanessa.

In short, it’s outstanding.

The Daily Grindz has found its groove, with a focus on approachable homey fare made with obvious love.

Still, as much as we enjoyed the chef’s take on traditional and local favorites, his strong Southern sensibilities have us hoping he’ll continue to experiment and expand his ‘soul food meets Maui’ repertoire.

One word of warning: start eating here daily and you may inadvertently blush the next time you hear Sir Mix-a-Lot’s voice:

Turn around

Stick it out

Even white boys got to shout

Baby got back

but some things are worth buying bigger pants for.

The Daily Grindz is located at 824 Kokomo Road in Haiku. They are there and waiting to put some meat on your bones from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., seven days a week.

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