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Wailuku Eats: Tasty Crust

Wailuku town is a rather sleepy part of Maui on Sundays, with nearly every business closed. Tasty Crust is the exception, seeming to be the only game in town on the Sabbath to grab some good ‘ole home style grub. It’s located on a backroad called Mill street, on the top of a hill just past a consecutive string of light industrial businesses and residential homes.

As you see by the clientele here, Tasty Crust is where da’ locals grind, and on our visit, the place was pretty much a full house…

Being the neighborhood diner, the menu has all the favorites you’d expect, of course with a local spin on it.

Have a look at the menu yourself and see what you’d like to order if you visited here…

Well, the sign outside proclaims they’ve got “World Famous Pancakes”, therefore that was a must-do here. So we got a Banana Hotcake Shortstack (1) to share, while my girlfriend ordered the Small Portion Fried Rice with One Egg (scrambled), and I decided to try their Loco Moco…

Question: why do they call it “World Famous Pancakes” outside on the sign, yet on the menu they call them “Hotcakes”? Doesn’t that take away their world fame? I’m confused. lol

Here’s a closer look at that Banana Hotcake..err. ehem!..Pancake…

Let’s butter it up, drown it with Maple syrup and try some…

Light and fluffy, on the inside, with a tasty crust on the outside. Hence the name of the joint, “Tasty Crust”! A-ha! And here you were thinking how rather unappetizing the name “Tasty Crust” was. Well, if you try the pancakes…err… hotcakes here, you’ll get it.

It was also very “banana-ee” if you will. Just an overall delicious pancake from the inside-out. Solid 4 SPAM Musubi (excellent).

Here’s a close look at my girlfriend’s small order of Fried Rice with One (scrambled) Egg…

She said it was pretty good, being satisfying enough to finish the entire plate, yet nothing to write home (except perhaps here) about. Looks like a simple mixture of sliced ham and Portuguese sausage in shoyu-flavored fried rice.

She still stands by Liliha Bakery as the king of breakfast diners, having superior pancakes, along with just about everything else on their menu. With that, she gives this Fried Rice with One Egg from Tasty Crust 2 SPAM Musubi (good).

Finally, here’s a closer look at my Loco Moco…

I wouldn’t have a Loco Moco any other way than with the egg sunnyside-up. That’s a MUST. With that tasty yellow yolk all oozin’ and goozin’ into the rich savory gravy. Yum.

Wait, savory gravy you say? Well, while this gravy may look deep brown and savory, yet in actual taste it was rather bland and lacking in character. Bummer! I was really hoping this was going to be the Maui King of Loco Moco, as it sure looked the part, but it wasn’t.

How about da’ burgah patty? Let’s cut into it and take a look…

Eh, meh. It’s a-aight. As expected, it was griddled, not char-grilled. Not only was griddled, but they didn’t sear it enough, making the outside of the patty rather flavorless, only relying on the beef inside itself to carry it through.

Saving this was the perfectly cooked sunnyside-up egg and white rice, giving this Loco Moco from Tasty Crust 1 SPAM Musubi (average).

The “World Famous (banana) Pancake”…err.. hotcake was da’ winnah here at Tasty Crust, and if returning, I’d just as well order a full stack of just that, along with perhaps a fresh papaya on da’ side. I read on Yelp or somewhere that their Saimin is good, so that’s also a consideration, yet I don’t know about now during this scorching summer heat.

There’s a whole lot more happening on Tasty Crust’ lunch and dinner menu, and surely the locals in the know got dibs on their favorites from that section as well. You got any Tasty Crust faves (besides the World Famous Pancakes…err hotcakes) of your own? Let’s hear about it!

Tasty Crust Restaurant
1770 Mill St.
Wailuku, HI 96793

Tel. (808) 244-0845
Business hours:
Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 6am to 10pm
Monday: 6am to 3pm
Friday & Saturday: 6am to 10pm

The Tasty Island Rating:

Related links:
MauiOnline.com – Watch the Maui Visitors Channel 7 at this site to learn more about the many attractions Maui has to offer!

Wailuku town is just a short drive from Iao Valley, so we decided to burn off the morning fuel provided by Tasty Crust by taking a walk around Iao Valley State Park to do some site seeing. Following are photos taken there. Enjoy!

Iao Needle…

Iao stream…

The water in this stream is so naturally crisp, clean, cold and refreshing.. I’d go as far as say it’s Holy.

Lush green mountainsides surround you in Iao Valley…

Iao Valley, view from the top of the Needle viewing lookout (quite a hike of stairs!)…

There’s an interesting exhibit further down the park road where they have (prop) homes, gardens and other cultural artifacts representing the pioneering immigrants who came to work in Hawaii during the plantation era, including the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino New England and Portuguese people.

Here’s the Chinese exhibit…

Dr. Sun Yat Sen…

There wasn’t a description about this rock, but it sure has an interesting shape…

The Japanese exhibit…

5-Storied Stone Pagoda and Lantern…

The Korean exhibit…

Statue of Haitai…

The inscription on the plaque says:

Haitai is a mythical omniscient unicorn-lion believed to uphold justice and repel evils. This is a replica of the statue standing in front of Gyeongbok in Seoul, Republic of Korea. This statue is presented in commemoration of the centennial of Koreans’ immigration to Hawaii. December 25, 2000.

The New England exhibition…

The Hawaiian exhibit…

The Filipino exhibit…

Finally, the Portuguese exhibit…

Ah yes, I bet some supah’ ono Portuguese Sweet Bread came outta’ ovens like this one!

That’s it for our site seeing tour of Iao Valley.

Next up, we go back to Wailuku town for some Dry Mein at Sam Sato’s!


12 thoughts on “Wailuku Eats: Tasty Crust

  • June 3, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Pomai, enjoying the photos very much. Would like to see that park very much. Never been to Tasty Crust but it depend on what I am planing. How far away people lived from plazas and mall and restaurants and stores?

  • June 3, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Wonderful entry, as usual. You always do such a great job with the pics. How do you compare the pancakes…uh, hotcakes to the ones at Boots and Kimo?

  • June 4, 2009 at 7:39 am

    awesome pics as usual pomai — reallllllllly want to get out to HI again !!!! :D

  • June 4, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Jenny, indeed. Eat here every day, and you just might be able to afford another night’s stay at the Grand Wailea! lol

    GTK, thanks. I guess. He he.

    Raph’, when you do, make sure you put Maui on your itinerary. It’s so beautiful, with so many interesting things to do and see!

    Syndrax, I think you’ve suggested Boots and Kimo’s in Kailua here before, which I have yet to visit, so can’t answer your question. As mentioned in the write-up, my girlfriend says Liliha Bakery’s pancakes are the one to beat, as far as breakfast joints around Honolulu.

    Amy, this is a neighborhood restaurant with homes within walking distance of the place. I’m not a Maui native, so can’t accurately answer the proximity question you’re asking at the moment, but I will get back to you on it! My impression is that this part of Wailuku is in a rather remote area that’s off the beaten patch, and somewhere only those in the know could find. I’d have a hard time finding it without either my Maui-born girlfriend showing me the way or a map in hand.

  • June 5, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Yep, that place is a hidden gem for us locals! Good breakfasts especially, no can resist the hot cakes! Tasty Crust used to be more popular for dinner when had more stuff around Wailuku, used to have this good restaurant called ‘Chum’s’ that went close down several years ago. We used to go there or Tasty Crust for late dinner. Not too late, though because if you didn’t notice…almost everything on Maui closed by 10 PM!

  • February 28, 2010 at 5:33 am

    The best pancakes on the planet, bar none! Does anyone have any ideas on how they make their batter? I live in Texas so obviously cannot go there as often as I’d like. What I wouldn’t give to know their receipe!!!

  • February 28, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Bill, good luck in finding the recipe for Tasty Crust’s hotcakes. I’m sure that’s a closely guarded secret only the owners family members know.

    Personally, I’m quite happy with the Krusteaz brand instant pancake mix (Costco usually carries it). As good as most pancakes I’ve had in the local diners, including Tasty Crust.

  • February 28, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    No doubt you are right about the secret being closely guarded. Heck, I even asked once if I could buy battter and have it FedExed to me in Texas. You should have see the look I got when I asked! I’ve been experimenting and think it has something to do with the proportion of baking soda to baking power. Given what we all know about the “charm” of TC, I think it highly unlikely that whatever the secret is, that it’s very expensive!

  • January 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Rumor has it that the “secret” to TC pancakes is the batter is made with 7-up. I’ve tried some variations of it using doubole acting baking powder and 7-up, using a cast iron griddle and have come up with pancakes very similar to TC’s cakes. The double acting baking powder and soda give the batter the lift and produce fluffy cakes while the cast iron griddle gives them that crust…closest thing you can get in a home kitchen without a commercial grilltop.

    • October 30, 2011 at 8:14 pm

      McGoogle, have you had any further successes in attempting to replace “the cake”??


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