Today is Black Friday – the one day I refuse to go shopping. Mainly because I hate crowds. So Jay suggested we play tourist today and head over to the North Shore and eat shrimp. The North Shore (mainly Kahuku) is known for shrimp farms with shrimp trucks selling shrimp plates. There are several of them, the original being Giovanni (the white truck with writing all over it). We always go to Romy’s (more of a stand than a truck) at 56-781 Kamehameha Hwy. Giovanni actually had three trucks that I saw today – two in Haleiwa and one in Kahuku and I don’t know which one is the original. Jay likes Romy’s because they leave the head on the shrimp, which he loves to eat – Giovanni doesn’t. Another truck/stand is Fumi’s. Not sure about the shrimp head part, though. Whichever you choose, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
We always get the Butter & Garlic Sauteed Shrimp (8 shrimps). They also serve prawns, but I prefer shrimp. That’s probably the most popular choice and probably the tastiest.
You will get messy, unless you’re Jay. He has this amazing talent of peeling shrimp without getting his hands dirty. He doesn’t even touch the shrimp with his hands. If you’re like me, don’t worry. They provide napkins and there’s a sink with lots of soap.
Tip – Most shrimp trucks/shacks have a long line. Romy’s has a disclaimer which reads “This is not a fast food. It is good food, as fast as we can make it”. Today we waited about half an hour from the time we ordered to the time we got our two shrimp plates. And there was no line, but lots of tour groups who pre-ordered. I would recommend a phone order prior to getting there. (808) 232-2202. If you are coming from Haleiwa, call when you reach Waimea Bay. If you are coming from Kaneohe/Kailua, call when you reach Haaula Shopping Center (a deserted strip mall with a wine store “Tamura’s”). This will shorten your wait time when you arrive (depending on how crowded it is).
After our lunch, we decided to drive to Haleiwa town. Between Haleiwa and Kahuku, there are many beaches along the way (parking is sparse). Sunset Beach is one of my favorites – they were setting up a Vans Surfing Competition today, Waimea Bay is known for rock jumping, and Shark’s Cove (across of Foodland on Kamehameha Hwy) is great for children. There’s quite a bit of traffic when you hit a certain area. When the cars are driving slow, look towards the ocean and if you see a bunch of people looking in the water from the beach, you’re at Turtle Beach. Green sea turtles come here because I think there’s lots of algae. They lay on the beach and swim in the shallow waters – it’s illegal to touch them, but you can get some nice pictures.
In Haleiwa, we stopped at North Shore Marketplace. We went to Coffee Gallery for a Coffee Float. A great way to relax.
Haleiwa is a tourist trap with lots of stores selling trinkets and stuff. It’s also known for shave ice (snow cones). The best known one is Matsumoto’s Shave Ice (66-087 Kamehameha Highway), and another one is located next door at Aoki’s (66-117 Kamehameha Highway). Both always have a long line, Matsumoto’s probably longer. However, if I’m going to eat shave ice, it will be at Waiola’s in McCully (2135 Waiola Street) – the ice is creamier, the ones at the North Shore are chunks. Waiola’s in a heartbeat!