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Saturday 15 May 2010

Hula Cookies & Icecream, Ono Gelato, and Ululani's Hawaiian Shaved Ice in Lahaina Maui - cool treats!

What better way to stay cool in the humid warm weather than an ice cold shaved ice drizzled with fruit based syrups, biting into a teeth numbing ice cream sandwich with freshly baked cookies, or digging into a huge scoop of creamy smooth gelato? Eating all three!!! :D  We head to Lahaina since Ululani's Hawaiian Shaved Ice, Hula Cookies and Icecream and Ono Gelato are a stone throw's away from each other. Those with a sweet tooth rejoice - there are sugar free varieties at all three, so you can indulge without feeling too guilty.

Ululani's Hawaiian Shaved Ice
The line up for this place constantly looping around the store and onto the sidewalk is a testament to the tasty and lovingly made shaved ices found within.  The owners carefully pack each shaved ice by hand into a melon sized iceball, riddle it with holes with a bamboo skewer so the fruit based syrups they liberally pour and pour and pour onto it saturates every single bite.  As they hand you your shaved ice, they happily tell you to come back to the front of the line if you see a white blank spot and they'll douse it some more!  The shaved ice is soft and fluffy with no jarring rough bits - its like sinking your teeth into cold cotton candy.  The premium fruit based syrups used are made with pure cane sugar, with no artificial flavorings with the recipes a closely guarded secret.  The fruit syrups have probably the closest flavor profiles to fresh fruit out of all the shaved ice places I've yet to experience.  And go all out with the locally sourced or homemade icecreams, Azuki beans or snow cap - a sweet creamy condensed milk like goop to top off your shaved ice.  Never fear about a blank spot on your shaved ice... I had a little puddle of syrup sitting at the bottom of my shaved ice holder when I was done.

Ono Gelato
half eaten guava gelato.. it was too tasty!
Its like stepping into an old fashioned icecream parlor with plenty of eager kids pressing their faces into the coolers displaying a rainbow of elongated tubs of gelato on the right side of the narrow store. Little displays of locally made flavored sea salt and other locally sourced items tempt you to tear your inner child away from the gelato coolers and browse while you slowly work your way up to one of the friendly staff. So many flavors, so little tummy room! Each gelato tray is artfully and sometimes whimsically garnished to reflect the flavor within a hula dancer miniature complete with coconut top close to the coconut gelato that has chunks of coconut and greenery made to look like palm leaves.   Ono Gelato prides itself in making its gelato fresh everyday with locally sourced organic ingredients.  The staff will cheerfully scoop out spoonfuls of any (or all) the gelato flavors you want to try before scooping a baseball sized scoop into your choice of a variety of cones or bowl.  Cool, smooth, with nary a stray ice crystal, they follow in the more traditional gelato making in that they use different bases so even though only plain milk is used, the chocolate based gelatos are richer with a heavier texture and the fruit gelatos are light and airy. I could have happily ate an entire tub of the guava gelato. Nom!

Hula Cookies and Icecream
If your inner child still has a sweet tooth after Ono Gelato, windowshop (okay, I shopped - reviving that block's economy) and head over to Hula Cookies and Icecream. Along with their infamous icecream sandwich - a softball sized scoop of icecream sandwiched between two freshly baked cookies, they have a whole stretch of pastries, icecream and sweet things that would make any kid think they've hit a sugary jackpot! You can choose from a variety of freshly baked cookies and icecream to create your own custom icecream cookie sandwich. We went for their classic icecream sandwich with a soft chewy macadamia nut studded cookie and creamy rich vanilla icecream dotted with speckles of vanilla. Mmmmm. Biting into this close to 5inch tall icecream sandwich was a bit of a challenge, but they do give you a spoon and plenty of napkins to help you out.

So go cool off with some delectable gelato, shaved ice or a cookie icecream sandwich... indulge and let your inner child out.

Ululani's Hawaiian Shaved Ice
Address 819 Front Street, Lahaina, HI
Phone ((360) 606-2745
Hours open daily 11am-10pm
Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice on Urbanspoon

Hula Cookies and Icecream
Address 655 Front Street, Lahaina, HI
Phone (808) 661-5854
Hours Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm Sunday until 5pm
Hula Cookies on Urbanspoon

Ono Gelato
Address 815 Front Street, Lahaina, HI
Phone (808) 667-1984
Hours Open 8am-10pm daily
Ono Gelato on Urbanspoon

Map for Ululani's Hawaiian Shaved Ice

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Map for Hula Cookies and Icecream

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Map for Ono Gelato

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