Giovanni's Aloha Shrimp
Today was a wonderful day to take a drive to the North Shore. Why? Because it was a holiday and I didn't have to go to work...because it was a nice sunny day...and because I had some out of town guests. So I decided to take them to eat at Giovanni's in Kahuku. Now this place has no real address. Well then how exactly do you find it? Just keep driving down Kamehameha highway, past the Polynesian Cultural Center (if you're coming from the Windward side) until you see the sign.
Ask any local about this place and most will tell you that it serves the best shrimp scampi around! I do have to agree that it is one of the best, and the added bonus is that it all comes from a grafitti covered truck.
Now this place is not exactly known for it's decor. A few plastic picnic tables under a couple of tents...definitely not enough space to seat everyone who comes here. Here's a look at the crowd that's just beginning to form when we arrive at 12:15 pm.
We were lucky that there was only one person in line ahead of us. As I approached the truck to order, I glanced at the menu...still the same 3 items that I remember!
Well, I was going to order #2, Hot and Spicy shrimp (read below..."super hot, NO REFUNDS!!"), but was told that they only had #1, Shrimp Scampi today (US$11.00). So that's what I had with hot sauce on the side. As I waited for a table to become available and for my number to be called (I was #235, when we got there they had just announced #229), the people started to arrive. In a matter of minutes a whole throng of people appeared!
After a 15 minute wait, they called my number. As I went to retrieve my plate of shrimp scampi, I overheard the order taker telling customers in line that it would be an approximate wait of 45 minutes! Now that isn't so bad. The last time I was here, I had to wait a little over an hour! And here is what I was waiting for....
What I got was 2 scoops white rice topped with a bit of scampi sauce, a lemon wedge, and half a pound of shrimp scampi served in the shell. I had 12 pieces of shrimp and it was delicious! The shrimp was fresh and done just right (not overcooked!) and the sauce was buttery and full of garlic! Sinful? You bet, but worth every mouthful!
The only let down was that the side of hot sauce was not hot at all! It seemed like some generic hot sauce mixed with melted butter. Hopefully the next time I come here they have the hot and spicy, otherwise, I'll just have to make due with the shrimp scampi which isn't a bad consolation after all.
Giovanni's Aloha Shrimp
Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku