Tops of the Morning


Story & Photos by Becky Speere

It’s more than breakfast. It’s comfort food. Done right, that first meal of the day can satisfy any flavor cravings. Here are a few of our favorite taste-bud-pleasing eateries on Maui’s south and north shores, plus one Upcountry. (Next issue: great breakfast cafes and restaurants on Maui’s west side.)

Casanova brunch

Casanova Deli

Warm croissants, fresh from the oven, fill the room with buttery yumminess just as the first omelet of the day — mine — is placed in front of me. Organic eggs scrambled with sundried tomatoes and green onions create the perfect wrap for a generous portion of sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach.

One of my early culinary jobs was at this very deli; periodically, I drop in for one of the best cappuccinos in town and tender, crunchy croissants. As I sit on the deck overlooking sleepy Makawao town, St. Joseph’s steeple in the trees beyond, I reminisce about my two years at Casanova’s and the four-in-the-morning work shift. Chef Rishi continues the tradition, although he smartly begins his day later, producing such specials as arancini (deep-fried rice balls with mozzarella) and lasagna made with fresh, house-made pasta. Pasta salads, Caprese and tiramisu have been standard fare since 1987, when four partners opened the deli. One of them, Steve Burgelin, joins me for a few minutes and says in his lilting Italian, “Ciao, Becky!” His energy is as high and upbeat as when I first met him. “The deli is going strong and we’re fortunate to have a great staff that cares about the business,” he tells me. Indeed, not much has changed, not even the prices. 1188 Makawao Avenue, Makawao, 572-0220.



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