Tags: Henry's Bar & Grill
Food & Drink
Henry's Bar & Grill
The best cheesesteak in all the land
January 04, 2007
On Sunday, Krista and I were intent on pursuing creative activities
that didn't involve alcohol. So we grabbed beach towels, reading
material, sweaters (in case we found ourselves atop a volcano) and
headed to a coffee shop we'd never been to before.
Unfortunately, as soon as we found a comfy place to sip our coffees
and read, workers began putting the chairs up on tables. "Oh, you can
stay, if you like," an employee told us as he locked the front door,
sending the kind of mixed messages that prompted Krista to recall past
relationships and conversations with dysfunctional ex-boyfriends.
Subsequently, we drove straight to Henry's to calm our nerves with
Bloody Marys. But as soon as we passed the row of shiny motorcycles and
walked in, it was as if the record skipped, as conversation stopped and
faces stared blankly at us from the bar. We could almost see
tumbleweeds roll across the floor, and the foreboding theme song to
some western movie played in our heads…
Friendly commotion resumed when we found customized stools with
witty sayings to sit on—"I'd do Henry" for her; "I won't do Henry" for
me—in front of a brass spittoon and a wall of bumper stickers:
"Men are Not Pigs: Pigs are Gentle, Intelligent and Sensitive Animals"
"A Shlong is Better Than a Shlort"
"Don't Worry What People Think—They Don't Do It Very Often"
I pointed out the most fabulous features of Henry's to Krista: the
pool tables, dartboards, video golf, stage, dance floor, and the many
bandana-and-boot-wearing, leather-vested regulars.
"It would be a fucking biker bar that we'd feel comfortable in,"
said Krista. "We tried to be intellectual, we tried to be good…"
"Eh, it's overrated," I said.
I told her a friend of mine recommended the cheesesteak sandwiches.
We glanced around and noticed several patrons in the process of
grubbing them. Skeptical but curious, we promptly ordered one to share.
Food? At Henry's? We didn't know either.
Their menu board, while limited in scope, also featured other
comfort foods like spaghetti and meatballs ($6), an opakapaka sandwich
($7.50), and a patti melt on rye ($6.50), all quite reasonably priced.
But none held the allure for us quite like their chicken cheesesteak
sandwich—$5.25 for a half, $8.25 for a whole—with potato chips or mac
The cheesesteak is a culinary concept born in 1930 in Philadelphia,
consisting principally of thin slices of sauteed meat—generally steak
or chicken—mixed with the gooiest of melted cheese and usually grilled
onions—sometimes mushrooms, too—on a soft, white six-inch roll of
Henry's chicken cheesesteak takes these basic concepts and elevates
them into a sandwich of impossible goodness. A mass of tender bits of
white meat combined with melted cheese and onions is stuffed into a
soft, toasted bun that somehow tastes like puffed pastry dough.
According to a few of Henry's many regulars, the secret to this
culinary masterpiece is "Eddie"—the head and only kitchen chef for the
past three years.
Eddie Callahan used to work in computers before he decided to make a
career shift and attend the culinary institute at Maui Community
"I learned a few things and do the stuff that's right for here," he said.
When we proclaimed our immense satisfaction with his chicken cheesesteak, Callahan smiled broadly.
"What probably makes me happier than anything is that people enjoy it," he said. "I'm tinkering with a low-fat version, too." MTW
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