North Shore Shrimp Part 1 - Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck
Lots of people drive over an hour from Town (i.e., Honolulu) to Oahu’s North Shore for the world famous surf (the Banzai Pipeline is thought to be one of the most awesome - and deadliest - surfing spots in the world), the snorkeling, and the sea turtle gawking. Being the type more likely to count eating among my adventurous activities, I was pumped about trying the shrimp trucks on the North Shore. There are a number of food trucks selling shrimp plates, usually with the choices of garlic, lemon, or spicy.
Giovanni’s is often thought of as the best, and it’s probably because it was one of the first to establish the long strip of the Kam Highway as a shrimp lover’s destination. You can find Giovanni’s trucks in Kahuku and Haleiwa.
From Wikipedia’s entry on North Shore Shrimp Trucks:
In 1993, Giovanni’s (now Giovanni’s Original White Shrimp Truck) started serving shrimp from a truck on the north shore. When it opened, the north shore was a sleepy place with wide expanses of beach that were little known outside of the surfing world. Over the years tourism along the north shore increased as did housing, enough to support an ever increasing number of shrimp trucks.
Most of the shrimp served from these trucks come from shrimp farms on the North Shore, which means that you can brag to all your friends about how you had “local seafood in Hawaii.” The plates follow the typical formula of most local-style fare: big serving of protein/meat/seafood with two scoops of rice, and in some cases you might even get a little side salad (forthcoming post on Fumi’s Shrimp Truck). Although the grindz don’t come cheap at $13, you know that shrimp is one of those foods that’s worth the extra cash in freshness and flavor. Giovanni’s shrimp lives up to the fresh test and earns a few more points when you bathe the side of white rice in buttery, shrimpy sauce and chunks of tender garlic. Extra super bonus points when you suck on the shrimp skin and get little nubs of garlic that have nestled in the crook of the shrimp’s curl. YUMMM…
Some protips: Bring cash, hand wipes (cause you know, you’re gonna be peeling these suckers unless you’re traveling with your over-involved mother), and breath mints/gum.