Rating: *how we rate restaurants
In a nutshell: European cafe in Kahului, you’ll forget you’re on Maui
Minuses: Small; can fill up quick for lunch
Sound-bite: Singing along with beer stein in the air
Brigit and Bernard’s Garden Cafe is a beloved hidden gem for Maui locals and an unexpected find in the industrial/business section of Kahului. This area of Maui can be tricky to navigate for the unfamiliar, with only a few options standing out on the main throughways, but like most good things, Brigit and Bernard’s is worth the find.
Upon entering the cozy alpine styled dining area, or the shaded outdoor patio set around a large tree, you instantly forget the industrial area outside. The inside is warm and cozy, outside is breezy and festive, with quirky signs, colorful chairs and strung lights. Open for lunch and dinner Monday thru Saturday, Brigit and Bernard’s is a European style cafe, offering up a mostly Swiss/German cuisine and a quality selection of beers. You’ll find namesake Bernard hard at work in the kitchen whipping up freshly prepared meals, some based on his hometown recipes. The portions are generous, the ingredients fresh and quality and care apparent in every dish.
Off the beaten path but just a 7 minute drive to the airport. Give yourself plenty of time if you’re dining here before catching a flight in the afternoon- it can fill up fast for lunch.
Frequented by locals, Brigit and Bernard’s is a favorite for Mauians on lunch break or after work, or those in-the-know on their way to or from the airport or picking up vacation supplies in town. The atmosphere is casual and comfortable.
We recently dined at Brigit and Bernard’s Garden Cafe for dinner, choosing to go after the work crowd had thinned. We brought our appetites and were not disappointed. They had recently wrapped up their weeks long Oktoberfest celebration- complete with a hearty buffet and live oompah band, which meant Spaten Oktoberfest was still available. For those truly want to get in the spirit, Das Boot is also an option.
There is a good selection of starters, salads and entrees. Appetizers range from Calamari ala Plancha to Bratwurst. We had the Shrimp Dijon which was breaded and fried but surprisingly light and crunchy. The “Buendner Teller” Gourmet Meat and Cheese Platter for Two is a pleasing option with Swiss style cured beef, dry salami, Swiss Gruyere, pickled garnishes and breads. Fresh Garden, Caesar and Greek salads are available and chicken, calamari, shrimp scampi or the fresh fish of the day can be added to any salad for a nominal charge.
The entree menu is a delight with the options you’d hope to find: Wiener Schnitzel with potatoes au gratin, Jaegerschnitzel, and Soufflaki- marinated lamb kabobs served with Bernard’s own Tsatziki sauce. The Jaegerschnitzel is topped with sauteed mushrooms and herb gravy, with homemade Spaetzle and braised red cabbage. Pork Tenderloin Bernard is sauteed in a port wine glace and served with linguini and vegetables.
The Catch of the Day is available as an entree, as are the Shrimp Scampi and Calamari ala Plancha. There is an efficient Pasta menu including Bolognese, Carbonara and Al Fungi with a medley of porcini and champignones de Paris mushrooms. My dining companion chose Maui’s “Best Rack of Lamb” which did not disappoint. Mouthwateringly seasoned and tender, the lamb was sliced and served with a rich herb au jus, scrumptious vegetables du jour and luscious scalloped potatoes. Zueri Gschnetzlets are Bernard’s hometown special, and made with your choice of veal, chicken or pork tenderloin. I opted for the chicken, was a presented as thinly sliced pieces in a delightfully rich and velvety mushroom cream sauce with roesti potatoes and a vegetable medley. We recommend saving room for dessert; Bernard’s homemade Apple Strudel was a happy end to a great meal.
Brigit and Bernard’s Garden Cafe is a fun and highly enjoyable departure from the expected on Maui. They also host various celebrations throughout the year; from Oktoberfest to Swiss Days; reservations are recommended to ensure your spot for the special events.
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