Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck on the North Shore

North ShoreThis is my kind of place!

(more pictures to be added later tonight)

The highway along Oahu’s North coastline has lots of different shrimp trucks.  Shrimp trucks?  Wha?

Well, local fishers troll for shrimp and bring the fresh catch back to trucks, prepare them (usually as scampi), and sell direct to the public.  Giovanni’s is an established favorite and did not disappoint.  But allow me to digress.

We finished our tour of Schofield Barracks, and we were both feeling happy, nostalgic, and a little exhausted.  We started our tour through the mountains and happened upon a restaurant where my mom and dad had once eaten.  We stopped to snap pictures and for Dad to say yet again: “I lived and worked here 40 years ago.”  It’s a fun routine.  The shop girl assured us the restaurant had been in existence for well over 40 years.  Fun.

We toured through the mountains, snapping pictures as we lamented that power lines were ruining our views.  Funny how we require energy (I loves me air conditioning), but loathe its personal, planetary, and aesthetic cost.  Dad wanted to find a beach- so we did.  I love the easy idea of vacation and the fact that Oahu complies and offers us so much gorgeous shore.

We decided to stop at a beach/park area with lots of parking spots but few attendees.  There were trees lining the beach that shaded us.  I jumped- Tevas and all- into the water.  I swam as far as I dared and swam back to Dad.  We splashed and I did back and front flips.  He taught me how to splash my opponent better (training I immediately used against him).  I felt so young again.  I remembered times playing with my dad in a pool: giggling, retrieving rings, playing games.  He contributed to my fearless love of water.

We went back to the beach and he commenced Nap #476 of this trip.  I walked up and down the quiet beach.  Children played in the sand with abandon.  I stopped back where my dad was and did some stretching and breathing yoga.  The rustling trees complemented the slow rhythm of waves and I felt… peace.  Inner calm.  I finally slowed down.  I started to empty my mind and clear my head.  It felt so good.  I sat and watched sand crabs.  I spent a long time watching them work and defend their territories.  I felt so happy to just watch, be calm, and focus on them.

Dad awakened and we lazily went back to the car.  I had a craving for a cold beer.  Suddenly we were on a mission.  We passed a couple of places due to Dad’s poor navigating (he blamed my breakneck speed of 35mph…  “don’t honk!”).  Suddenly, at the same moment, we both spotted the perfect little convenience store.  It was exactly what we needed: they sold singles of a wide variety of beer, they had nice outdoor seating, and they had a gorgeous view of the Pacific as cars passed us on the road.

We ate the snacks we’d brought and tasted two delicious local microbrews (pictured at right).  I would recommend both of these beers.  One had a macadamia nut flavor, but maybe that was just suggested by the locale.

Back on the road, we started looking for Giovanni’s.  It ended up being much farther east than we’d expected.  The menu was simple: shrimp three ways.  They had hot dogs, wich I presumed were for those with shellfish allergies, but they were cooked along with the shrimp.  Huh?  Whatever.

I ordered, of course, the hot-n-spicy.  Read the menu: so hot they don’t give refunds.  Shrimp TruckI was game.  Dad ordered the scampi.  As we waited, we went to a conveniently located tropical drink truck.  I ordered a pineapple-coconut and a guava-passionfruit smoothie.  The woman in front of me had tears rolling down her cheeks and explained it was from the spicy shrimp.  Uh oh.

Dad raved about the scampi and I waited even longer for my dish.  I powered through the shrimp.  My mouth is watering as I write this.  It was the second-hottest thing I’ve ever eaten, right behind the habañero that I ate whole just for the “fun” of it.  Dad has never seen me in such delicious agony.  It was overly hot, only from the standpoint that it seemed gimmicky, but it was flavorful and the shrimp were cooked perfectly and full of fresh flavor.  I ate them shell and all (except for the tail).

Dad looked at me like his hero as I pulled out our rum flask and made those silly smoothies into adult beverages.  Mmmmm….. The piña colada was the perfect balance of flavor and cooling against the heat of the shrimp.

I would highly recommend Giovanni’s shrimp truck.  It’s a fun, campy place to take a break from all that fine dining.

Atmosphere: [rate 3]
Beer Selection: Not rated
Wine Selection: Not rated
Food: [rate 5]
Service: [rate 2]

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