Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant in Maui is part of a seafood restaurant chain with around 40 locations based out of Monterey, California. They operate worldwide and actually originated through a division of Viacom, owner of Paramount Pictures, who was distributor of the movie "Forest Gump". This film was the inspiration for the chain's creation.
When you first enter from the street you walk into their bar with a small shop on the left that contains souvenirs items such as Bubba Gump T-shirts and other tourist fare. For those just wanting to grab a quick cola there is a cooler close to the entry.
License plates adorn the beams above the tables and if you have one to contribute they will hang it up for you. The atmosphere is obviously casual and meant to encourage a laid back fun feeling.
The bar area also has a few booths and they will serve you food in there if you request it but the larger restaurant area is a few steps away where you can choose inside dining or outdoor patio dining. We were amused that one of the license plates above a booth was Idaho but had our Seattle Seahawks on it.
The drinks are posted on the wall in a colorful array. The margaritas are hand-shaken at your table if you desire. The appetizers are mostly typical fare like calamari and onion rings along with numerous selections of shrimp such as popcorn shrimp and Cajun shrimp but they also have Shrimp Shack Mac & Cheese which isn't so typical.
Sandy was our server and she was friendly like most of the staff are. It's fortunate they hire outgoing personalities because the service isn't fast and a smiling face helps take the edge off of impatience. We still return each year when we're in Maui because the view is superb and once you have drink to sip on the waiting isn't so bad. The soup/salad part of the menu has clam chowder and a classic Caesar salad amongst their options while the sandwich section has standards like classic burgers and fish & chips.
Shrimp with crab stuffing, coconut shrimp, scampi, and shrimp pasta round out the shrimp selections which are numerous. Of course they have other items on the menu that are not shrimp such as fried chicken, top sirloin and baby back ribs and the additional items in the seafood class include salmon, lobster, crab and mahi-mahi.
The shrimp, no matter how you have them prepared are tender and tasty. However, for the price you're paying you would expect something more exciting to accompany your main course other than a choice of mashed potatoes, jasmine rice or fries. They have desserts such as strawberry shortcake, key lime pie, bread pudding and even a chocolate chip cookie sundae.
As you can see the from view behind us...cool azure waters, sailboats heading out to sea, and beautiful wood beams are the main attractions at Bubba Gump-Maui. Throw in friendly but slow service...it's still worth our annual visit, because quite frankly, it's a fun place.
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