You may have already heard about Banán, the brightly painted food truck, setting up shop on Monsarrat Ave. and serving up some deliciously cool treats. Like everyone else in the 96815, I heard the buzz and had to try it! I was delighted to find Matt, Zak and Luke, the smart and lovable guys behind the craze, working the window when I popped by. Galen, the fourth founder, was on Moloka'i harvesting some of Banán's ingredients at his family's farm, Pu'u O Hoku Ranch.
What exactly is Banán? Banán, as it is served from the truck on Monsarrat Ave., is a dairy-free dessert made from 100% blended frozen local bananas. Similar to the consistency of frozen yogurt, or an acai bowl, it is creamy, sweet and smooth. If you aren't one for bananas, don't worry, they have other flavors on the menu. Fruits and herbs are added to the blended banana base to create options such as Acai, Pineapple Coconut, Basil and Ginger Mint. I chose the seasonal flavor, Lilikoi - refreshing tropical heaven - served in my choice, a papaya boat, topped with fresh cut pineapple and shaved coconut. It hit the spot and was the perfect kick start for my Saturday.
Before I was on my way, I had the chance to sit down with the founders of Banán to learn more about their business. Almost all of the fruit and ingredients used at Banán are sourced locally and some are even grown on Galen's family farm on Moloka'i. It is freshness you can taste. Have you ever had a banana that spent thousands of miles and days at sea on a container before making its way to your taste buds? Followed by a local banana that was just picked from the islands? The taste difference is incredible! Bananas that are grown in Hawaii are so sweet, creamy and a whole different ball game! And the good news doesn't stop here. As Zak and Matt explained, it's not just about serving a delicious, healthy dessert made from ingredients grown in Hawaii. It is also about giving back to the community. Their philosophy is farm-to-table, table-to-farm. Near the picnic tables and brightly colored chairs in the parking lot, you will find a compost bucket and recycling bin. The guys use Bokashi composting, which is a fast way to breakdown the banana peels and organic material into a nutrient rich soil which helps farmers grow more ingredients for establishments like Banán and our community. A full life cycle of buying local, eating local and giving back to your community. Sweet, isn't it? Just as sweet as this wonderfully refreshing treat served at Banán.
The 96815 Tip: Wondering what I am drinking in the glass bottle? It's the 'Awa Nice Day - a tea made of organic 'Awa root from the Pu'u O Hoku Farm on Moloka'i, combined with coconut milk and chai. The sacred 'Awa plant, introduced by early Polynesians, is a natural sedative that works to clear your mind and relax your body. Feeling stressed? Have one of these and it will be all good!
Banán, Monday to Friday 11am to 6pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am to 6pm, 3212 Monsarrat Ave, Honolulu, HI the 96815.