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Aloha! Honolulu Update :)
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Hey Everybody! What's up?? Long time no see! ;)

In November I came to Hawaii (Waikiki) to present on Celiac Disease at the Pacific Coast College Health Association Conference in Honolulu. And trying to find info on where I could get gluten-free food was a *joke* - So, now that I'm back for a couple weeks (met a cute surfer boy last month! ;)) I thought I'd give you updates as I find places to eat!

Stores: "Down to Earth" is a health food store with lots of gluten-free and dairy free stuff - but, for all you carnivores out there (like me!) keep in mind that it's totally vegetarian so you aren't too likely to find any gluten-free sausages, shelton's products, or fun stuff like that. Everything here is madly overpriced so.. plan on that too if you are coming on vacation (and I thought things were expensive in Utah! Man!!)

Another store is "Vim & Vigor" in the Ala Moana shopping center. They have a lot of gluten-free stuff also (not as much as Down to Earth but the store is right there in the big shopping center, as opposed to in the middle of nowhere like Down to Earth). I was a bit disappointed that they didn't have something I wanted and then (amazingly!) found it a few stores down at "Foodland" (keep in mind that not all Foodland stores carry gluten-free products!). So... if you're in the Ala Moana shopping center - you will find food! Yay!! The place is huge though so here's a map so you don't wander around for hours without finding anything (like I did when I first went there!) http://www.alamoanacenter.com/mallmap.htm

The best store I've found is the Umeke market (http://www.umekemarket.com/) - (maybe it's because it's the cleanest and least frantic looking) Anyway, they have a great selection of gluten-free foods. But - again, out of the way.

Restaurants:

Dukes: (right on Waikiki beach) had a divine baked fish dish. They don't have a gluten free menu but I asked a lot of questions and basically told them I would die if I came in contact with wheat and the servers where fantastic. I took a chance on the baked fish dish because it was cooked in a pan all by itself and wasn't too likely to come into contact with a contaminated grill. It was sooooooo good!

Yard House: I was shocked when I asked for a gluten-free menu and they actually had one. Be careful of the servers though and always cautious. They brought fries out on my supposed gluten-free plate even though I'd read on the gluten-free menu that the fries weren't gluten free. I'd ordered the spicy chicken "sandwich" (without bread!) and it was tasty - I didn't eat the fries and didn't get sick ;)

Roy's: I haven't actually eaten here yet but stopped in and talked to the servers who know all about gluten & food allergies. I've heard the place is great but.. again, everything is pricey!

There are also Outback Steakhouse & P.F. Chang's establishments here. So... that's always comforting, eh? (haha - sorry, the surfer boy's Canadian - I think it's rubbing off on me!)

OH! And don't forget sushi! Bring your own soy sauce - you wouldn't want to miss the fresh sushi here! Yum! ^_^

I'll keep you updated as I find more food! Love to you all!

- Michelle :wub:

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A few other restaurants to try are Chef Mavro's (* expensive) and his 2nd place Cassis which is less expensive. They will make gluten-free meals with advance notice and will substitute things on the set menus.

12th Ave. Grill ( Chef Kevin Haney) will also prepare gluten-free meals as will Town Restaurant ( Chef Ed Kenny), both in the Kimuki area.

I'm in the process of putting together a curriculum for the Hi. culinary schools as most of the students don't get much training in food allergies, especially celiac.. That's changing. Here in Kona most of the hotels now have gluten-free items in stock and will prepare special meals when asked. So do the high end restaurants like Merrimans -- although they better since my son is the chef there! India Cafe ( the tiny one off of Kapahulu st) has a number of gluten-free items too.

The sushi place at 808 Kapahulu is great too. Off of Kimuki there is Tamura store which is known as a liquior store but has an unusual number of gluten-free items for a store like this. Some I've never seen on the Big Island or at Down to Earth.

With luck Whole Foods will have a lot more when they open soon.

Have fun exploring

Ken

Hey Everybody! What's up?? Long time no see! ;)

In November I came to Hawaii (Waikiki) to present on Celiac Disease at the Pacific Coast College Health Association Conference in Honolulu. And trying to find info on where I could get gluten-free food was a *joke* - So, now that I'm back for a couple weeks (met a cute surfer boy last month! ;)) I thought I'd give you updates as I find places to eat!

Stores: "Down to Earth" is a health food store with lots of gluten-free and dairy free stuff - but, for all you carnivores out there (like me!) keep in mind that it's totally vegetarian so you aren't too likely to find any gluten-free sausages, shelton's products, or fun stuff like that. Everything here is madly overpriced so.. plan on that too if you are coming on vacation (and I thought things were expensive in Utah! Man!!)

Another store is "Vim & Vigor" in the Ala Moana shopping center. They have a lot of gluten-free stuff also (not as much as Down to Earth but the store is right there in the big shopping center, as opposed to in the middle of nowhere like Down to Earth). I was a bit disappointed that they didn't have something I wanted and then (amazingly!) found it a few stores down at "Foodland" (keep in mind that not all Foodland stores carry gluten-free products!). So... if you're in the Ala Moana shopping center - you will find food! Yay!! The place is huge though so here's a map so you don't wander around for hours without finding anything (like I did when I first went there!) http://www.alamoanacenter.com/mallmap.htm

The best store I've found is the Umeke market (http://www.umekemarket.com/) - (maybe it's because it's the cleanest and least frantic looking) Anyway, they have a great selection of gluten-free foods. But - again, out of the way.

Restaurants:

Dukes: (right on Waikiki beach) had a divine baked fish dish. They don't have a gluten free menu but I asked a lot of questions and basically told them I would die if I came in contact with wheat and the servers where fantastic. I took a chance on the baked fish dish because it was cooked in a pan all by itself and wasn't too likely to come into contact with a contaminated grill. It was sooooooo good!

Yard House: I was shocked when I asked for a gluten-free menu and they actually had one. Be careful of the servers though and always cautious. They brought fries out on my supposed gluten-free plate even though I'd read on the gluten-free menu that the fries weren't gluten free. I'd ordered the spicy chicken "sandwich" (without bread!) and it was tasty - I didn't eat the fries and didn't get sick ;)

Roy's: I haven't actually eaten here yet but stopped in and talked to the servers who know all about gluten & food allergies. I've heard the place is great but.. again, everything is pricey!

There are also Outback Steakhouse & P.F. Chang's establishments here. So... that's always comforting, eh? (haha - sorry, the surfer boy's Canadian - I think it's rubbing off on me!)

OH! And don't forget sushi! Bring your own soy sauce - you wouldn't want to miss the fresh sushi here! Yum! ^_^

I'll keep you updated as I find more food! Love to you all!

- Michelle :wub:

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Michelle, good to see you back on the forum. :wub:

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This has been an interesting thread. We were thinking of visiting Hawaii but I must admit it does put me off reading (on other threads mainly) about the lack of gluten free choices and awareness over there. I don't fancy eating out at the outback steakhouse every night or needing to call the restaurant and discuss menus beforehand. It is my daugther who is the celiac and she is 11 years old and she is an adventurous eater but I don't know if there would be enough options for her especially if we are out and about and just want a quick snack. When we travel we usually stay somewhere which has a kitchen so that we can cook if we need to which I suppose we could do there too. We haven't travelled outside Australia yet as we know that wherever we go here we can find gluten free food and good awareness in even the smallest towns. Language barriers can be a problem here though in ethnic restaurants especially Asian ones. If we go to an Asian restaurant often it may be difficult to communicate with the staff who perhaps don't understand English well enough for us to feel confident in ordering. We are lucky in that we have fabulous Indian and Thai restaurants right near our house where they are very knowledgeable so it really is a matter of educating staff it in the kitchen and on the floor.

I am actually surprised there isn't more awareness and availability of gluten free products in the U.S. in general as there is such a large population and there must be hundred of thousands of celiacs there. Why do you think that is the case?

:)

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I do think its changing for the better, especially in Hawaii. the newspapers have done stories and I've mentioned it on a morning news show back in Dec. Here on the Big Island, especially in Kona the chefs are much more aware than on other islands. it's not a matter of having to discuss menus as much as just letting them know your daughter is coming and must have a gluten free meal. At last thats at hotels and major restaurants. I do know what you mean about the language barrier though. I've given up on eating at our Thai places having asked to make sure there was no flour in the food and he took the flower off the table. Really!

Some of the Chinese and Japanese places I visit here do keep wheat free soy sauce on hand.

Try to find a post from earlier today with a dos and donts list for Hawaii restaurants that were working to develop.

If you come to Kona! I'll make sure you have choices!

Ken

This has been an interesting thread. We were thinking of visiting Hawaii but I must admit it does put me off reading (on other threads mainly) about the lack of gluten free choices and awareness over there. I don't fancy eating out at the outback steakhouse every night or needing to call the restaurant and discuss menus beforehand. It is my daugther who is the celiac and she is 11 years old and she is an adventurous eater but I don't know if there would be enough options for her especially if we are out and about and just want a quick snack. When we travel we usually stay somewhere which has a kitchen so that we can cook if we need to which I suppose we could do there too. We haven't travelled outside Australia yet as we know that wherever we go here we can find gluten free food and good awareness in even the smallest towns. Language barriers can be a problem here though in ethnic restaurants especially Asian ones. If we go to an Asian restaurant often it may be difficult to communicate with the staff who perhaps don't understand English well enough for us to feel confident in ordering. We are lucky in that we have fabulous Indian and Thai restaurants right near our house where they are very knowledgeable so it really is a matter of educating staff it in the kitchen and on the floor.

I am actually surprised there isn't more awareness and availability of gluten free products in the U.S. in general as there is such a large population and there must be hundred of thousands of celiacs there. Why do you think that is the case?

:)

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Thanks Ken. It sounds like you are doing a good job in raising awareness over there. I have been to Oahu and Maui quite a few years ago but not the big island. If we did decide to go to Hawaii we would definately consider Kona island as it does sound like gluten free awareness is better there. That was funny about the waiter taking the flowers off the table :D I know I have asked at sushi places which of their sushi is gluten free and they say something like "none of it is, they all have rice in it". At this point I just say thanks and move on. Not to mention the soy sauce issue. We have several brands of gluten free soy sauce available here plus tamari etc. but most Asian places have different brands. It's all about feeling confident when going into a restaurant that they do in fact know all about cross contamination etc. and what gluten actually is in. Do all the the states in the U.S. have Celiac Societies? Do they all work together or are they seperate? We also have a celiac society in each state here but the difference is that we have 7 states not 50 so it is easier for them to spread the word and interact with each other to raise awareness. We also have an national magazine which comes out to members 4 times a year plus Celiac awareness week is in March where each state society works hard in spreading the gluten free word to everyone from restaurants to doctors. I know that in Italy there is alot of awareness of celiac disease because a couple of very well known celebs over there are celiacs and so they have talked about it often in the media. It all helps as does those newspaper articles you mentioned. Keep up the good work Ken!

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Thanks Amber

I really cant say about the celiac societies although I know there are many mentioned in different places online. There is nothing active here although I did get an email after a newspaper story appeared about one on Oahu. I called but never got a hold of them or return email.

I found more types of gluten-free soy sauce in Japan than here so I bring a lot of things back with me which last between trips. The US does need to build awareness which is happening but slower than most of us want. Now if someone like Tom Cruise or Kevin Kostner or Julia Roberts came down down with it you can bet we would hear much more!

I do hop[e you check out the big island one of these days. Our chefs group here want to develop guidelines for the restaurant industry across the state on serving patrons with any food allergy. If Hawaii becomes known for that it will sure help out a lot of people. I'm looking forward to checking into the Italian celiac scene as I'll be there 5 weeks in July/Aug. working. Hope to learn things to apply here.

Take care

Thanks Ken. It sounds like you are doing a good job in raising awareness over there. I have been to Oahu and Maui quite a few years ago but not the big island. If we did decide to go to Hawaii we would definately consider Kona island as it does sound like gluten free awareness is better there. That was funny about the waiter taking the flowers off the table :D I know I have asked at sushi places which of their sushi is gluten free and they say something like "none of it is, they all have rice in it". At this point I just say thanks and move on. Not to mention the soy sauce issue. We have several brands of gluten free soy sauce available here plus tamari etc. but most Asian places have different brands. It's all about feeling confident when going into a restaurant that they do in fact know all about cross contamination etc. and what gluten actually is in. Do all the the states in the U.S. have Celiac Societies? Do they all work together or are they seperate? We also have a celiac society in each state here but the difference is that we have 7 states not 50 so it is easier for them to spread the word and interact with each other to raise awareness. We also have an national magazine which comes out to members 4 times a year plus Celiac awareness week is in March where each state society works hard in spreading the gluten free word to everyone from restaurants to doctors. I know that in Italy there is alot of awareness of celiac disease because a couple of very well known celebs over there are celiacs and so they have talked about it often in the media. It all helps as does those newspaper articles you mentioned. Keep up the good work Ken!
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