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Gluten Free In Hawaii


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11 replies to this topic

#1 dmb2151

 
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Posted 23 February 2012 - 06:25 AM

I am planning on taking a trip to Hawaii this summer for a friend's wedding. At first I said there's no way I can go - what would I eat!? But I don't want to let my celiac keep me from living life. Eating out so much will be difficult as I get anxiety every time I eat out at restaurants in my area that offer gluten free options, so a new area is going to be even tougher. I am considering just bringing some of my own food. Can anyone give advice on traveling and any tips and tricks they have?

Thanks
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#2 jststric

 
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Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:30 AM

My family and I traveled there in May for the first time. Its ALWAYS scary traveling with multiple food intolerances/allergies!! Its really not THAT hard to find gluten-free in HI. As with anywhere, the nicer the restaurants, the easier it is to find do-able items on a menu AND real chefs that can customize. But seafood and fish is SOOOO plentiful there that its pretty easy to have a piece of salmon or fish added to a salad, etc. Its not really any cheaper, tho, just because its plentiful. Tourism is tourism and you pay. We actually went for a drive along the northshore and came across a food truck and my boys LOVE food trucks so we stopped. I wasn't too optimistic but it ended up probably being my most favorite meal there!! Again...fresh fish and fresh fruits. Now, if you want to go to small, local places.....then your pickings will be slim to none. The general Hawaiian population doesn't seem at ALL familiar with glutenfree needs. If those are your only options, or you happen to not care for seafood and fish....then I would suggest asking for a mini-fridge for your room and buying foods at the market. I did take a few items with me, but with such expensive fees for baggage these days, I certainly wouldn't depend on that to sustain you for the trip's duration. I'm not too knowledgable about other airlines, as we tend to fly Delta most of the time, but they have a pretty decent gluten-free "meal" option you can purchase for $5, I think it was. I hope you go and have a GREAT time...its a BEAUTIFUL trip!!!
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#3 kenlove

 
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Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:33 AM

Its not as had as it seems depending on where you visit. I live on the big island and VP of the chefs group and celiac for 7 years. On the Big Island, 12% of the visitors at the hotels require some special allergy menu now. When I was diagnosed no one knew what celiac was but now all the hotels here have numerous Gluten free options and dedicated areas. The heath food stores always have gluten-free options as do many grocery stores. Small neighborhood restaurants and ethnic places are what you need to be careful of since soy sauce is on everything! So, I bring my own (braggs) and just order steamed veggies when I have to be at a Chinese or Thai place. Because of heart issues I'm also vegan so if your not, your also able to enjoy the island meats. Let me know more about where your going and where the wedding is. Some of my buddies here did a gluten-free Wedding for 40 people a couple of years ago because of what was on this forum. Finally with all the fresh tropical fruit here -- who needs the other stuff!
Have fun
Ken


I am planning on taking a trip to Hawaii this summer for a friend's wedding. At first I said there's no way I can go - what would I eat!? But I don't want to let my celiac keep me from living life. Eating out so much will be difficult as I get anxiety every time I eat out at restaurants in my area that offer gluten free options, so a new area is going to be even tougher. I am considering just bringing some of my own food. Can anyone give advice on traveling and any tips and tricks they have?

Thanks


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"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

#4 dmb2151

 
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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:34 AM

Thank you for the replies! I like the idea of getting mini fridge, I don't know why I didn't think of that. I don't want to miss out on such an experience because of Celiac, it is just scary thinking that one slip up could ruin my trip. I am getting more and more used to explaining my needs at restaurants so hopefully by this summer I'll be a pro ;)

I love fish so I'm sure I will indulge in Hawaii!

I'm not sure yet the details of where we will be, but once I do, I will post them here - restaurant recommendations would be great! It is really nice to know that most hotels do have knowledge of Celiac and I will definitely purchase some gluten free soy sauce when I get there. That's a great idea to add some flavor to steamed veggies.

Thanks again!!
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#5 kenlove

 
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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:04 AM

Anytime, if you come to the Big Island I can give you the names of the chefs to talk to before hand to make sure you get something special. Lots of great fish here, you just have to be careful they don't dump soy sauce on it! Take care
Ken

Thank you for the replies! I like the idea of getting mini fridge, I don't know why I didn't think of that. I don't want to miss out on such an experience because of Celiac, it is just scary thinking that one slip up could ruin my trip. I am getting more and more used to explaining my needs at restaurants so hopefully by this summer I'll be a pro ;)

I love fish so I'm sure I will indulge in Hawaii!

I'm not sure yet the details of where we will be, but once I do, I will post them here - restaurant recommendations would be great! It is really nice to know that most hotels do have knowledge of Celiac and I will definitely purchase some gluten free soy sauce when I get there. That's a great idea to add some flavor to steamed veggies.

Thanks again!!


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"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

#6 CeliacAndCfsCrusader

 
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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:34 PM

There's another Hawaii thread on here I replied to, look there too.

No worries about traveling to the Islands. I'm celiac and have been several times after being diagnosed (family there).

There are many options to help you, including eating out, but I would recommend shopping at the grocery stores (stand by brands like Hormel are available), health food stores (including Whole Foods), Costco (lots of stuff there is gluten-free) and making sure that you are not c/c'd by soy sauce.

My experience with restaurants is very good for the nicer places, so-so for the local places and very good for the known chains (Outback, PF Changs, etc).

Please keep in mind that a good tip is to eat when a restaurant is not slammed (dinner rush). Also, keep in mind that many many people still have no idea what gluten-free means, it's up to you to educate them and see if their interest matches your comfort level.

Even if you had to eat the same thing over and over, it's worth it.

Hawaii is paradise (esp outside of Waikiki). If you're on Oahu, treat yourself to a meal at the new Disney resort. They'll make it happen. Aloha.
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#7 mamaupupup

 
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Posted 12 March 2012 - 06:24 PM

I was just on Maui and had the treat of going to Hawaiian Moons health food store (I think that's what it was called). Tons of gluten-free products, same prices as mainland Whole Foods for the most part.

Incidentally, my DH came across this good review of Celiac and Princeville on Kauaui: http://www.tripadvis...HECK_RATES_CONT

I think you'll have a great trip! Give us a great post-trip report so we can follow in your footsteps!
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#8 kenlove

 
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Posted 13 August 2013 - 11:23 AM

Just wanted to add notes to this old Hawaii thread.

 

Last weekend I at at Town restaurant in Honolulu,

http://www.townkaimuki.com/

The chef/owner  Ed Kenny fixed me an incredible gluten free vegan plate of fresh veggies. I didn't call first  so this  was  off the cuff but it was incredibly good. 

 FOllowing night at Hiroshis, http://www.hiroshihawaii.com/  where as part of a party they did call and tell them I was  gluten-free and vegan and WOW,  amazing. mushroom sushi and so one -- 6 course. The  gluten-free pasta was over cooked but the flavors with it were amazing.

 

Two places to stop if you head to Honolulu

Ken


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"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

#9 Lesx2

 
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Posted 13 August 2013 - 09:07 PM

I was just on Maui and had the treat of going to Hawaiian Moons health food store (I think that's what it was called). Tons of gluten-free products, same prices as mainland Whole Foods for the most part.

Incidentally, my DH came across this good review of Celiac and Princeville on Kauaui: http://www.tripadvis...HECK_RATES_CONT

I think you'll have a great trip! Give us a great post-trip report so we can follow in your footsteps!





There is also a Whole Foods in Maui
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#10 Philia

 
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Posted 08 October 2013 - 08:21 AM

I was on the Big Island of Hawaii this last February and the most memorable meal I had (quality, taste, price, and non-"poisoning"!) was at this little strip mall / hole-in-the-wall-looking place: Keomany's Local Thai (around the corner from ABC in the only shopping area of Waikoloa).  Hands-down best combination of "safe feeling" + not sick afterwards + taste that I had during our whole +week-long trip.  Affordability was a bonus.  They also allowed folks to bring in their own wines without corkage fees or any hassle, which I thought was very nice as well as convenient (since ABC sells lots of wine right around the corner!).

 

Huggo's / Huggo's on the Rocks seemed to be good too.  I would like to give a more solid review of this one, but we went to Don's Mai Thai Bar (part of Don the Beachcomber's restaurant) before this, and between gluten-free drink availability and views, I wasn't paying as much attention to taste etc. by the time we got to Huggo's.  I remember thinking it tasted fantastic, the views were gorgeous (from both Don's and Huggo's -- both are right on the beach), and I wasn't sick the next day.  It was not on the "cheap" end of the spectrum, but probably worth a visit if you're in Kailua-Kona.

 

Two places that a couple of long-time locals (one born/raised on the military base, the other a long-time transplant) whom I sat next to on the flight out recommended (but I didn't get around to checking out): Café Pesto in Kwaihi – N of Hilton, Kawaihae (best place to go to try the famous local purple sweet potato) and Fish Hump -- Peer in Kailua, Kona (best service, food, prices in the area, per the locals).


Edited by Philia, 08 October 2013 - 08:33 AM.

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Tentative Dx by Allergist based on DH, referred to Dermatologist; Derma said "dehydration."

Allergist shocked, referred to PCP; PCP ordered genetic testing and subsequently Dxd based on test and elimination diet results.

Gluten-free since June 2008.


#11 kenlove

 
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Posted 05 June 2014 - 05:20 PM

Just wanted to add to this old thread about a great gluten-free meal at the Kamehameha Kona Beach Marriott. Chef George Gomes did an amazing job for a lunch meeting for me. A lot of gluten-free choices.  just call him the day before and prepare for an amazing meal.


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"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

#12 kenlove

 
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Posted 26 July 2014 - 12:58 PM

Had another amazing mail with Chef George At Kamehameha Kona Beach Courtyard Marriott. Chef  never ceases to amaze me with his creativity and using local produce. 


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"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator




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