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alamaz

Gluten Free Hawaii?

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I would like to plan a trip for my husband and I to Maui or Kauai or both in January. Can any one share their gluten free travel advice for Hawaii? We'd like to be able to stay a resort but are also open to a condo so we can have our own kitchen. I'd appreciate any tips.

Thanks!

Amy

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I would like to plan a trip for my husband and I to Maui or Kauai or both in January. Can any one share their gluten free travel advice for Hawaii? We'd like to be able to stay a resort but are also open to a condo so we can have our own kitchen. I'd appreciate any tips.

Thanks!

Amy

We're heading to Maui again in October. Hawaiian Airlines has a direct flight between Seattle and Maui, but they don't have special dietary meals. So I pack my own lunch in my backpack for the flight (peanut butter and banana sandwich and dried fruit or sardines plus rice cakes and dried fruit) plus LARA bars if I need a snack between meals. We usually stay at the Lahaina Shores condos, which have their own kitchens. As soon as we get off the plane in Kahului and get our rental car, we had to "Down To Earth" Health Food Store in Kahului and stock up on Gluten Free bread, cereals and other 'safe' foods which allow me to abstain from gluten and my other 4 allergy sources. Down to Earth also has a nice (safe) serve yourself deli of vegan or vegetarian dishes, where you can eat lunch or take a meal to your condo.

We usually eat breakfast in our condo and pack lunches from store bought foods for our day trips and activities. We take a freezable lunch bag to keep food cool while on the beach. Lahaina has a 'Safeway', a Foodland and an oriental grocery store, where we stock up on groceries. We plan to eat one meal per day (usually dinner, but sometimes lunch) at restaurants. However sometimes we just heat up leftovers from restaurants for dinner on our condo's lanai.

Since I had just been diagnosed with 2 more allergies before I went to Maui last year, I prepared an allergy alert card, where I listed my 5 food sensitivities (allergies and gluten intolerance) and briefly described foods that might contain those allergens on my laminated card. Before I visited a restaurant for dinner, I often stopped by the restaurant in the late afternoon (before dinner hour) and talked to the manager and/or chef about my allergies. We looked at their menu and decided what entrees could be easily adapted to my allergy restrictions. Here are the restaurants which gave me memorable 'safe' meals on Maui:

Gerard's in Lahaina (fantastic 'anniversary' meal);

The Fish Company (safe but not a very creative or tasty meal);

Kimo's (I had a great ahi sashimi lunch there twice);

Mama's Fish House (on the road to Hana past Paia--they were very attentive and creative);

Mahalea Grill (very creative entree);

Pacific O (by the Lahaina Shores--my most memorable meal);

A walk up Kebob restaurant on a side alley along Front Street in Lahaina--sorry I can't remember the name, but the food was cheap, safe and plentiful. I'll definitely order there again.

The better (more expensive) restaurant chefs would make wonderful sauces from my 'safe' ingredients and create fantastic meals. I was very disappointed in The Fish Company, because they removed ingredients (butter, bread crumbs, etc.), but didn't substitute other safe ingredients. So they served me dry, overcooked fish but undercooked, dry vegies.

If you stay on the West coast of Maui (like Kahanapali or Lahaina) or even central Southern Maui, you may want to take some day trips, like to Haleakala or even Hana. Along the road to Hana is Paia, which also has a great health food store, where you can stock up on gluten-free goodies. If you head to Haleakala, Makawao has another Down To Earth Health Food store.

Sorry I can't tell you much about Kauai, except I've heard the flowers and plants are beautiful, because they get so much rain. I LOVE Maui and have stayed there 5 times already. We were married on Maui (Kahana). So we often return to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Last year we experienced the earthquake and a week of rain during our vacation, but we're still returning this year.

BURDEE

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Thanks Burdee! Great info. Are the Lahaina Shores condos nice and on the beach? I think it would be nice to stay in one place (not try to do Kauai and Maui in one trip) and have access to a kitchen while there.

Amy

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Thanks Burdee! Great info. Are the Lahaina Shores condos nice and on the beach? I think it would be nice to stay in one place (not try to do Kauai and Maui in one trip) and have access to a kitchen while there.

Amy

Hi Amy:

Yes, the Lahaina Shores are right on the beach. It's the only Lahaina hotel with beach front property. However you will need water shoes to prevent coral cuts in deeper water. There are more expensive and maybe nicer hotels with beachfront property in Kaanapali (north of Lahaina). However I LOVE shopping in Lahaina. Also Lahaina has many activities available from their dock, like parasailing, snorkeling trips, trips to Molakai and Lanai, etc. LS also has a pool and hot tub on their beach front patio. Nevertheless, if you want to pay more and stay in a luxury hotel complex with beach front property, you might consider the Kaanapali Maui Marriott or others in Kaanapali or even hotels in Wailea (southeast of Lahain) like the Wailea Grand Hotel. There are other hotels with condos in Kihei (southeast of Lahaina) which have 'across the street' access to nice coral free beaches.

The Lahaina Shores condos each have lanais (balconies) which either face the ocean or the mountains. Of course the first floor condos just open onto the patio facing the ocean or the front of the hotel onto Front Street. We prefer mountain view, because those are less expensive and we can watch people on Front Street after dark while we eat dinner on our lanai. We can also see if the tennis courts are occupied in the morning, when we want to play tennis.

Each LS unit has a full kitchen with coffee maker, microwave, oven, stove, large refrigerator and most kitchen utensils, cooking and serving dishes. They supply ready to make coffee, tea and sweetners every morning. The units also include a hairdryer and ironing board. Here's a link to the Lahaina Shores website which can tell you more: http://www.lahainashores.com/

BURDEE

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wow it is soo pretty! i will have to put that on the list to check into. i'm learning that we need to start planning now for our trip in january because things are already starting to book up at the various hotels when we want to go! amazing. and that's nice there is a trip to the two other small islands from that hotel. i can't wait to see what hubby says :D thanks so much for your help!

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Hello! I know this is an old thread, but I just saw this while browsing the Travel section for new Hawaii info. Don't know if you're still planning to travel to Maui - if so, here's some info for you...

There are two great stores Mana Foods (Paia) and Down To Earth Natural Food (Makawao) - lots of gluten-free food.

Ditto to the previous poster on Mama's Fish House - they're the best! Pricey, but worth every penny. I also had a great experience at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion. For inexpensive food, I had great luck w/ Maui Tacos (the Nipili location is best). Just about everything is gluten-free, I suggest contacting them to double check before your trip: www.mauitacos.com . The Gazebo is great for breakfast - right on the water (its between Kaanapali and Nipili, hidden in a condo resort - not easy to find, but worth the trek and waiting line).

As for condos, I always stay at Papakea Resort on Kaanapali Beach (renting directly from a private owner, not the property manager). The grounds are beautiful, there's a little private beach, new BBQ's, and 2 huge pools/spas. We have our own little kitchen, which worked out great. It's very quiet, all you hear is the ocean and birds. The price is reasonable and we stay right on the water. Partial view and garden rooms are more reasonable. Depending on the season, these condos are 20 - 50% less than hotels. They aren't fancy, but they are clean and the view is breathtaking.

Good luck to you on planning your travels!

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My parents are planning onmoving to Hawaii as soon as they sell thier house here and they visit yearly. They and I suggest VRBO.com for renting condos and stuff. This is great for us because we can cook more and not reliant on restraunts to prepare safe food for us.

VRBO is good all over the world, so anywhere you go you can find a rental house.

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This looks like good info. My family is planning a trip in 3 weeks to Maui, and it will be my first traveling experience since being diagnosed Celiac. I have t wo young girls, anyone know of some more "family friendly" places that could accomodate?

Thanks!!

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I would like to plan a trip for my husband and I to Maui or Kauai or both in January. Can any one share their gluten free travel advice for Hawaii? We'd like to be able to stay a resort but are also open to a condo so we can have our own kitchen. I'd appreciate any tips.

Thanks!

Amy

Would love to hear how the vacation went! I went to Kauai last year. Stayed in the Best Western Plantation Hale in Kapaa, and except for a room facing constant noisy traffic (which means you can't leave the doors and windows open to enjoy the weather) it was a great place to stay. Yes, it had a kitchenette. The local grocery stores had enough gluten free food to prepare at the hotel. I had a more difficult time with food eating out. I contacted one restaurant, the Blossoming Lotus, an award winning vegan place before hand by email. I received back a very friendly, detailed email from a manager there, stating that they don't tend to use soy sauce, they use tamari in general so that people can eat there gluten free. But when I ate there, the waitress didn't even know what tamari sauce was. She said they use shoyu sauce. Asked if I could eat fermented or unfermented soy sauce. I said I can't eat soy sauce at all if it has wheat. She checked with the manager and they suggested a few items that were gluten free. But I was disappointed over the tamari sauce/shoyu sauce issue. I notice on these Discussion Boards, a chef who is working on coming up with guidelines for high end restaurants for gluten free cooking. That would be wonderful! I ended up often ordering a meal I would have never eaten healthwise prior to being gluten-free, called a Loco Moco. White Rice, a Hamburger Patty, topped with a Fried Egg! (the Hawaiians have it with gravy covering which I obviously didn't have). Hawaii is a beautiful state, with a wonderful spirit of Aloha, and people who cannot eat gluten should have an easier time eating safely there.

Aloha!

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Hi,

I'm still working on those guidelines for chefs in Hawaii but mostly on the Big Island and to a lesser extent on Oahu. With luck some of this will rub off on the other islands, especially Kauai. Merrimans will open there later this year and Peter Merriman is very aware of the issue. The last time I was on Kauai the only thing I could find to eat was eggs or salad.

They do need some help!

Having been in Japan for a month getting ideas to bring back Friday may help.

Have to give a presentation to the chefs group in May so it should help some.

Had the best crepes ever the other day. Made with mochi rice flour, eggs and a little water.

Ken

Would love to hear how the vacation went! I went to Kauai last year. Stayed in the Best Western Plantation Hale in Kapaa, and except for a room facing constant noisy traffic (which means you can't leave the doors and windows open to enjoy the weather) it was a great place to stay. Yes, it had a kitchenette. The local grocery stores had enough gluten free food to prepare at the hotel. I had a more difficult time with food eating out. I contacted one restaurant, the Blossoming Lotus, an award winning vegan place before hand by email. I received back a very friendly, detailed email from a manager there, stating that they don't tend to use soy sauce, they use tamari in general so that people can eat there gluten free. But when I ate there, the waitress didn't even know what tamari sauce was. She said they use shoyu sauce. Asked if I could eat fermented or unfermented soy sauce. I said I can't eat soy sauce at all if it has wheat. She checked with the manager and they suggested a few items that were gluten free. But I was disappointed over the tamari sauce/shoyu sauce issue. I notice on these Discussion Boards, a chef who is working on coming up with guidelines for high end restaurants for gluten free cooking. That would be wonderful! I ended up often ordering a meal I would have never eaten healthwise prior to being gluten-free, called a Loco Moco. White Rice, a Hamburger Patty, topped with a Fried Egg! (the Hawaiians have it with gravy covering which I obviously didn't have). Hawaii is a beautiful state, with a wonderful spirit of Aloha, and people who cannot eat gluten should have an easier time eating safely there.

Aloha!

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Burdee this is fantastic info!! thanks! I am also going to Maui in Oct and staying at the Bay Villas in Kapula. Do you recommend any other supermarkets that may have gluten-free foods besides the health stores?

Thanks again!!

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