Gluten Free Traveling: part 1 Honolulu, Hawaii

We arrived in Honolulu late at night, so all we thought of was bed. We stayed at a hotel just east of the airport, west of Waikiki called the Ala Moana, which we discovered was a gigantic mall. The hotel was within the complex of it. That morning we headed down to the casual restaurant with in it, and was able to cobble together a breakfast for my daughter from the buffet they had. It was fairly GF friendly, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, and blessedly…..rice. I’ve never seen just plain steamed rice on a buffet, let alone a breakfast buffet, but there it was. You see, we all take toast, bagels, muffins, granola for granted. Protein is excellent, but when traveling and walking and touring, a bit of carbs can help keep you going. (yes, I know there are those who disagree, I am all about moderation)

Then it was off to pearl harbor, which we had allowed the time and day to see. It is a must for anything traveling through the islands. The history there is critical for those younger than I to hear and see, and appreciate the blessings of peace they have been living in. As I’ve said, I’m from the West Coast and while not old, also not of a young age. I remember distinctly in my young years having a cautious eye for the Japanese, and not having that total freedom of fear that maybe my husband has growing up in the middle of the country. You see, as a west coast native, we had been attacked. Maybe not on the mainland proper, but in our parents eyes, we had been attacked non-the-less. My father grew up having to have the drapes drawn at night, very few lights lit….because of the danger of the japanese patrol boats off the coast of the Peugeot Sound seeing the lights and fixing a target. It was a different time, and blessedly, ,my children did not grow up ducking under desks and having to live with thick blankets on the windows. 

Pearl Harbor is a challenge for those who are GF, but I would HIGHLY recommend the tour of the Battleship Missouri (“Mighty Mo”) and while over there, hit the Aeronautics museum. There are extremely cool planes to see, and the video they show is something every American should be watching in school. While there, visit the little cafe they have. If it is your first stop in the islands, it will familiarize you with Kalua Pork. (see previous post)  Kalua Pork is safe for those who are Gluten Intolerant. I’ve never seen it made with anything wheat or with soy. (double check, always double check) 

You can pick up a nice wad of Kalua pork (sans the bun) and a beverage. The hot dogs are all beef also. (check when you go) They also had a nice chicken salad with a caesar dressing that was also wheat free. I didn’t find anything else even suitable to eat for my daughter while there. A trick is to pack a few things from the mainland. We had fruit snacks, Glutino yogurt pretzels and bagel chips we brought with. Those are fine for airport security and great to pack in your purse while traveling. We have come to just not expect that there will be food or snacks available, so we always pack something no matter what. 

We only had until 4pm on Oahu, and so back to the hotel we raced after seeing the Mighty Mo, the aeronautics museum, and the Arizona. (I won’t complain about the lack of respect and poor behavior I experienced at the Arizona and generally at Pearl Harbor, but afterwards I no longer have a lot of hope for America’s soul after seeing some atrocious behavior there) We needed to grab a bite to eat before we got on the local puddle hopper to Maui, but where? We were cranky, tired, hot, and plainly worn out from a long flight, short night and the time change. While I have traveled, my family has not. Needless to say, some grumbling ensued. 

Hubby and oldest offspring had decided fish, japanese preferably. At the hotel where our luggage was being stored, they recommended a place, but finding it was troublesome at best. After wading through a wedding party of asians that I swear was strolling down the halls of the complex at 300+ strong, we stumbled upon an asian place that I INSISTED we check out. (At this point I was becoming tired and a bit cranky, so forgive me) 

What a gem! YuZu was its name:  It featured organic gluten free soy in most it dishes and my daughter scarfed up teriyaki sticks, california rolls and other delights. For me, the Yuzu Mojito was KILLER TO DIE FOR! If you are in Honolulu, and are looking for a place to nosh on yummy asian bites, without having to worry about gluten laden soy, this is the place for you. I am including the link (I don’t yet know how to hyper link, sorry, I’m a work in progress) so hopefully it works and you can click and check out the menu. Go visit it. Places like this need to be supported, so that families like mine can find places to eat while traveling! If you are looking for a ‘travel’ review….the bathroom was spotless, the decor minimal but lovely, and it was clean. The tempura avocado is a must try as well as the aforementioned mojito. 

That wraps up our very brief time in Honolulu and how we managed with a GF traveler. 

(part 2, Maui, soon to come)

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