I just returned from a wonderful vacation on Kauai, the northern-most of the Hawaiian Islands. There is a Costco store near the airport at Lihue, so we stocked up on gluten free essentials and I enjoyed a wonderful fruit salad at the outdoor snack bar. There is also a WalMart in Lihue, but it did not have a grocery section.
We visited Sweet Marie’s, a celiac bakery in the town of Kapaa, and the only dedicated-gluten- free-anything that I discovered in the research I did before the trip. Awesome food! We had muffins on our first visit and coffee cake during our trip back to the airport. We had pre-ordered muffins, which Marie had frozen and packaged for our return trip to the mainland. Gluten free baked goods are best eaten fresh-from-the-oven, but these muffins were the best airplane snacks we had ever tasted. We were joined by "The Celiac Chics" for both our meals. I’m not talking about the owners of the gluten free blog by that name, but by three chickens whose ancestors escaped into the wild years ago when cock fighting was a major pastime. You’ll see and hear hundreds of these chickens while you are on Kauaii and will probably appreciate this bit of Hawaiian trivia.
At Marie’s suggestion, we had dinner at Verde’s in Kapaa. Their stacked enchilada is great! This restaurant is two stop-lights north of Marie’s on the opposite side of the road. The address is 4-1101Kuhio Road.
By the time we left Verde’s, I had used up all specific information I had acquired in advance about gluten free Kauai. This turned out to be no problem because of the abundance and quality of the naturally gluten free food. For example: Be sure to visit the Fern Grotto. You’ll begin your adventure with a cruise on the Wailua River. You’ll remember cruising down that river in The African Queen and/or the first three Indiana Jones films. The Grotto is gorgeous and hosts thousands of destination-weddings every year. You’ll be treated by hula dancers and the grotto and on the ship as you return to the coast. Finally, visit the restaurant where you will enjoy a delicious pineapple boat dinner salad and begin to appreciate how easy it is to find a great gluten free meal on Kauai. This island’s cuisine is built around fish, fruit, and vegetables.
Click here to read my article on the state of Hawaii.