Dining Gluten-free at Kona Cafe at the Disney Polynesian Resort
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Mar 22 2011

Dining Gluten-free at Kona Cafe at the Disney Polynesian Resort

On our second night at Walt Disney World we had dinner at the Polynesian resort.  When I was younger my family would always stay here, so I have many happy memories and wanted to be sure we did not miss out on this South Pacific-themed experience.  There are a few eating options at the Polynesian which include the Kona Cafe, Ohana, which is family style, and a Luau dinner show. Being that that my husband is a pescatarian and with my gluten-free needs, the Kona Cafe seemed to be the safest choice.  While the idea of a Luau seemed fun, I knew it would be more stressful for me worrying about cross-contamination, plus the menu was very meat-centric.

As opposed to the previous night where we dined at Kouzzina, we made our reservation early and arrived at the restaurant on time for our 5:00 reservation.  Similar to the night before, our reservation was already noted with an alert for my gluten-free requirement and as soon as the server came to our table, he told us he would send the chef over after he finished speaking to another table who also had dietary food restrictions.  And sure enough, the chef arrived in minutes, and told me he would have gluten-free rolls brought right out to the table and that the honey butter that is normally served with the Hawaiian bread is gluten-free.  I would have loved to be able to have the Hawaiian bread, but just being able to have some kind of bread, and not have to sit and watch my dining companions eat bread without me was a pretty big bonus.  He patiently went over what was safe for me to eat.  He basically asked what I wanted and said with minor adjustments most of the menu items could be made gluten-free, or already were sage as is. Like with Kouzzina, the rolls were made by Ener-G and warmed.  Actually, I was getting the impression that Ener-G rolls were served everywhere in Disney, as I also had them for lunch at a quick service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.

I ordered the sustainable fish (which was Mahi Mahi) served with with tostones (plantains), vegetable salad, and macadamia nut beurre blanc sauce which was gluten-free as is.  The fish was extremely flavorful, especially the sauce. For dessert, I was told the Kilauea torte, a volcano chocolate cake, and the banana chocolate creme brulée were both gluten-free, we decided to go with the Kilauea torte.  My husband and I shared the dessert and could easily of licked the plate and eaten two, it was delicious and a great way to end a pleasurable meal.

For more reviews on Disney see my introduction to gluten-free eating at Disney World,  my review onKouzzina by Cat Cora, Disney’s quick service gluten-free options, dinner at Epcot’s Restaurant Marrakesh, our character breakfast at the 1900 Park Faire at the Grand Floridian, and my review of BabyCakesNYC at Downtown Disney.

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Anne is a self-proclaimed foodie who loves eating out as much as cooking for friends. Since being diagnosed with celiac, she has been determined to not let it put a damper on her food adventures, and to raise awareness among the general public. Anne recently moved from Chicago to Atlanta and is enjoying exploring the gluten-free wonders in her new city. Follow Anne on Twitter and Google+!

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