Monday, June 27, 2011

Gluten Free in Oahu

Our 45 person family reunion in Hawaii continues...

Pearl Harbor Day

As I mentioned previously, it's somewhat difficult to find a place to eat in Oahu that can seat a party of 45, is affordable, and can accomodate gluten free, but The Schooner restaurant near Pearl Harbor fit the bill.  For $15 a person we had a choice of four lunch items plus soda.  None of the preset entrees were gluten free, but they promised to make a gluten free alternative for me and Mom.

My feelings about the Schooner are mixed.

1) Inexpensive
2) Beautiful view
3) Very convenient location right next to Pearl Harbor
4) Food was very tasty
5) They did feed us our gluten free meals

1) I am happy with the meal I got, but I wish they had been a little more upfront about what they could and couldn't provide.  When I made the reservation, I was promised the moon... whatever you want, we'll make it for you, send us a recipe if you want, etc.  All I really wanted was a gluten free version of two of the entrees that everyone else was getting.  The only thing that would have been required to make that happen was a gluten free bun and gluten free soy sauce.  When we got close (about a month out) I reminded them of our request and they hemmed and hawed.  I said I could mail the soysauce and hamburger buns to them.  They said they couldn't do that but they would look into buying it.  When I inquired again, a week prior to our reservation, they said they couldn't get the buns and sauce, but they could offer prepare a gluten free version of the salad with fish (one of the entree choices for everyone else in our group) or make a stir fry of chicken and veggies in olive oil.  Mom and I had one of each and they were very good.  If we'd been offered that in the first place, I would have counted it as a win, but the failure to deliver on the promise soured the experience. 
2) The waitstaff was woefully underprepared for us.  They had one poor girl out there trying desperately to get all the drink orders and bring people's food to the table.  Mind you, we pre-ordered our meals and they were already being plated when we arrived, but there was just no way she could keep up.  People who got their entrees first were often finished eating before their drinks arrived.  My husband was one of the last to be fed.  It was nearly time to leave and at least three-fourths of our party had already finished eating.

I would eat there again, if I were dining in a small group, but I can't recommend them for a catered group as they either don't have the staff or don't have the experience to know how to staff for events. 


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