Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill

My brother held his rehearsal dinner at Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill.

First off, they get huge props for being easy to work with.  Our original choice had been Huggo's, but we dropped them after experiencing a number of problems, including their $2000 food and drink minimum.  For 18 people (three of whom are children), that seemed pretty excessive.

Enter Jackie Rey's.  They didn't require ANY minimum, didn't require a deposit, and were super accommodating.  They don't have Huggo's spectacular view of the water, but they were clearly the better choice in so many other ways.

Sandy ordered the chicken and mushroom risotto.  They had to prepare it without the Portobello Fries that normally accompany it, but it was otherwise gluten free without further modification.  It was spectacular.  I'm always a big fan of risotto.  I'm not always a big fan a mushrooms, but the mushrooms didn't overpower the taste, and there were no big slimy pieces that you sometimes get in mushroom dishes. The rice was flavorful and fluffy and the veggies were perfectly cooked.

Wild Mushroom Risotto with Chicken

Cathy ordered Scallops with Coconut Yams, which came with some green beans.  For dessert she had the gelato.  James had the New York Strip without the demi-sauce, which contains gluten.

Several of the guests in attendance declared Jackie Rey's the best restaurant meal they had while in Kona.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bianelli's Pizza

We had a long day of travel on Friday and had 5 cranky children with us at the rental house in Kona, so we decided that pizza was in order. Mark and I drove down to Bianelli's Pizza in Keauhou and put in a carry-out order. While our pizza's baked, we went next door to the KTA and did some grocery shopping. Bianelli's smells amazing. I just wanted to stand there in the restaurant sniffing the air. Mmmmmm..... The non-gluten eaters assure me that the pizza didn't disappoint, however, the gluten free pizza was lackluster. I ordered two pizzas -- one with pesto sauce and chicken; the other with regular sauce and canadian bacon. The pesto one was inedible -- the sauce was too dry and salty. The regular sauce was pretty good and the crust, while super thin, was tasty and had a nice crunch. It was a good solution for the cranky kid problem, but we probably won't order pizza again on this trip. Sandy

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fish Hopper

We are in beautiful Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii for my youngest brother's wedding. We are staying in a rented house, with a full kitchen, which makes it easier for us to eat gluten free. We have had decent luck with the grocery stores. We went to the KTA in Keauhou and picked up staples, including Corn Chex and gluten free bread. (I prefer Udi's, but they had Rudi's Gluten Free bread and it was refrigerated not frozen, so we were able to eat it right away.  That was a plus.) We also ran over to Target in Kailua-Kona for a new swimsuit and found a gluten free pancake mix (Maple Valley Farms). Eventually we made it to Island Naturals, a natural food grocery store, which did have Udi's and a number of other GF staples, but also had some pretty outrageous prices ($7 for a dozen eggs!?!)

For lunch we headed to The Fish Hopper by the cruise ship pier. They advertised a gluten free menu, so it was on our list of places to try. They did have a printed GF menu, which was great. It had a lot on it, which was great, but some of them were things like "terriyaki chicken -- no teriyaki sauce." Hmmmm....
"Filet Mignon" at the Fish Hopper

My brother James was with me, and he is currently on a GF trial diet. James is already a picky eater, so adding GF to his requirements makes it REALLY hard for him to find food he can eat. The Fish Hopper menu looked pretty good to him though. I suggested the herb-crusted sword-fish, but he decided to go with the filet mingon. The steak he got was tasty, but it would be a large stretch of the imagination to call it a filet mignon. It was also a tad over-cooked.  Nevertheless, it was good, and so were the garlic mashed potatoes that went with it.

Grilled Chicken with Citrus-Lemon sauce and Molokai Potatoes
  I ordered a grilled chicken breast with citrus-lemon sauce with the Molokai potatoes (mashed purple potatoes). The presentation was beautiful -- the chicken on top of mounds of purple mashed potatoes, topped with some steamed spinach -- gorgeous. The chicken was great. The potatoes were interesting. They tasted kind of like a sweet potato. I'd probably get the garlic mashed potatoes if I went back, but it was fun to try the purple potatoes. All in all, it was a successful meal.