Gluten Free Mitzvahs

During  spring break my family traveled to Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. Over the past few months, I have found many products that work for my sons multiple food allergies.  I was worried though about how I would find any of the gluten free, dairy free, egg free products to make meals for our family while we were in Hawaii. The local Safeway didn’t have many of the soy, coconut, goat options and it was a few days until I found the Down to Earth supermarket chain that had all the familiar brands.

We planned a family outing to the Monoa Falls Trail, Na Ala Hele, a well known family friendly hiking trail. When I mentioned  to the concierge that morning where we were headed, he promptly told us we had to eat at the Tree Tops Restaurant when we were finished with the trail. He mentioned that he lived in that valley and this was one of his favorite restaurants,  famous for their Chinese buffet.

The hike was very, very muddy. In fact, our shoes were completely covered in mud as well as splashes of mud all over our pants and legs. At the end of the hike, we were all so hungry and tired and knew we should eat, so we entered the restaurant in our disheveled state. The owner graciously welcomed us, even in our condition. After explaining my son’s food allergies, he walked us through the buffet and showed us exactly which items he could eat. My son found the chicken and beef to be very tasty and he ate several pieces.  One gelatinous mango custard dessert had no dairy or eggs and he ate his share of that as well. We were all stuffed after lunch and thanked the owner. The owner said “No charge for your son,  his choices so limited”. When I told my son as we were leaving the restaurant that he hadn’t charged me for his meal, my son was flabbergasted because he’d eaten so much. He wanted to go back and say thank you! The owner was surprised to see us again and bowed at my son’s graciousness.

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