We had heard from several people and online reviews that Ohana at the Polynesian Resort in Disney World was a must visit, especially for a gluten free diet.
When we made our online reservations we noted that we needed a gluten free meal. When we checked in at the restaurant our reservation ticket printed in big letters “ALLERGY”. We were shown to our table and greeted by our waitress for the evening. She took our drink orders and took notice of the allergy label. She said the chef would be out shortly to visit with us about what would be okay to eat, what substitutions they would make for us and then he gave some further instructions to the waitress about what sauces were ok and not ok to bring. Chef Boone was his name. I have to tell you this is the first time I didn’t feel like a burden in a restaurant because of dietary restrictions. They had already made plans, knew we would be there and wanted to make sure the gluten free dining experience was as fabulous as the regular one.
Very quickly we had our drinks and bread. Yes, I said bread! I never get to eat bread at restaurants it seems so this was a treat. The bread was dense (which is the norm with gluten free) but with the freshly whipped butter provided I managed to make it disappear.
A few minutes later a delicious salad with a special gluten free dressing arrived. It had a fresh mix of greens with a healthy dose of arugula. The salad was fresh, plentiful, and made for a great start to a meal.
Next up was some sticky rice, grilled vegetables, and baked chicken wings. The sticky rice was as to be expected but the grilled vegetables had a wonderful sear from the grill that caramelized some of the natural sugars. Always a connoisseur of chicken wings I dove in and couldn’t believe it. I’m not sure how the wings were sauced (it was light) but they were the best wings I’ve ever had. Ever. And this was just an appetizer. We weren’t even on the main course yet.
The main course consists of meat, meat, and more meat, served to you off of a skewer. The offerings for us, as told by Chef Boone, were all gluten free. The steak, chicken, and shrimp were all brought around multiple times. We had to waive off our waitress after a couple of passes. It was getting to be too much. I felt like the chicken was over salted and the steak was fair. The star was the shrimp and I doubled down on those.
The meal wasn’t over however. Chef Boone wanted to make sure we had everything including dessert. He brought out a sundae of sorts with fresh baked cookies, fresh fruit, ice cream, chocolate syrup and hit it out of the park. The cookies were soft and warm which played nicely with the ice cream. The dessert was barely edged out by the chicken wings as my favorite part of the meal.
For our food reviews we will use what we call the Payne Scale. Scale of 1 to 10, 1 being “Avoid this place” and 10 being “You can’t miss this one!”