*This dining experience took place in December 2016.
Kona Cafe, located at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, is a table service restaurant that has been a long-time favorite for me for both breakfast and lunch. Offering affordable options, I enjoy the Polynesian inspired food and reasonable prices. Plus, they have some of the most best allergy Mickey waffles on property. Kona Cafe also serves dinner, but for some reason, I’m just not as big of a fan of the options at dinner.
On this particular visit, we had lunch at Kona Cafe for my mom’s birthday. It was her pick for a Disney restaurant, and she always loves the lunch options at Kona too.
When we arrived, I checked out the restaurant’s allergy friendly lunch menu which had some new items, including the Loco Moco — a classic Polynesian brunch offering (more on that later). I ended up talking to a chef because I was craving the Island Chicken Sandwich, which has been one of my favorite Kona Cafe lunch choices, but isn’t listed on the allergy friendly menu.
The Island Chicken Sandwich is easy to make gluten free. There are two modifications — serving it on a gluten free bun, in this case Local Oven brand, and removing the crispy fried onions. Otherwise, this dish is pretty easy to enjoy gluten free.
Because I’ve been adding a bit of dairy back into my diet, I did get this sandwich with Swiss Cheese on it (which is normally lactose free for those who are lactose intolerant), but you can easily get it without it. It’s actually the first time I’ve had it on the sandwich, and I will say it was good but didn’t elevate the dish in my opinion, so I might order it without cheese next time.
The sweet potato fries made in a dedicated fryer were as delicious as ever. Usually when I get this sandwich, my favorite component is the curry mango mayonnaise, but the restaurant has changed the recipe. The curry flavor has been reduced and the mango flavor is much more prominent. I wasn’t as big of a fan of this version, but I still thought it was pretty decent.
My stepdad ordered the Loco Moco, a new lunch and breakfast offering. It’s made with a tower of Rice, a grilled Hamburger Patty, House-made Chorizo Gravy, Two Eggs-Any Style, and topped with a Tomato Salsa and is marked gluten free (but not dairy free) on the allergy friendly menu.
My stepdad raved about this dish, especially the chorizo gravy, which he said was a bit spicy and really flavorful. I’m not sure how much dairy is in this dish, but it looked delicious and something I could see myself ordering for brunch.
Overall, we had a great meal at Kona Cafe for lunch. The food options here are solid and there are plenty of gluten free and dairy free options. If I don’t seem something I like on the allergy friendly menu, I always recommend talking to a chef, as the ones at Kona always seem up for modifying dishes to be safe.
Have you been to Kona Cafe? What do you think of the special diets options there?