The Smith Family Garden Luau and Our Gluten Free Feast

To celebrate our 15th anniversary this year, we booked a trip to one of my favorite places on the planet, Kauai.  We were traveling with my sister, her hubby, and their son.  For our anniversary, they took us to the Smith Family Garden Luau in Kapaa.  The family owned business is run by four generations of the Smith family, and while the luau accommodates a couple hundred people, it still feels very intimate and family oriented.  You want to get their early to catch a ride on their tram.  Once aboard, they give you a tour of their beautiful, expansive gardens.

After a relaxing drive through the gardens, it was time for the imu ceremony.  This is when they dig up the kalua pig that has cooked in the ground all day.

Then it was off to the dining room where mai tais and fruit punch were plentiful.  We enjoyed Hawaiian music played by the Smith family while everyone found their table, and started to get settled in for the huge feast we were about to enjoy.  I had emailed the Luau ahead of time to let them know we had celiac’s and to ask about the gluten free options.  They did not disappoint!!  Before dinner started, one of the hostesses came and got me and walked me through the large buffet to tell me what was gluten free, and what was not.  As we all know, cross contamination in a buffet can be kind of nerve-wracking, but once again the Smith Family Luau went above and beyond.  They invited my girls and I to go through the line as the first guests.  That was so unbelievably generous of them!!  We piled our plates high because we knew we wouldn’t go back through the line.  As we dug into our incredible meal, the waiters brought us each a plate piled with roasted chicken, mahi mahi, and rice.  There was no way we would ever have been able to eat that much food, but they wanted to make sure we had enough to eat.  They definitely made these gluten free girls happy!!


This was before I started my blog, so I have no pictures of the ginormous amount of food we had in front of us.  But trust me, it was A LOT!!  We definitely felt a bit of guilt that we would be wasting such good food.  In fact, my youngest daughter, Melia, was overcome by the guilt and had to take a moment to cry softly on my lap because she knew she couldn’t eat that much.  If we ever get to go to this luau again, I will definitely mention that we don’t need an extra plate of food.  The buffet is enough.  But, I have so much appreciation for the Smith Family, and their generosity and understanding they showed toward helping us be able to enjoy the feast.  It blew my mind….and filled our bellies!!

Once we were pleasantly stuffed, we strolled down to the outdoor auditorium where they have the luau show.  I have never been to a luau before that had the show in a separate area, but I really liked it.  Not only did they tell the story of the people of Samoa, New Zealand, and Tahiti, like most luaus;  but they also included the people of China and Japan.  I have never been to a luau that had that before, but it completely makes sense as there is a large population of Asians in Hawaii.  It was a really good show!!  Plus, the erupting volcano was pretty awesome as well.  The kids loved it.  The grownups loved it.  And we all left stuffed and happy.

So if you are ever on the beautiful island of Kauai, I highly recommend this luau to my fellow Celiac’s!!

Happy Travels!!



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