Maui Travel Guide: Part 2

Are you thinking of traveling to Maui? If the answer to that question is yes, than you’re in the right place. This post will be the last of my Hawaiian honeymoon travel guide and recap. We started our trip on Oahu and ended in Maui. Although Hawaiian honeymoons sound a bit cliche at the start, I assure you that ours did not feel that way and was nothing short of amazing. We ended our trip at the Andaz Hotel for a few days of pure relaxation.

After leaving Paia, we headed to Wailea where we stayed at the Andaz Hotel. From the moment we arrived on the resort rounds, we were amazed. The hospitality of the staff at the Andaz was top notch. The resort provides free shuttle service {most of which are luxury SUVs} to all guests traveling in the Wailea area. Although we rented a car, we did not need it while in Wailea thanks to this service. When we were ready for dinner, we walked outside the lobby and told the bell hops which restaurant we were going to. After a short wait, we would be driven to dinner. When we were ready to be picked up, we just called the bell hops and they came to get us. It was really such a wonderful service! The men working during our stay were terrific. All the staff was very friendly and provides tons of restaurant recommendations. Although we did not sign-up for any tours while in Wailea, the hotel does provide tour guide services for its guests as well.

The grounds of the Andaz are beautiful! The main lobby overlooks the beach and a three tiered deck each featuring an infinity edge pool. Around the corner, guests can find an adult-only pool in close proximity to the spa. We spent most of our time at this pool partly because it was closer to our room. Throughout the all pool areas the Andaz provided towel carts for fresh towels throughout the day. On these carts they also offered a variety of complementary flavored ice water {lemon, cucumber, mint, cantaloupe and strawberry, just to name a few} and Sun Bum SPF. In the afternoon, Andaz staff would walk around the pools offering a complementary refreshing treat such as a mochi or and ice pop. All of these small touches really made our stay feel extra special.

I booked our stay at the Andaz directly through their website because it a better price than through third party sites. I was really happy I was able to get us an ocean view room. When we were escorted to our room, the hallways reminded us of the 90s show Legends of the Hidden Temple. The room was spacious, included a balcony, modern furnishings and a spacious bathroom. The bathroom included a large rain shower with a window that actually allowed you to overlook the room and balcony. Any drinks or snacks in the bar area were also complementary and were replenished daily. My favorite touch may have been the speciality Maui Lays’ chips. During our stay we also order lunch and snacks poolside. The bar menu had a decent amount of GF options, but as with everything in Hawaii, the poolside menus were very pricey.

For breakfast and snacks we went to the Mokapu Market on the grounds of the Andaz. I was overly happy when we realized the market had a gluten-free section including homemade baked goods and our favorite GF pretzels. We would grab breakfast, coffee and head to the adult pool early or take it back up to our room to be enjoyed on the balcony. I love having a balcony with a great view on vacation. I think it’s so relaxing.

My husband made us a reservation at Monkey Pod based on a recommendation he caught by an ESPN news anchor; Monkey Pod is known for its Mai Tais! While we were on Oahu I tried a Mai Tai, but it definitely was not something I would order again. That being said, I am not much of a liquor drinker. My experience was a totally different story at Monkey Pod. Their Mai Tais were delicious! As I type this, I am wondering why we haven’t tried to recreate these at home. Fortunately, the food at this restaurant was as good as the drinks. I had no problem finding a gluten-free options and I went with the Organic Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi. Our server was super knowledgeable and able to steer me in the right direction. I highly recommend adding MP to your list of ‘musts’ while visiting Maui.

Monkey Pod Mai Tai

On our last night in Maui, we went to Matteo’s for another memorable evening. Many of the staff at Andaz recommended Matteos as the best Italian food in the area. We were totally on board when we looked through the menu and saw plenty of gluten-free options. For starters, we shared gluten-free turkey meatballs in red sauce with a side of fresh garlic bread. Naturally, I ordered a second round of bread (#twoplease). I tend to over analyze my dinner selections. My husband will vouch for me when I say, I am not always good at ordering food for dinner, but at Matteo’s my choice was a winner. I had the Fettuccine {sub GF penne} Frutti di Mare. For me personally, seafood dishes can be a real hit or miss, but this one was a home run my friends. Matteo’s is another restaurant I highly recommend while on your visit to Maui.

We also had dinner at Gannon’s in Wailea. It is known for its view and atmosphere. We caught the tail end of happy hour and got to chatting with a local semi-retired couple. These types of encounters are always our favorite. They were originally from California and decided to move to Maui after making frequent visits. The husband’s name was also Mike and he was a physical therapist. I cannot remember the wife’s name, but she was the cutest and a bit of a Jane Fonda look alike. They were so sweet. Talking with them at the bar was the highlight of the night. As for our meal, I can’t say either of us were blown away, buy Gannon’s got brownie points in my book for having my favorite Prosecco, La Marca.

Waikiki Travel Guide Part 2 | Gluten-Free

Welcome back! In this blog I will continue to share our honeymoon to Hawaii along with all my gluten-free finds. If this is your first time here, welcome! Red Rose and Honey is a place where readers can find easy to follow gluten-free recipes and travel recommendations, along with other tidbits of my life, like wedding planning and our goldendoodle. Also, be sure to check out my previous blog posts on Hawaii {here and here}.

As I mentioned previous posts, we loved our trip to Hawaii. We felt like we were transported through time to a magical island. The weather was great and we enjoyed every second. There were plenty of gluten-free options in the areas we stayed, but not many of them were advertised on websites or online menus. Hopefully this post helps those of you looking for gluten-free while you plan a Hawaii trip!

When we go on vacation, we try to keep breakfast simple most days. If possible, we will stock up on milk, cereal and bananas if our room has a mini fridge. But, of course that can get a little dull and this was our honeymoon, so we were on the hunt for a good breakfast spot. A few of the mornings we spent in the Honolulu area we went to 24/7 Mac. It is located in the Hilton Hotel. They have a lot of gluten-free options including pancakes and english muffins. I tried their eggs, an english muffin and mochi pancakes. I recommend opting for the half stack of mochi pancakes because they’re huge and super filling!

Tiki’s Grill in Waikiki was a great casual and family friendly restaurant. It is on the larger side, so it can accommodate large groups and strollers. We chose to check out this restaurant for dinner because of the gluten-free menu options and view of Waikiki Beach. Anytime I can dine in a good outdoor seating venue, I’m in! As for the menu itself, not all choices can be prepared gluten-free, but I still felt there were plenty of options to choose from. I went with ribs, but was careful to ask about the side of fries. The fries are not gluten-free as they are cross-contaminated in the fryer. I have to give bonus points for Tiki’s because they offered my favorite prosecco, LaMarca. While we were waiting for our table we saw an actor from Breaking Bad, which quickly became a fun memory from this trip.

For my birthday dinner we made a reservation at the Tommy Bahama Restaurant. It has great rooftop seating with fire pits and a view of Kalakaua Avenue. This was probably one of my favorite meals of the entire trip. Tommy Bahama even offers a separate gluten-free menu. The staff was very aware of gluten-free options and they are able to change some of the meals to make them gluten-free. We started with {the best} guacamole and salsa. Instead of chips, it came with sliced cucumbers. I’m not kidding when I say that this was seriously the best guacamole I’ve ever had. For dinner I went with filet mignon and a mojito – my vacation drink of choice.

Check back soon for Part 3 and all about our time on Maui!

Chorizo Breakfast Skillet | Inspired by The Vig Chicago

Earlier this year I visited family in Chicago. I was so happy to finally make it out there to spend some time with them and check out the place they currently call home. The trip was extra special because I met their sweet baby girl for the first time. One restaurant we went to for lunch was The Vig.  You can read my review of their restaurant on their press page {ahh – so cool!}. The restaurant is on the large side with makes it a great choice for special occasions. On the day we were there, I noticed a few groups celebrating birthdays and bachelorette parties. I ordered the mini chorizo breakfast skillet with potatoes, a fried egg, pico and a habanero sauce. IT WAS AWESOME. Since this trip, I have been thinking about this dish on repeat. A few weeks ago I finally pulled the trigger and bought the ingredients. I think my remake was just as good as the original. I whipped up this skillet for a special breakfast when one of our friends from college visited for a weekend.

I think what really appealed to be about this dish was that the sausage was crumbled. It was packed with flavor and I got a taste of spicy sausage with every bite. My local grocery store {btw I actually call it the food store} didn’t have fresh chorizo sausage, so I opted for organic pre-cooked chicken chorizo breakfast sausage. Full disclosure, I did not realize it was pre-cooked until I got home.

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I cut mini potatoes into quarters and seasoned them with olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. I love well salted, crisp baked potatoes that you can just pop in your mouth. The potatoes baked at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. I warmed up the sausage in the skillet then diced it into very small pieces. Next, I returned the sausage to the skillet to try to get it a bit crisp while the potatoes continued baking. Once the potatoes and sausage were done, I combined them in the skillet and mixed well.

Next, up – the eggs! I cracked five organic eggs over the top of the potato-chorizo mixture and placed a lid over the top to cook them through. I love breakfast food; especially perfectly cooked eggs with a thick runny yolk.

To finish up the dish,  garnished it with fresh pico, green onions and put a bottle of Chulula’s on the table. I totally forgot about he habanero sauce, but this dish turned out delicious without it.

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