Sunday, September 8, 2013

Kona Cafe Breakfast - Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Yesterday, we visited Kona Cafe at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort for breakfast for the first time.  It came highly recommended from my friend Sarah over at Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW.  They also have some signature breakfast dishes that I really wanted to try.

I love the ambiance of the Polynesian and Kona Cafe.  Being there brings back memories from my childhood.  Before my parents became Disney Vacation Club members, we stayed at the Polynesian many times.  It's on the Magic Kingdom monorail line, plus you can easily walk to the Transportation & Ticket Center to catch a monorail to Epcot.  

I had no trouble making reservations for Kona Cafe the day before we went.  Keep in mind, it is September, and the summer crowds are gone.  It might not be this easy at other times of the year. 

When the chef came to visit our table, he asked what I would like to eat.  I told him that I was interested in the Tonga Toast or the Macadamia-Pineapple Pancakes.  Tonga Toast was my first choice after seeing a video of how it is made.  It is banana-stuffed sour bread French toast that is fried, then rolled in cinnamon sugar, and served with a strawberry compote and choice of ham, bacon, or sausage.  My husband and kids loved it!  Because it is not available in a gluten free version, I ordered the Macadamia-Pineapple Pancakes.  They were good, and huge!  I forced myself to eat a little more than half of them.  I was so full, I didn't have to eat again until dinner.  

After breakfast at Kona Cafe, we headed over to the Magic Kingdom.  By Labor Day weekend, the summer crowds are gone, and the fall decorations are up. 

We quickly got on all of our favorite rides, and took some fun pictures.  I made my twins pose with the Haunted Mansion twins.  I asked for a frownie face, which wasn't too hard, because they were getting a little sick of all the pictures by that point!  :-)

August 17, 2014 Update

We returned to Kona Cafe a second time for breakfast a couple of months ago, because I had heard that a gluten free version of the Tonga Toast was now available.  Sadly, Chef Josh informed me that he was no longer allowed to make it.  He did tell me though, his technique for making gluten free Tonga Toast.  He sliced GNI gluten free rolls in half after cutting a small slice off the top and bottom to make them flatter.  Chef Josh then dipped them in a mixture of egg, milk, cinnamon, and sugar.  He cooked the bread in a frying pan, then cooked sliced bananas in the same pan, before stuffing them in the GNI bun.  On our second visit, I ordered gluten free Mickey Waffles, which I had with butter and syrup, but Chef Josh told me that he can top them with a pineapple mixture when I spoke to him at lunch yesterday.  I think they would be great with the macadamia nut honey butter I had on my GNI rolls at Kona when we ate there for dinner.  

Kona Cafe would not be my first choice at Disney for breakfast, but I hope to give it a try again soon.  I have had great meals at Kona for lunch and dinner, but I prefer to eat at Boma, Trattoria al Forno, or Sassagoula for breakfast.  

January 16, 2015 Update 

Earlier this week, I had breakfast at Kona Cafe with Melissa, one of my former students from Pittsburgh.  

Since the gluten free breakfast menu was introduced last fall, I have wanted to try The Samoan, which is described as two poached eggs atop smoked pulled pork hash, and finished with hollandaise sauce.  Since the original version of this dish comes with bread, I asked the chef if I could have some Udi's toast, which was not available.  I was told that I could have a roll instead, but I really wanted to try a gluten free Stitch waffle, which I heard about from my friend Sarah from Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW.

The chef was happy to make me a Stitch waffle, but about 5 minutes later he came out with bad news.  The Stitch waffle maker had been contaminated, so he would have to make me a gluten free Mickey waffle instead.  I was sad to not have a Stitch waffle, but the Mickey waffle I received was the highlight of my breakfast.  It was super crispy, just like I like them.  

The pulled pork hash in The Samoan had way too many onions for me to enjoy it, and they had a strong taste, probably because they were undercooked.  There was something else in the dish that I found a little off-putting, because it had a slight vinegary taste.  It might have been the hollandaise, or it could have been the pork hash itself.  I found myself wishing I had ordered the steak and eggs.  Maybe next time!

The gluten free breakfast menu for Kona Cafe lists the following options:

  • Steak and Eggs - char-grilled New York strip served with 2 eggs and home-fried potatoes
  • Ham and cheese omelet with home-fried potatoes
  • Egg white omelet with roasted peppers and goat cheese
  • Fruit plate - fresh fruit served in a half pineapple
  • Two eggs, any style, with home-fried potatoes and your choice of sausage, bacon, or ham
  • Pancake with your choice of ham, bacon, or sausage
  • Mickey waffles with choice of ham, sausage, or bacon
  • The Samoan - two poached eggs atop smoked pulled pork hash, finished with hollandaise sauce
  • Bacon
  • Ham
  • Pork sausage
  • Oatmeal (be sure to ask if they are using certified gluten free oats)
  • Creamy grits
  • Fresh fruit cup
Kid's Meals 
  • Scrambled eggs with broccoli, tomatoes, and breakfast potatoes, served with fruit salad and yogurt
  • Oatmeal and dried cranberries served with turkey bacon and fruit salad (be sure to ask if they are using certified gluten free oats)
  • Mickey-shaped waffle or pancake with a side of bacon, sausage or fruit

July 30, 2015 Update

Kona recently adopted a new allergy-friendly breakfast menu that lists gluten/wheat friendly options.   I updated my list above to reflect the gluten free options on their current menu.  

You can view Kona Cafe's menus, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.  

What are your favorite gluten free breakfast dishes at Kona Cafe?  


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