One night while walking upon the pedestrian pathway we came across Hadicurari, the restaurant at the pier. Perfectly situated right on the beach and directly outside the Marriott concentration of hotels and timeshares, I longingly envied diners running their toes through the sand while marveling at the incredible Aruban sunset.
I immediately wanted to join them.
I went to find the host and questioned him about gluten free options. Total blank look and then an unfortunate “no.”
But....I could not seem to get that restaurant out of my head.
So one night later on during the vacation, I decided I was willing to give this place a shot even if their allergen knowledge seemed a bit challenged. It was everything I imagined for an island dinner spot. They had to have something we could make work, right?
So, off we went without a reservation.
Unfortunately, there were no more tables available directly located in the sand. I was a bit disappointed my toes would be denied the right to enjoy the beach over dinner but they got us a table on the edge of the covered deck with an unencumbered view of the setting sun over the ocean.
That's good enough for me!
I was half way through sipping my first glass of wine when I noticed a grill situated in the far right corner. Was that woman standing in front wearing an apron?
About seventy percent of the food was being prepared roughly ten paces in front of me on a grill located directly in the sand.
This place just got better!
I inquired. Fish is brought in from boats that dock at the pier directly in front of the restaurant. They then plop it on the grill and add nothing but salt, pepper and garlic.
It was a totally gluten free grill surface!
No specific gluten free menu is available but the grouper, rice and vegetable meal from the kid’s menu was totally gluten free our server assured us. We told her it was not a dietary preference but an actual wheat allergy. She excused herself to double check her facts with the chef. She returned saying the chef confirmed what she said before and we proceeded with the order.
As we waited for our food, the sun went behind the horizon and then a rather loud live band began to play salsa music next door at the MooMba Bar and Grill. Honestly, I wasn’t super excited by this change of pace. It really messed with my total zen vibe because it was practically impossible to ignore.
But...as the band played on, all the tables around us began to embrace the playful island rhythms and tried to find their festive side. Some small children sitting at a table directly on the beach spontaneously got up and started to dance circles in the sand. My mood lightened and I was beginning to enjoy the change in atmosphere.
We lingered a bit after paying our bill to take this island scene in a few moments longer. In the end, everyone was glad we ultimately gave Hadicurari one more shot. It really was a unique family island dining experience that provided a safe meal we could all enjoy.
Kid Allergy – two thumbs up
A highlight in Aruba with one gluten free kid menu option that my child would actually eat.
Mom – two thumbs up
Normally, you go to a place with incredible ambiance where you can run your toes through the sand and the food is overpriced with below average taste. Shockingly, we really enjoyed both the location and the food itself. It was incredibly kid friendly and seemed to cater to people dining with children of all ages. We loved that there was gluten free choice from the kids menu and seeing the seafood prepared right before our eyes was a real treat.
If you want the “table in the sand experience” make sure to secure a dinner reservation in advance. I wouldn't immediately discount sitting at a patio table though as Aruba is windy and we rather enjoyed the shelter the covered patio provided that neither hindered the excellent view of the water nor the sunset.