Updated: Jul 9
Senior year has proven to be more difficult than I anticipated but I survived my second to last finals season. As soon as I drove home from campus, I started packing my suitcase for my afternoon flight the following day.
(It was my first time flying, I was very excited.)
I flew to Florida to visit my aunts who live near the Lake Worth area. The only plans we had were baking dozens of cookies, watching Hallmark movies, and shopping. After the amount of stress I had endured, I was ready for relaxation (and puppy cuddles too).
(Who wouldn't want to cuddle with this cutie?)
We decided on the cookie recipes days in advance, knocked out a Christmas movie the night I arrived, and narrowed our shopping day down to two malls. What was there left to do?
Find local restaurants to eat at! One of my aunts raved about a street food restaurant with amazing macaroni and cheese bowls. As a mac and cheese enthusiast, I couldn't refuse the opportunity! We checked allergyeats.com to scout out our options, and decided to give Lilo's Street food Bar and Grill a try!
The downtown area surrounding Lilo's and other restaurants was bright and welcoming. All the buildings were painted with bold colors, and many customers chose to sit outside--one couple sat with their dog beneath a table at Lilo's.
We approached the waiter, still unsure if it was safe for me to eat there, and as always, had a backup plan in mind. Was it safe for someone with peanut/tree-nut allergies to eat here? He said it depended on what I ordered. I told him I wanted one of the mac and cheese bowls and he said I should be safe, depending on what I wanted to put in it.
Build-your-own mac and cheese bowls are pretty self-explanatory: the mac and cheese acts as the base, and you have over a dozen add-in options. I wanted grilled chicken and broccoli in mine (trust me it's a good combination). I double-checked that the chicken would be safe since some restaurants use peanut oil for their grilled protein--I never understood why this is the case but it is.
I was in luck. First, they try to keep your food away from your allergies and two, they happened to be cutting up chicken in the back as I ordered my meal. About fifteen or so minutes later, the waiter set this down in front of me.
For the first time in my life, I met a bowl of mac and cheese I couldn't defeat. (I had to bring half of it home in a to-go box.) When I say that is the best mac and cheese I have ever had, I'm very serious. The macaroni "noodles" were like bowls, filled with the warmest, cheesiest goodness that has ever touched my taste buds. The grilled chicken was perfect (not too dry) and the broccoli was cooked exactly how I liked it.
(Here is a size comparison to me and the bowl...er mountain of mac and cheese.)
I ate the leftovers for dinner that night, and it tasted just as amazing re-heated.
This is one of those lucky times where restaurant staff understood, and tried to cater to my allergies. These are the moments when I am most thankful: to them, for trying to understand, and for them going the extra mile to ensure I'll be safe with the food I order.
Hopefully I can return to Lake Worth soon, to visit my aunts and to return to Lilo's for another epic bowl of macaroni and cheese.
Here's the link to their online menu! Don't be afraid to call if you have any further questions.
Lilo's Street Food Bar and Grill: https://www.lilosstreetfoodandbar.com/