Disclosure: I was not paid for this review nor given anything gratis. All meals were paid for by DairyFreeGina. Opinions are my own.
Trails End Restaurant is located in the Fort Wilderness Area of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The popular restaurant offers a down home style, comfort food, American barbecue buffet. It’s great for families and casual dining.
Generally I avoid buffets because it is hard to eat at a buffet when you have a food allergy and also because, let’s face it, when you eat at a buffet you just eat way too much. But I do trust Disney buffets and for a long time I’ve heard such great things about Trails End and it’s Chef TJ who will cook a vegan meal for guests requesting it. And what a meal it was!
My husband ordered the regular buffet which is filled with traditional barbecue and down home cooking fare such as fried chicken, ribs, mac and cheese, chili, baked beans, assorted salads and sweet treats .
Chef TJ cooked a vegan, allergy-friendly buffet for me, all served in courses. My first course was simple but delicious: potato wedges in barbecue sauce . Look at this Russet potato rubbed with salt and pepper, pan fried to a crisp, then drenched in barbecue sauce!
My second course; a beet and spinach salad with a balsamic glaze. Really refreshing, light, and delicious. Next time I would ask for the dressing on the side as I don’t generally like a lot of dressing.
The third course again was something simple but so delicious: corn on the cob encrusted in salt and pepper and roasted with a sweet and sour style sauce. I would love to serve this at summer parties because it’s simple and would be easy to make .
Next Chef TJ came out with amazing nachos ! TJ is known for his homemade vegan cheese sauce which was poured over the nachos with caramelized onions and jalapeno peppers. This was definitely one of my favorite dishes. We asked if the sauce was nut base and TJ said no, however he would not give up his secret cheese sauce recipe even when we guessed items that he might have used to make it!
TJ also served a smoked tomato and watermelon salad. It a came out in an unusual serving dish covered with a dome. Once the dome was removed smoke and actual heat was released, just like magic, yet the salad was completely cold and very refreshing – just like magic!
Next came a soup which was thick and hearty. I would have preferrred it to be warmer but it was delicous all the same.
And after all those courses came the main dish! Tofu, Rice and Veggies: tofu surrounded by perfectly cooked zucchini, yellow summer squash, surrounded by a Portobello mushroom and tomato all with a sweet and sour style sauce. Really delicious and yes, Dean had to help me finish this off since there was so much food before this came out!
My last dish was the craziest! TJ is known for some crazy desserts and out he brought this wild ice cream sundae stacked high in a coffee mug surrounded by cookies, fruit and cotton candy! Not my style of dessert but if you have kids with food allergies this is something that they would really enjoy – truly kid friendly and full of sugar!
Chef TJ believes that a food allergy or special diet should not limit one’s food experiences. That’s why he creates unique dishes for his special guests and still provides a buffet style atmosphere. His commitment to making sure everyone can eat and enjoy food is a reason he’s a favorite chef for so many at Disney.
Trails End is open for breakfast, dinner, and brunch. Reservations are needed and check ahead to make sure Chef TJ is working if you want to delight in his food experience.
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