Hidden Culinary Treasure

Finding places to eat to please all the pallets in your group can be challenging. Some people don’t like spicy food, others don’t like Chinese and sometimes you just can’t eat one more burger and fries combo.

In our circumstance, my husband and I are both full time vegetarians and part time vegans, it can be hard for us to find something to eat.

Back home, we have to usually ask for grilled chicken salads with out the grilled chicken or order a sub without the meat (crazy I know.)

So we were really looking forward to enjoying all the wonderful vegetarian/vegan options available.

The meal that I was looking forward to the most was located in one of the most surprising places for a non-meat eater: Trails End Café at Fort Wilderness.

Situated at the campground at the Walt Disney Resort, Trails End is in Pioneer Hall which is only a short walk from the boat dock that takes you from the Magic Kingdom to the resort (this is the way we arrived to the campground.)

While the restaurant is a buffet that would please any meat-eater, it is surprising that this is a vegan haven.

Chef TJ has been recognized for his commitment to keeping those with food allergies safe. Because, not only does chef TJ work with those who are vegans he is also the person that helps people with food allergies.

The great thing about him is that he really goes above and beyond to make the meal extra special for those with dietary restrictions.

When we went to the restaurant Chef TJ was super busy that day. He had a bunch of people with dietary restrictions so he asked us to be patient and was so nice throughout the meal. He showed us to the buffet and told us what we could eat, which was pretty much limited to a few salad items and a baked potato, but he said he would bring the rest of the food to us.

The very first course were delicious vegan samosas.

TE Samosas.JPG

They were crispy with a little bit of spice brought on by the filling and also the tangy sauce on the outside. To add a little bit of a tang, a balsamic reduction was drizzled over top.

The second course were delicious vegan nachos.

TE Nachos.JPG

This picture isn’t doing justice to how delicious these nachos were. I am pretty sure that these were rice nachos because they were lighter and a little crispier than traditional nachos.

On top there were grilled peppers and onions, the delicious balsamic drizzle and homemade vegan cheese.

We have made vegan cheese at home with cashews and it always comes out delicious, but also kind of heavy. This recipe was light but also had a cheesy taste with an excellent cheese-like mouth feel.

Just, when I thought we were going to get our main course, Chef TJ comes out with a delicious mushroom soup.

TE Mushroom Soup.JPG

I am not sure how it was done, but the mushroom soup was so creamy without any dairy products. You have to really like mushrooms to enjoy this soup. Luckily, I do love mushrooms so this was the perfect soup.

Right when I was starting to feel pretty full, Chef TJ comes out with our main entrée.

Te Stir Fry.JPG

Not only was this meal beautiful, but it was so delicious. It consisted of grilled zucchini, squash and portabella cap toped with an onion. There was also baked tofu and stir fry rice drizzled with a mesquite sauce.

I might have been pretty full but there was no way I was going to not enjoy this meal. It was delicious, with a yummy grill flavor. The rice was not salty, which can sometimes be the case with stir fry rice, and the grilled vegetables had the perfect crispy texture.

To end the evening’s eating events, Chef TJ, brought out this amazing dessert tower and proceeded to drizzle chocolate syrup all over it.

TE Dessert.JPG

In this dessert tower was vegan ice cream sandwiches, bananas, strawberries, a strawberry compote, gummy worms, a whole apple and sprinkles.

To say that I was impressed would be an understatement. The fact that Chef TJ takes the time to create something so special for vegan guests just blows me away. While, all of the Disney restaurants do a wonderful job taking care of their guests with special dietary needs, Chef TJ takes it to a whole new level.

His friendliness also puts you at ease. For me, I hate to have a fuss made over my food. I always feel like I am putting someone out. But, Chef TJ never once made me feel like that.

So if you are looking for a great place to dine for anyone with special dietary needs, you need to check out Trails End at Fort Wilderness Resort.

 

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