This review reflects our experience from October 2015.
Looking for a down-home meal in the Wilderness? Head on out to Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and feast at Trail’s End. Trail’s End offers a buffet full of comfort foods and a hidden gem in the kitchen. There are few chefs in Disney World who you will hear recommended among other guests and Chef TJ is one of them. Chef TJ has worked in several Disney restaurants and is currently working dinners most nights at Trail’s End. If you have any special dietary needs, whether it be vegan or an allergy, Chef TJ is the one who will be creating your meal. If you are looking for a Chef TJ meal you will need to go for dinner as lunch is not a buffet.
When you check in to your reservation be sure to note that you are vegan with your host and they will add a note to your card for your server. Once you are seated they will often go grab Chef TJ. He also serves diners in the Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue so sometimes this may take a bit longer. If you have any specifics you don’t like or are allergic to you will note it to him when he first stops by and then the meal begins.
Our friends came with us for their first Chef TJ experience and were excited and nervous about all the food we were about to enjoy. When Chef TJ came out with two large plates at once they suddenly realized what they were in for. The first course of the meal was Barbecue Potatoes and Samosas.
The potatoes were giant wedges and were crispy. The sauce had a slight spice to it. There was a sweetness in the sauce helped to cool it. These are a unique and delicious treat.
The samosas seem to be the same ones that we have found at various other restaurants on Disney property. They’re filled with potatoes and peas and have a crispy outside. Chef TJ covers the samosas in a mustard sauce and a sweet and sour sauce. The samosas are always delicious here, the sauce is a little strange, but it doesn’t take away from the flavor. Next we were given individual plates of couscous and asparagus.
The asparagus had a balsamic sauce on them, they were well seasoned with salt and pepper as well. The couscous was just okay and seemed to be fruit based. It was very heavy in citrus flavor which made it very tart. The couscous had raisins in it and a mint garnish. None of us really cared for the couscous. Next up we got nachos!
Chef TJ makes his own vegan cheese for this dish. The nachos are covered in cheese and caramelized onions. The cheese doesn’t have an overly cheesy flavor, but is very good. The four of us ate up the nachos just in time for the next round of food, broccoli soup and cheesy buns.
The cheesy buns had barbecue sauce and a slice of vegan cheese on it. We have never been a huge fan of these, plus all the bread is too filling in this multi-course meal. The broccoli soup was absolutely delicious. The soup was coconut based and had a similar consistency of pea soup. The soup reminded me of a broccoli cheddar soup I used to eat years ago. We all really enjoyed this soup. Now it was finally time for the main course of the meal.
Chef TJ really outdid himself this time, this was the biggest plate of food I have ever seen. The top layer of the plate was crispy tofu with a sweet sauce on it. Next was grilled portobello slices, grilled zucchini and summer squash. On the bottom of the grilled vegetables was fried rice.
The vegetables were well seasoned but had a pretty intense lemon flavor to them. The portobello was delicious and very juicy. The fried rice on the bottom wasn’t our favorite. The rice was pretty much just onion, but all the stuff on the top was excellent. By the time we got this dish we were all pretty full, as usual. So of course he had to bring out more food, a dessert tower.
The tower of dessert included ice cream, banana, Enjoy Life cookies, strawberries and a chocolate sauce. All four of us got our own tower. The tower is always terribly hard to eat which always makes for a comical situation. In the past we have gotten ice cream sandwiches and deep fried oreos on our dessert towers. The was another great meal from Chef TJ, he never stops impressing us!
If you have an open evening I highly suggest going to Trail’s End and seeing Chef TJ. If Chef TJ isn’t there, he has done a great job of teaching the other chefs to make vegan meals. Those meals obviously won’t be as elaborate but will still be a great option! If you have time to waste before your meal you should check out the SeaRaycers at the pier, we had a blast doing that on our last trip. Also keep in mind it will take about 45 minutes to travel from the Magic Kingdom to Fort Wilderness by boat.
Would we go back?
Every trip! We always have to stop by and see Chef TJ.
$$ – you just pay the buffet price for this meal which is ~$25 per person
Corey & Melissa