Cape May Dinner with Chef TJ

Well we finally did it, we went to Cape May Cafe to see Chef TJ at his new home! He made sure to warn us several times before coming that it wouldn’t be as extravagant as his meals at Trail’s End, but as we all know we go equally for food and for experiencing him as a person!

Cape May Cafe is located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. We had only previously eaten here for breakfast and it has never been appealing to us for dinner (even back in the pre-vegan days). The restaurant is a seafood based buffet that smells strongly of, you guessed it, seafood. Even when walking down the hallway of the Beach Club the smell can be strong, so we were a little nervous about going here, but where Chef TJ goes we will follow!

Cape May Cafe at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

When we walked into the restaurant we immediately ran into Chef TJ. He said he’d be with us soon and we went and sat down. We were fortunate enough to be seated in the back corner near the hallway and as far as you can be from the buffet. The smell that we were so worried about was not bad at all (but it was early on in dinner around 5:30).

Our server came by for drinks, I was able to get a Silk for our son, but he had to get it from another kitchen. After a few minutes Chef TJ came out to walk us along the buffet. Once we got close to the buffet that smell was strong. I would ask if you can be seated near the hallway because the smell there was almost non-existent.

Fruit on the buffet
Garden Salad and Kale Slaw on the buffet
Vegetable Soup

Once up at the buffet I was honestly surprised that there were a handful of options. First Chef TJ showed us the Vegetable soup which was vegan, two salads (one was a kale slaw), and then some fruit. On the hot food line there was some cooked vegetables with green beans and carrot, and then a pesto pasta that was vegan. He said this was going to be replaced with another vegan pasta option in about two weeks. The other option on the buffet was steamed potatoes and corn. We didn’t try these.

Sautéed Vegetables
Vegan Pesto Pasta
Steamed potatoes and corn

After I got a plate with some fruit, pasta, and veggies for Finn we sat down. Since he was in no mood to eat that night, I ended up eating most of the pasta and it was delicious. I am honestly kind of bummed that is being replaced, but the new one he told us about sounds like it will be great too.

Soon after the buffet trip Chef TJ brought out our first platter. On the plate there was crispy pita bread and a baguette style loaf with olive oil on it. The dips were a sun-dried tomato hummus, an olive tapenade, and then a classic hummus. The olive tapenade was my favorite on here, but I’m just an olive lover. It was a great consistency and salty. The classic hummus was incredibly creamy and the tomato hummus was very good. I preferred the baguette over the pita.

Hummus Platter
Hummus Platter

Next he brought out a special dish for us (sorry guys) which was a waffle fry platter topped with chanterelle and shiitake mushrooms. I found the idea of this very odd but man was this delicious. The mushrooms were super flavorful and the fries were very crispy.

Waffle Fries with Mushrooms
Waffle Fries with Mushrooms

Our next dish was a salad with artichokes and grilled peaches. Out of all of the food this was my least favorite, however it was still good. The peaches were super tart, but the artichoke and greens were very tasty.

Artichoke Salad with Grilled Peaches

Now comes the main entree. Just like he did at Trail’s End, he loads up on vegetables, tofu, and here he has a Beyond Burger! On the platter was zuchinni, yellow squash, portobello, green beans, asparagus, carrot, shallots, cauliflower, tomato, and rice.

Roasted Vegetables, Tofu, and Beyond Burger
Roasted Vegetables, Tofu, and Beyond Burger

Oh boy this was good. As usual with a Chef TJ meal, I was so full that it was hard to enjoy this. All of the vegetables were cooked and seasoned to perfection. The portobello on top is still my favorite, even at a new restaurant. Under the portobello was a Beyond burger, while weird, it worked. The tofu here is baked and not fried, and still 100% delicious. It was crispy and had a sweet and sour style sauce on it. I honestly preferred this to what he did at Trail’s End for the main course.

Roasted Vegetables, Tofu, and Beyond Burger
Roasted Vegetables, Tofu, and Beyond Burger

After this Chef TJ took me to the dessert buffet to show me the vegan option on there. There is a chia pudding on the buffet with no signage about being “plant based” but it is made with coconut milk and almond milk. It was very coconut-y but also very good.

Chia Pudding

Then came the signature dessert tower. This tower consisted of vegan chocolate ice cream, an Enjoy Life double chocolate cookie, fruit, a ball of vegan chocolate cake, and covered in chocolate syrup. As always, this was hard to eat but also very good. The chocolate syrup is always a great touch. The cake brownie ball thing was super rich.

Chef TJ with his dessert tower
Dessert Towers

To our surprise Chef TJ then came out with another dessert! This was a Chocolate Panna Cotta with a soy whip. He said they serve it at the steakhouse too (I assume Yachtsman at the Yacht Club). Out of all the desserts this was my least favorite. I had never had Panna Cotta before (just never appealed to me) and the texture was very gelatinous. While this was not something I loved, I know lots of people love Panna Cotta so don’t take my word on this.

Chocolate Panna Cotta

Everything we had was great. Chef TJ spoiled us and our service here was amazing. I am so thankful we were seated in the back corner. Even though we were there for two hours, I don’t feel like the smell got any worse. I would say if you have a shellfish allergy to absolutely avoid this restaurant since there is just so much of it everywhere. Cape May Cafe is also about $20 more than Trail’s End is, so the price difference is pretty high. Chef TJ is currently working Tuesday through Saturday, but this can easily change at any point.

Finn, Melissa, Chef TJ, Jo

As always, thank you Chef TJ for an amazing meal, see you again soon!

Price $$$
Review from August 2019.

Author: Melissa Kramer

Back in 2014 I created Vegan Disney World after going to Walt Disney World several times and finding no resource for vegan options. Corey and I began this blog from our trips and have now moved closer to the mouse to eat around the parks on a weekly basis. Since the blog started we have cruised on Disney Cruise Line, gone to Tokyo Disneyland and to Disneyland in California!

4 thoughts

  1. OMG. We just went to Beaches & Cream originally just for the tots… For dessert I told them I’m vegan so whatever they can do would be ok. THEN GUESS WHO COMES OUT!? CHEF TJ! We freaked out. He went all out on one of his signature towers. I could tell people around us were like wtf is happening why are they so excited‽ Beach Club is now our new spot to stay.

  2. Is it possible to call Cape May to confirm that Chef TJ is actually working when you make your meal reservation? I know I would want him to be the one to make my meal! Also, how do they price out the vegan meals or is it all-inclusive?

    1. They legally can not tell you if he is there or not. You pay the price of the buffet here, when we went it was $52 per adult.

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