For breakfast and dinner, Trail's End serves up American favorites at an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet, but for lunch, they have an a la carte menu.
I was given an allergy-friendly menu that lists options for people with wheat/gluten, milk, egg, soy, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies. Our server asked if I wanted to speak to a chef, which I opted to do, and I recommend doing, because there are usually other options than those listed on the menu. I was excited to see that Chef Michael was working. He does an incredible job with special diets, and we had a lot of fun talking to him over the course of our meal. Chef Michael personally comes out and serves every allergy dish that he makes, so it is in his hands from the moment he starts making it, to when it is delivered to the table.
I have a hard time not ordering the house-made cornbread with local orange blossom honey-butter when I dine at Trail's End. It is the same amazing cornbread that is served next door at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, and at Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. It is safe for people with gluten/wheat, soy, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies. Without the butter, it is also dairy free.
For my entree, I chose the spicy shrimp and grits with Andouille sausage and red-eye gravy, which is made from pork drippings and coffee. Chef Michael told me that they recently started putting corn kernels in the grits, which adds nice texture and flavor. This dish has a spicy kick, which I really enjoy. I think the only thing that could make this dish more perfect for me would be the addition of some cheese to the grits, but overall, it is a great entree.
It is always a good idea to get a regular menu and an allergy-friendly menu when dining at Disney, so you can compare and contrast how dishes are being prepared, and maybe spot some other gluten free options. It definitely paid off for us when it came to dessert. On the allergy-friendly menu, they list the warm brownie sundae as a gluten free option. It's an OMG...It's Gluten Free fudge brownie served with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, and whipped cream.
On the regular menu, there is a dessert with marshmallow gelato, which is house-made, and just happens to be gluten free. Chef Michael told me that they melt marshmallows, then mix them into the custard base before they put it into the ice cream machine. He gladly served our brownie sundae with the marshmallow gelato instead of vanilla ice cream, and finished it off with some adorable Mickey sprinkles.
We asked for caramel and chocolate sauce on the side, but the sundae really didn't need either one. The brownie was incredible with just the marshmallow gelato and whipped cream.
My gluten-eating family loved their chicken and waffles, which was made with fried chicken fillets. On the allergy-friendly menu, this dish is listed as being served with pan-roasted chicken, but Chef Michael said he could make it for me if I was willing to wait. It would be breaded in Namaste with some salt and pepper, and served with gluten free Mickey waffles. I will definitely be taking him up on his offer the next time we have lunch at Trail's End.
Overall, we had great food and service at Trail's End Restaurant, and look forward to having lunch there again soon. You can read more about Trail's End, view their hours and menus, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.
What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Trail's End Restaurant?