14 April 2010

Spiral Diner- Out of This World

In a non-descript grey brick building in Oak Cliff, Texas sits the Spiral Diner, Dallas' favorite vegan restaurant and bakery (I apologize in advance for the copious use of exclamation marks). Their mission is simple: serve great tasting 100% vegan cuisine, using only the best (and mostly organic) ingredients they can. I fell in love with this restaurant before I even set foot in the door based entirely on their mission statement:

*Use only cruelty-free and environmentally friendly biodegradable cleaning products
*Only purchase recycled and un-bleached paper products (with the highest post-consumer content available)
*Always buy Certified Organic ingredients whenever possible with conventional only as a last resort
*Use environmentally friendly, biodegradable take-away containers and disposable cutlery (we also encourage our customers to bring their own reusable containers with them to help us reduce packaging waste)
*Recycle 100% of all the accepted materials that come through our kitchen
*Donate a portion of profit to local grassroots organizations that are fighting for human, animal, and environmental causes
*Reduce waste by purchasing in bulk as much as possible and donating excess food to local food banks and shelters
*Never compromise on the above principles

They also keep their prices low while paying their staff a decent wage (I'm not sure how much that is, but I support anyone making more than $2.15/hr).

My lovely and talented friend shine (Are you reading her blog? You really should), decided to go vegan for April. Click on the link for her to explain the "why's" to you. Needless to say, I fully support her and was so excited when she invited me to dinner at Spiral. I must have studied the menu five times before the big day, trying to figure out what I would try first.

I got there early (who would have guessed there would be no traffic on I-30?) and ordered the Agave Limeade to tide me over-yum! When shine arrived, she ordered the Hot Nacho Cheese and Chips for us to share. I've heard a lot about nut cheese (mark it) for a couple weeks but was scared and slightly afraid to try it. To put it simply, it's delicious; kind of like if bean dip and nacho cheese had a baby. I couldn't stop eating it!

For dinner, I had the Chopped BBQ San'ich which is made from marinated and grilled seitan with a spicy BBQ sauce, dill pickles, red onion, and "mayo". In hindsight, I probably should have ordered the grapes as my side dish, but who can argue with the genius paring of potato salad and BBQ? The sauce was a lot zestier than I anticipated, but delicious none the less. While it didn't have quite the same texture as beef, I can see why seitan is such a popular meat replacement. Shine was in the mood for some comfort food and ordered one of the blue plate specials, chili mac. It looked really good and the pasta was nice and soft. For desert, I ordered a brownie with walnuts and she had a vanilla cupcake with the most outrageous yellow and green icing. My brownie was heaven. I usually don't like nuts in my deserts, but these were soft, not mushy, verses the crunchy I usually detest (mark it squared). Her cupcake had a really interesting flavor neither of us could pin point, but it wasn't bad.
[side note: Whole Foods Vegan Chocolate Chips are heaven and I may end up eating a whole bag of them!]

All in all, I give Spiral Diner 4 stars and cannot wait until my sister is in town so we can go again (though truth be told, I'm probably going back a lot sooner)! It's a great place for vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters alike!!


Anonymous said...

I'm actually nearly positive now that it was bananas. You can use bananas as a substitute for eggs (as I read on the internets last night) and it really did taste like banana bread.

Graygrrrl said...

That must be it! It would also explain how I didn't recognize it since I have a loathing for bananas

Gofahne said...

I'm still amazed and confused by this entire substitutions to make something vegan, but I LOVE Spiral Diner and love reading about it!!

Great review.

And oh, oh, oh my gawd....the "cheese"!!!!!

Graygrrrl said...

@gofahne- Your wonder and awe at the world of vegan & vegetarian cuisine did come up in conversation last night! Keep reading and I'm sure it will all begin to make sense in time.
PS- you're hilarious!!!

NightMer said...

Yeah! I'm glad you liked it! I cooked saitan for dinner last night: sauted. It was great! Can't wait to see you!

NatalieCottrell said...

My stomach growled like a fiend as I read this post. I've eaten all of the above at Spiral, and I agree they're wonderful. Let's go soon! (I curse the fact that I live so far away from Spiral, tho it's probably best for my waistline and pocketbook that I do.)