The Spiral Diner in Dallas…..
On Tuesday the 16th Tammy and I went down to Dallas to see a show. Part of my pre planning was to scope the area on Foursquare to see if there were any veg or veg friendly restaurants in the area. I finally decided on Spiral Diner and Bakery in Dallas. (Yes this is an OKC review blog and this review is for a place in Dallas, owner’s privilege!!). Everything on the menu was vegan and it has been a long time since I have eaten at a place where everything was vegan.When we arrived we sat ourselves and I ended up having to get my own menus. Later on I had to get my own napkins, water, and silverware as well. This is one of those funky places where you have to do things for yourself that a waiter would normally do for you. Part of my pre planning was looking at what they had to offer for drinks and I saw that they had some coffee and espresso selections and I had my heart set on a mocha. I know I was looking at the Dallas menu online, however this location did not have an espresso machine and I had to go mocha less. I ended up deciding on some hot chai tea and Tammy also thought it would be nice to have some hot tea since it was a cool evening. She asked about their caffeine free selections, as she is trying to cut down on her caffeine. Our waiter suggested this herbal tea with lemongrass. The water in the tea was lukewarm at best, like it was from the tap. Not very hot at all. It was disappointing because the tea itself was very good. Everything was fresh, they used actual herbs and spices. You could see the clove in mine, and the bits of lemongrass in hers. She really liked the presentation. If was some of the best tea I have had, just not hot.
As an appetizer we got some hummus with chips and tortillas. The humus was made on site, and tasted fresh, you could taste the hint of lemon in there but it was flat. It needed some salt and more garlic. Tammy agreed. I have just recently introduced hummus to her and she was just beginning to acquire a taste for it. She thought it had no flavor, just a presence in her mouth which she found weird.
I decided on their spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. The plate came out beautiful. It had several mini meatballs and a lot of pesto on top. There was a good amount of pine nuts scattered throughout the dish. The pesto was very delicious, it had a very good basil and garlic flavor, something that has been a much missed flavor in my mouth. The tomato gravy was nice and fresh. The meatballs were very tasty, everything tasted good together. It was almost perfect. The only major disappointment? It was cold. The meal could have been perfect if it arrived with steam billowing out of it, my mind could have been blown, my panties could have been dripping, but the food was cold. It isn’t like it sat in the window a long time. Tammy thought that my spaghetti and meatballs with the pesto was awesome. Had she not known we were in a 100% vegan deli, I would have sworn those meatballs were actually “meat”balls. No complaints at all on that dish. Well maybe just one, she “didn’t order it also”.
For a 100% Vegan establishment, Tammy found it to be pretty amazing.
The Mitch Club that she had was actually pretty good. The bacun’ bits actually tasted like real “bacon”.
(coulda fooled her) It was very smoky flavored.
Her only complaint about it would have been that the slice of tofu could have been grilled a bit longer and maybe had a tad of some sort of seasoning on it. It was slightly warmed and very bland. The bacun’, avocado, and the vegan mayo gave it “some” flavor.
When I bit into the sandwich the bits were throwing me off. It was a flavor I have not had in a very very long time and had to keep reminding myself that it was vegan. That was the saving grace of the sandwich. I thought that this sandwich could have been better. They could have made their own seitan and tempeh. Made some nice smokey seitan for the ham, and some for the turkey and sliced it thin like deli meats and put it on there. That would have brought the sandwich to the level of my spaghetti. The grilled tofu even seemed to lack flavor. It was just sliced and put on the griddle enough to lightly brown both sides. For dessert we took home a piece of chocolate brownie with walnuts and a piece of chocolate cheesecake. The cheesecake was out of this world. The chocolate part was silky and smooth and decadent. The crust was perfectly cooked and the thin layer of sour cream? on top went well with the slightly sweetness of the rest of it. The cheesecake was not over sweet, it was perfect. The brownie was killer as well. It had just the right moisture content, and not too nutty. I am usually not a big fan of nuts in my brownies, but this was edible for me because they did not get in the way of the brownie itself. The only regret was not getting two of each.
I did leave The Spiral happy, despite things being cold. The things they did right, they got it real right. I do want to go back one of these days. Hopefully next time the food will be hot. There is room for improvement. The staff we talked to were all very nice and we didn’t leave there feeling like we did not belong there. (There is a well known vegan place in Ft. Lauderdale where we felt like the waitstaff thought we were going to rob the place). It was disappointing that they didn’t have an espresso machine and our food and tea was cold. Overall I would give it an 8 out of ten only because the deserts and the spaghetti was over the top, otherwise it could have easily been a 4 or 5. She thought the diner was a very neat place, the atmosphere was good and the staff were friendly for the most part. Our waiter actually took the time to answer her questions and also made some good suggestions as to what she should order, when she had no clue, seeing as she is not a vegan.
The Spiral diner and bakery has two locations:
Dallas is at 1101 North Beckley Avenue, Dallas, TX 75203 (At Zang)
Be sure Google does not place you at S Beckley!
Ft Worth: 1314 West Magnolia Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76104
Their website with menus is at www.spiraldiner.com/
They can be found on facebook at spiraldiner