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Spiral Diner puts a plant-based spin on comfort food favorites

Spiral Diner puts a plant-based spin on comfort food favorites

September 13
19:01 2017

Plant-focused eateries, like The Bowllery and Mean Greens Cafeteria, have had their fair share of success in vegan ventures since opening their doors to the Denton community.

Spiral Diner, the latest vegan hotspot, opened its doors Aug. 22 on Hickory Street. This is the third location for the 15-year-old franchise, with two other locations in Fort Worth and Dallas.

Classified as vegan comfort food, Spiral Diner prides itself for serving 100 percent plant based dishes, from its burgers and Philly cheesesteaks to its baked goods and homemade pies.

“We came to Denton to check it out and fell in love,” Spiral Diner founder Amy McNutt said.“With two colleges in town, there are a lot of college kids as customers. [Denton] has things you would not [normally] see in Texas.”

McNutt knew Denton was the perfect place to open their third diner because of the variety of businesses on the Square. She was attracted to the old and new businesses and the unique qualities of each one.

The city’s progressive nature was also part of what convinced McNutt to open the Denton location of Spiral Diner. She instantly felt that Denton was the perfect new home for the expansion of her franchise because of how trendy and accepting people in Denton are.

With their extensive menu, reasonable pricing, hip location and a full in-house bakery for the health-conscious sweet tooth, Spiral Diner makes a strong statement among the countless restaurants surrounding it. It is also known for being a popular brunch go-to.

So far, Dentonites have been receptive to the new eatery in town.

“I’ve eaten here multiple times,” biology junior Ashley Mhlanga said. “This place has quality food and it’s nice to eat something other than meat.”

Customers visit Spiral Diner for lunch on a Tuesday afternoon. Spiral Diner provides an organic-leaning vegan menu, opening its third location on Hickory Street in Denton last month. Sarah Schreiner

McNutt said that customers are able to get as big of a variety of flavors at Spiral Diner as they’re able to get at meat-based restaurants, which allows customers who do not eat vegan food as often to leave happy.

“It’s been great,” McNutt said. “We are super busy right now. There is a mix of people that have been showing up, like those that have been eating at the other locations and new [people who are] not familiar with [Spiral Diner].”

The goal is to create familiar comfort food so that those who have never eaten all vegan food will be receptive to try new food.

The cashew-based nacho cheese is a favorite among customers while the different options for burgers give customers an opportunity to build their own. The menu includes wraps, salads, burritos, sandwiches, baked potatoes and more.

Many of their meat and dairy substitutes are tasty and realistic enough to fool even some of the pickiest omnivores.

“My friend told me about this place, and it turned out to be really good,” journalism junior Hannah Noye said. “It didn’t make me miss meat. The atmosphere and food is all good. I’ll definitely come back soon. ”

The presence of healthy meat alternatives has been slowly rising around the globe. Though meat-based foods are popular throughout the U.S., studies show that the population’s willingness to adopt a more vegetarian lifestyle has increased.

A recent report from Report Buyer, titled Top Trends in Prepared Foods 2017, found that 6 percent of Americans identify as vegetarians, which is a 5 percent increase from 2014. The report mentioned how “rising veganism and awareness of the impact of meat consumption are driving demand for meat-free products substitutes.”

The report also discusses the trends impacting main food categories such as meat, grains, prepared meals and meat substitutes.

Denton’s aggregation of vegan-friendly dining is just one example of how people are realizing the benefits.

“The global population [has been] increasing,” McNutt said. “We can’t keep living like we have. You can’t humanely raise that many animals to keep up with the growth. It takes two seconds to search Google and see [pictures of] overcrowded chicken farms. It is not a nice way to eat.”

McNutt said the ease of access to information and documentaries, such as Oscar-nominated Food, INC., have informed people about the dangerous effects of continuous meat production. Heightened awareness of health, economic and environmental outcomes from animal agriculture have brought veganism to the forefront.

McNutt believes the vegan diet is more efficient and clean, and she is thrilled to be contributing to a cause she is passionate about with Spiral Diner.

The trio of Spiral Diners is going strong since the first location opened in 2002, and McNutt has been putting much of her focus on the newest location. Though there are no plans for the next one yet, she isn’t ruling out expanding even farther.

“Who knows what will happen next?” McNutt said.

Featured Image: Customers visit Spiral Diner for lunch on a Tuesday afternoon. Spiral Diner provides an organic-leaning vegan menu, opening its third ever location on Hickory Street in Denton in August. Sarah Schreiner

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Sadia Saeed

Sadia Saeed

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1 Comment

  1. Lindsay
    Lindsay September 14, 18:28

    New vegan place

    Reply to this comment

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