When we walked inside Spiral Diner, we noticed a brightness and cheerful decorative style. A clock painted directly on the wall, paper lanterns hanging from a silver ceiling – this is a great place just to be. Guests read from books provided by the restaurant and get their own drinks from the Oogave soda fountain. Sweetened with agave nectar, these sodas are extra fizzy and come in a variety of interesting favors. Root beer tastes exactly like any mass-marketed brand and grapefruit soda was an unexpected treat, but watermelon cream soda is truly amazing. And it’s for sale by the four pack over in the Spiral Market.

The food gives those super sodas a run for their money, too. A full menu with one catch – it’s totally vegan. That’s right. All of it. (Can you hear the church choir, or is that just us?) Order anything you want without worry. And in our experience, anything you order will be good.

Spiral Diner - Ramsey's Perfect Protein PlatterRamsey’s Perfect Protein Platter (7.95) made us look again when it hit the table. A plate of mush is what entered our minds on first site, but that plate soon emptied. Black beans and quinoa mixed with salsa make an extremely filling and flavorful dish. We added broccoli (only a buck extra), but could have easily gone with field greens (also a dollar) instead. This almost tastes like the inside of a bean burrito, only better. The salsa adds a tang, but the tahini dressing brings a flare and changes the flavor. This is very good, but we felt like we needed something with it – bread or naan, tortillas, chips, anything, really. That is more likely attributed to our own eating habits than to any sort of lacking in the meal, which is so filling as it comes that we recommend wearing an elastic waistband if you order it. Really, it’s so good you can’t stop eating, but filling enough you probably should.

When we asked the waiter what the restaurant is known for, other than being vegan, he said Nachos Supremo (9.50) is the most popular dish, and for a reason. “It’s good for you, but it doesn’t taste like it’s good for you.”

Spiral Diner - Nachos SupremoHe was correct. These nachos taste like nachos. Not like vegan nachos, not like nearly nachos; they taste like honest to goodness, lick the dripping cheese off your fingers and scrape it off your shirt, gooey, yummy nachos. No kidding! With quinoa, textured vegetable protein and black beans, there is no shortage of protein here. And given these are vegan, there is no guilt here, either. The “cheese” looks like mustard but tastes like cheese. It might be a little sweeter than traditional nacho cheese, but not much. And the “sour cream” takes the heat out of jalapeños just like the milk-based stuff does. Corn is a nice addition to standard nacho toppings like black olives and guacamole. Big enough to share, this pile of flavor is messy and crunchy with bottom chips getting soggy enough to make us use forks. A wonderful first experience with Spiral Diner, the nachos alone are reason enough to come back.

Spiral Diner - Sketti & MeatballsSketti & Meatballs (and pesto and pine nuts) with toast (8.95) is a plate of happiness. To quote Rachael Ray: “Yum-o.” A dark green thread of pesto drizzled over the red and orange mix of noodles and sauce. Pine nuts generously sprinkled over the top. Tangy tomato sauce. This is a good meal. The meatballs hold together like they are made of actual meat, but don’t worry, they are mushroom based. And oh so good! Again, be ready for an environmentally friendly box because plenty comes on the plate.

Spiral Diner - Chipotle QuesadillasA perfect appetizer or lunch option, the Chipotle Quesadilla w/ grilled tofu (9.50) are very messy, but taste great. Full of a mild flavor that’s almost like cream cheese, but of course it can’t be, the mushy texture with firm tofu makes for an interesting combo. A whole-wheat tortilla comes standard, but a corn tortilla is available for those living gluten free. This comes complete with guacamole, sour cream and jalapeños.

And finally, thanks to Restaurant Deals (@DealforkFW on Twitter) for recommending The “Ate” Layer Burrito (8.50). Again, large enough to share, this bursts with flavor. Corn, olives, quinoa and a perfect combination of other goodies had us looking at the burrito after every bite. The ingredients here resemble those in the Nachos Supremo, which makes sense and explains our instant love of this item.

While half the burrito was plenty to satiate a growling stomach, Spiral Diner offers sides. Out of curiosity, we went with the potato salad and this was the absolute best decision we’ve made since falling in love with this restaurant. There is enough dill in here to make it taste like a potato and a pickle had a head on collision in the condiment aisle; and boy is that good.

When we were at the cash register on one of our trips, our waiter recommended we also try D’Vegan, a vegan Vietnamese restaurant. This is an unaffiliated, potentially competitive restaurant, but instead of thinking about the dollars we could spend elsewhere, the staff members at Spiral Diner actually care that their costumers enjoy good, vegan food. We have to respect any place that employs caring people and recommends other businesses within the vegan community. Add to that the incredible food and fun atmosphere and Spiral Diner is a must-frequent favorite. And let’s not forget – Sunday is all-you-can-eat-pancake day! We will definitely be back.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.