Saturday, July 24, 2010

God Bless Texas...and Spiral Diner

We took a bit of a spontaneous road trip to Dallas this week. We had thought about it for a week or two, but we didn't totally make up our minds about it until the day of. The reason for our journey? It was my BIRTHDAY! And Dallas, 5 1/2 hours away, is home to the closest-to-us vegan restaurant (of this type, at least).

In what seem like perfect-fated timing - right when we were getting into the car, Mr. UPS Man drops this box off on our front porch. (Ryan didn't think it was going to arrive on time and planned on having my parents pick it up.) He had ordered a few different treats from Pangea, especially for my "big day." My favorite? Probably the Cinnamon Rolls. The S'More Brownies were very interesting, as well. (We didn't take them all with us; I put some of it away in the freezer.)

peanut butter cup in the center of a peanut butter cookie bar

We arrived in Dallas around 7, driving straight to Spiral Diner.
(We didn't even have a hotel picked out yet.)

We started off the meal with the Chip & Dip Party. 10 Thumbs Up.

The kids split a Strawberry Slushie. I thought it was going to be more like an Icee - it was basically just a strawberry smoothie, but it didn't last long.

Savory Seitan Wrap for me...The Ate Layer Burrito for Ryan

I liked mine a lot - definitely "savory" and spicy. I thought Ryan's was good - but a little too much like something I would have at home...and it said there was going to be taco meat in it, but I don't think there was.

Here's the thing...we could probably just make anything on the menu at why drive 5 hours? It's just fun to be able to sit in a restaurant once in awhile and choose from anything on the menu. Ya know? It's fun to be able to let the kids choose anything they want. This kid was beyond thrilled to order a grilled cheese at a restaurant, something he never gets to do.

The other two ordered quesadillas. (I thought it was a little strange that they put jalapenos on a kids' menu item.)

Dessert: Ryan shared a strawberry milkshake with the kids, and I shared chocolate cheesecake with the kids. So when you're reading this post and thinking, she can really put it away...keep in mind, everything is being shared by 5! :)

We spent the next morning at the Museum of Nature & Science, located at Fair Park in Dallas. We would definitely like to go back there sometime. We could have spent the entire day, but we only had about 3 hours.

I have a few really great friends in Dallas, and I was sad it didn't work out for us to see any of time...

Back at Spiral Diner for my "official" birthday lunch.

I wanted to try a chocolate milkshake,
but I knew I didn't need the calories.

No worries - I had plenty of volunteers to help me out.

Ryan ordered the Philly Cheeze Steak Sandwich because he knew I was having a hard time choosing against it. We always like ordering two different sandwiches, then splitting them. This one was delicious.

We also split The Mitch. Oh, man, it was soooo good, with "bacon" and grilled tofu plus avocado. And there is an extra layer of bread in the middle.

This kid was, once again, thrilled with his meal, Sketti & Meatballs. The other two hung tight with quesadillas this time, as well.

Even though we were ordering icecream, Ryan snuck around and got me a cupcake so that he could put a candle in it for me. I am a fan of getting to make a wish on my birthday.

If you look closely at my son's face, you can see how horrified he is that I actually blew out my birthday candle. I mean, imagine that, wanting to blow out your own birthday candle.

I ended up relighting it three more times so they could each have a turn. I'm going to remind them of this on their birthdays; I'm going to throw a fit to blow out their candles.

We were pretty full at this point and thought we were only ordering a small one-scoop sundae. Not so.

However, the kids weren't complaining.

Next stop: Dinosaur Valley State Park.
We swam, amongst the footprints of dinosaurs from long ago. It was super fun, relaxing, and a great way to spend my birthday.

It was already nearing 8:00 when we were going to be passing the exit for Spiral Diner...we knew it was going to be a late night, anyway...why not hit it one last time to help make that 5 1/2 hour drive more pleasant? Right? We called ahead and picked up another The Mitch for me, this Chopped BBQ Sandwich for Ryan, and a Grilled Cheese & Baby Aven (broccoli, sweet potato, pineapple chunks, and green peas)for the kids to share.

Now - off to eat a raw salad and work out to shed these 2 pounds I seemingly gained from all of these sandwiches and sweets...yikes...and catch up on my blog reading!

What's your favorite restaurant?
Did you eat anything this week that you regret?
My vegan snacks giveaway is open until Tuesday!


  1. All of that looks super tasty, I'm glad you had a great birthday! Just the time off from cooking for yourself is a treat enough.
    I feel like I had two too many sweets this week, but everyone's gotta live a little, right?

  2. after devouring every word of this post (since i couldnt eat the food) i decided that your kids grilled cheeze sandwich looked good enough to steal...and that makes me a little nervous...that i would think along the lines of taking from a child....all the milkshakes looked amazing also...mostly just the whipped topping:)


  3. Happy belated birthday!!! I'm so glad you and your family got to get out on a little road trip and eat at such an awesome place! The food there looks yummy too. Your husband's a sweetie for sneaking in all of those little treats for you, from the special delivery of goodies to the candle-lit cupcake. Sounds like you had a good time! ;)

  4. So....seitan... I tried it at Native Foods. Not a fan. Maybe it was mind over matter but just thinking about what it was was not appetizing. I find that I prefer the pressed veggie stuff better. LOL Oh well.

    Can you tell Im trying? I mean really. I AM!

    Went to Veggie Grill tonight. Had a burger. It was really really good. I don't know what the patty was maybe it was seitan too? idk they don't say what it is.

    But the kale makes me want to sing.

  5. have you tried this

    I might order it... THAT could change my mind... LOL

  6. You and your family are adorable, and the food looks great! Happy belated birthday!

  7. PS I did buy a cheap-o dehydrator yesterday (couldn't stop myself). I hope you do a post on yours soon, because all the dehydrated things you post look great, and you are evidently pulling this off without the cadillac of dehydrators (the excaliber)!

  8. Happy Birthday! I haven't been to Dallas in ages. But I would totally drive 5 hours to be able to eat at a restaurant like that. SO jealous now. Wow. Sounds like you guys had a great time.

    Oh, and thanks so much for the Drug Emporium tip. Stopped in the other day - heaven. Almost everything was at least 50 cents cheaper than WFs and I found PB2 (powdered peanut butter) which I've been looking for for ages.

  9. Happy birthday! It looks like you had a lot of fun, and I'm glad you got to blow out your own candle!

    That restaurant looks awesome. I can see why you went back to try more and more menu items. I went to a vegan diner in Chicago (The Chicago Diner) which was also about a 5-hour drive for me, and it was perfect. Milkshakes, a seitan reuben, quesadillias ... I intended to dine there more than once on my trip, but I didn't.

  10. Happy Belated Birthday. You are a trooper to drive over 5 hours for a meal. All the food looks great. Glad everyone had a good time.

    My favorite restaurant isn't vegan and I still miss it. =( Vegan restaurants aren't common here.


  11. Happy Belated Birthday! "Imagine wanting to blow out your own birthday candle"...too funny; I suppose it's the same with unwrapping your own presents.

    Your kids are adorable, and it looks like you all have a lot of fun! Those sandwiches and the ice all looks worth a 5-hour drive to me.

  12. Great post and Happy Belated Birthday! I agree that is definitely looks worth the drive (wonder how long it would take to just fly there?).

  13. Happy Belated Birthday! It looks like you celebrated in style - with a beautiful family and incredible food!

  14. What would I eat first?? We usually go to ethnic restaurants, and the kids know what we can order. But, when we actually go to an all-vegan restaurant, it is a jackpot! I totally get your reasoning to drive that far and pig out and smile as your kids can have anything they want. Happy Birthday!

  15. All that food looks delicious! I can't wait till I can find a vegan restaurant to eat at. We have nothing where I live. Maybe I will find one when we go on vacation in Aug. Happy belated Birthday! Looks like you had a great one! :o)

  16. Oh, Spiral Diner, how cool! I just road tripped to Dallas a couple months ago (I live in Kansas City) and ate there for the first time! LOVED it!

  17. Thank you for all of the birthday wishes, everyone! :)

    dirtyduck (is that what you want me to call you?), I cannot lie...sometimes I do HIDE food from my kids...if there's only one chocolate peanut butter cup or something in the house...yes, I do...I'm a terrible mother

    Diana, my husband is, yes, completely sweet about things like this.

    Kristi, I think that it just depends on how the seitan is prepared, just like tofu. Maybe you need to try it somewhere else? I AM proud of you for trying!!! Oh, man, I do remember that kale - so good.

    Stacy, I wrote my dehydrating post; sorry I never posted it - I will soon. I want to hear about how it goes for you.

    Heather, yes, you should totally go to Dallas; it didn't feel like a bad drive at all. And I'm so glad that Drug Emporium worked out for you. I have a hard time keeping track of price comparisons, but I THOUGHT it seemed like such better deals.

    blessedmama, We usually only go to ethnic places here, too, which is why I would never pick one on a vacation with other options, even though I love them.

    Michelle, I HOPE you find a vegan restaurant on vacation!!!

    Amber Shea, so fun!!! I'm off to read your post now!

  18. My favorite place to eat is Karyn's Green in Chicago. I fondly remember my safe, yet delicious, avocado/sprouts sandwich and fancy fries. I want to go back soon.