Veggie Guy: Spiral Diner's Faux Meatballs Win National Acclaim

A recent survey conducted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), ranked Spiral Diner's Sketti & Meatballs among the nation's top ten faux meatball dishes.

You'd think the Spiral crew would be doing somersaults and touchdown dances over the news, but these guys are quite used to national press. In 2007, Spiral was named "Restaurant of the Year" by the editors of VegNews Magazine (the most widely-read vegetarian lifestyle publication in America), and the diner was on a short list of contenders for the award again this year.

PETA's Vegan Campaign Coordinator Kate Brindle says, "This eatery is a great example of the growing number of restaurants that are satisfying America's hunger for healthy and humane cuisine."

Spiral Diner's award-winning Sketti & Meatballs is made with whole wheat artichoke spaghetti noodles, soy meatballs, and house marinara sauce topped with pine nuts and a basil-rich pesto. But that's not all they've got, meatball-wise.

The diner's Meatball Sub is a 6-inch hoagie roll filled with meatballs, marinara sauce, Daiya vegan cheese (Yes, you read that right--Spiral Diner now uses Daiya!), and black olives. Spiral's Parmigiana Wrap is a large flour tortilla jam-packed with marinara, black olives, pine nuts, pesto, vegan cheese, and though it's typically made with beef-style seitan (a wheat gluten-based mock meat pronounced "say-tahn"), meatballs are a popular substitution. Some locals also like subbing meatballs for seitan on the Texas Philly: a hoagie loaded with pan-seared meatballs, BBQ sauce, Daiya, then topped with red onions.

All of these plates are served with a choice of seasonal fruit, corn chips, potato salad, or a minty pasta salad. Spaghetti Tropica, like the Sketti dressed with basil pesto and pine nuts, comes with pineapple chunks and black olives thrown in the mix. Italian seasoned toast accompanies pasta dishes, and brown rice fettuccini can substitute whole wheat spaghetti.

Top prizes on PETA's national meatball survey went to Ike's Place in San Francisco, The Greenery Raw Food Café in Encinitas, CA, Gianna's Grill in Philadelphia, Caravan of Dreams in New York City and Twisted Tree Café in Asbury Park, NJ.

Too bad the survey wasn't about brownies--Spiral would've won hands down!

Spiral Diner - Dallas
1101 N. Beckley Ave.

Spiral Diner - Fort Worth
1314 W. Magnolia Ave.

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