The Diner's New Vegan And Veggie Menu: Reviewed
Given the omnipresence of meat and cheese in American diner style food, we were intrigued to hear that all-American restaurant chain The Diner has launched a new veggie and vegan menu.
Rather than being a token section at the bottom of the main menu to placate meat-free munchers, The Diner has dedicated a whole separate menu to its vegan and veggie offerings. Those accustomed to a limited choice between salad or veggie burger can now indulge in mac 'n' cheese, burritos, and pancakes, among other American-style favourites.
Veggie sausages are always a bit hit and miss, so it's a relief to find a hot dog that seems to be made from vegetables, rather than sawdust. That said, the excessive use of mustard and ketchup drowns out any chance you had of tasting the vegetables — come on guys, less is more.
Sides, for once, aren't sideswept — 11 different sides are available on the veggie menu (eight of which are vegan), including five different types of fries. Portion sizes are most definitely American — go side or starter, not both.
Vegans; do pay attention to the labels ('v' for veggie or 'vg' for vegan) next to each dish. For example, the mac 'n' cheese is vegan, but the cheese in the cheesy fries isn't. That said, the staff on our visit were on the ball with checking that each dish was suitable for whoever had ordered it — which convinces us further that this is more than just a token attempt to hop on the vegan bandwagon.
This may be meat-free, but it's still got that American ethos of overindulgence; we leave feeling surprisingly full. As we waddle down the road, we realise we made the same mistake we always do; filling up on the (unfortunately non-vegan) milkshakes. Go forth, go veggie/vegan, but learn from our sweet-toothed mistake.
The Diner has several branches across London. The veggie and vegan menu is currently only being served at Islington and Strand branches.
Last Updated 19 October 2017