Handy Diner’s owner, Teri Font, endeared herself to me the very moment I read the following sound bite in BusinessDen:
When my mom found out I bought a diner, she called me and drove out immediately (from Iowa) to see what I was doing. I think she thought I was having a manic episode or something. But once she saw the place, she got it.
That level of candid self deprecation mixed with a brand new diner in Five Points that features vegan fare exclusively? I’m sold.
Formerly known to the neighborhood as the D-Line restaurant, the space is very small and unassuming. Because the diner atmosphere is so understated, the focus here is on the food alone. A shy server brought us waters, coffees and menus. Drew ordered a burger and I had the country fried chickpea steak with glazed yams. My order was inspired by the multiple Facebook reviews raving about it and I was not led astray. Drew’s review of his plate: no nonsense, a classic burger with no frills. His favorite part: the mashed potatoes. I’m still dreaming about it and words won’t do justice to the savory nature of that breakfast.
Rarely do I delve into why I was a vegetarian for more than a decade nor the reasons I transitioned to a fully vegan lifestyle last fall. Generally speaking, meat and dairy eaters find those kinds of monologue to be a judgmental buzzkill and this blog is meant to celebrate all things Denver. What I will say is that it’s next to never that:
- I can order any and everything off the menu
- Dine at a restaurant and not feel like an asshole when I have to ask for exceptions
- A vegan menu is so inventive and soul-nourishing good.
For these reasons, Handy Diner is a breath of fresh air.
No animals harmed! If you have a single iota of interest in vegan food, ride the Light Rail to the 30th and Downing stop and walk across the street. No meal exceeds $10 and everything is stick-to-your-ribs hearty. You will not be disappointed.
We’re wishing Teri and her crew all the success in the world.