A new vegan eatery called Handy Diner appeared last week in the former home of the D-Line Restaurant at 30th Avenue and Downing Street in Five Points. Owner Teri Font opened on a shoestring budget, so at the moment the new diner doesn't look much different from its predecessor; the D-Line sign was still up over the weekend, but the front door sports Handy Diner lettering. The interior is spartan, but the aroma of comfort-style, plant-based cooking fills the room.
The menu is centered on a few hearty entrees: chickpea fried steak, lentils and onions, shepherd's pie and a chili bowl, but breakfast is also served all day, with pancakes, tofu scrambles, carrot bacon and oatmeal. Vegan baked goods and Copper Door coffee are available at the counter; for dessert, Font is offering a rotating selection of ice cream sundaes made with Sweet Action flavors.
A little paint and a new sign will go a long way to turning Handy Diner into something more homey, but until then the place has a vibe similar to the counter-culture coffeehouses and sandwich shops that sprang up in the '60s and '70s; while you wait for your food, check out the small collection of books and magazines near the door.