The fast casual restaurant Start opened its doors back in August to a very eager and hungry crowd and has been busily creating a special menu of “good for you” foods that do not taste like diet fare. Start was conceived by Erin McKool who also created the menu and used her own recipes from home. This meant buying all the very best ingredients such as grass-fed beef, local honey and produce.
“Before my son was born I knew I was going to start a restaurant. After he was born I realized there was this niche you couldn’t find. There were no fast food places to dine that were healthy. I had a few go to places like Zoey’s, but you still had to deal with parking. You couldn’t go do a drive-through if you had someone asleep in the back. I started something I wanted, and I figured I was a pretty good representation of what people want,” said McKool.
The restaurant seems wildly successful. We stopped in to chat with McKool nearing 2pm during the week and the restaurant was near capacity, and the drive-through was busy.
McKool said she was working on her second location, and very feasible that a Start could pop up in cozy neighborhoods across the country.This is how people want to eat; fast and healthy cuisine that won’t break the bank.
One of the most popular dishes on the menu is McKool’s quinoa salad that can be topped with your choice of protein such as grilled chicken. The salad is bountiful and packed with great flavors. The color and variety of ingredients fills you up both body and soul.
There are plenty of interesting items on the menu that will drive you back to Start including the wraps. The chicken wrap is filled with real slices of meaty chicken breast, fresh spinach, apples, reduced-fat cream cheese, a pecan spread and a chipotle-raspberry sauce. The very manageable sandwich pops with flavors and invites the next bite.
The Savory Tater is a perfect sized baked sweet potato heaped with roasted chicken, spinach, bleu cheese and drizzled with a house-made buttermilk dressing. What an exciting departure from the usual burger and fries for lunch. At $7 you walk away from a complete meal feeling very satisfied and content that you ate very well.
There were a few other surprises on the Start menu such as the house-made empanadas. All the baked goods are made on premises using their own dough. The empanadas are baked and packed with wonderful flavors such as the Cheese which is brimming with cheddar and goat with plenty of fresh herbs and served with a side of cilantro cream, which is good all on its own.
The restaurant is open all day, including breakfast and now brunch. We ordered the brunch burger which is topped with an egg. This burger is made with the same ingredients as the lunch and dinner version, only smaller to give room for the large egg. You may also choose from oatmeal, egg white burritos, whole wheat pancakes, apple smoked bacon, turkey bacon or even a veggie sausage for breakfast. There is even a healthier version of the Egg McMuffin on the Start menu.
Start is how we know we should eat each day if we only had the access. Erin McKool plans on giving us all that access very soon.
Start | 4814 Greenville Avenue, Dallas | 214-265-1411