Plate Escapes: Real Food Fast

By Ethan Harmon

Fast food is a staple of American take-out. McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell are lined up and down almost every street, offering quick, though unhealthy, food options for people who are on the go or do not wish to cook. But a little fast food restaurant called Start is hoping to change this. Start is a fast food, sure, but it promises to give customers a homely and healthy alternative to the otherwise bland options served at other chains.


Upon entering the restaurant, one can immediately tell that the experience will be unlike any other fast food chain. Customers fill each table, giving the interior a café feeling. Hand-painted foliage lines the walls and the wood seats make Start look as fresh as its food. The smells that linger from the kitchen make the mouth water.

The only downfall to this cozy little venue is the size. Because of the popularity and the lunch rushes, finding a seat can be challenging, especially if your party contains more than two people. On the plus side, there is an outdoor patio which has a few tables. If the weather is nice – and not too windy – then the patio is the perfect place to enjoy the meal.


Browsing through the menu will most likely have people scratching their heads… at first. Because the food is health conscious, the meal options may seem a bit odd. That is not to say that the food is difficult to figure out, but it is understandably strange to walk into a fast food restaurant and not find combos, let alone items that are offered at nearly every other chain. That being said, the menu is better off because of it.

Salads, wraps, burgers, and empanadas are the way to go when you go to Start. The “badder better burger” is the most popular item on the menu, and for good reason. Laced with applewood bacon, white cheddar, avocado, tomatoes, red onions, and dijonnaise (Dijon mustard/mayo fusion), the burger is a treat for the taste buds. To complement the main course, Start offers various sides, such as a salad, mixed greens, fresh fruit, tater tots, etc. And to finish off the meal, why not add some tasty carrot cake muffins? Each is topped with fat-free cream cheese icing. Yum yum.


The cashiers are very friendly and helpful. First-timers are offered help with the menu and recommendations on what to choose. Smiles are always presented with a warm, cheerful attitude. Food is delivered to your table and the manager walks around and greets every customer. Start excels in its customer service.


Start is a fascinating restaurant. The idea of offering a healthy alternative to regular fast food was something that seemed out-of-place at first, but upon trying the food, I can honestly say that the crew has succeeded. Great service, comfortable atmosphere, and tasty food; what more can I say? It is a bit cramped, but that’s just nit-picking. Start delivers on taste and service. Be sure to stop by for lunch, or swing through the drive-thru on your way home.

What to eat: badder better burger, carrot cake muffins, chicken caesar wrap, cheese empanada

Who’s there: Dallas locals, health-conscious eaters, people who are hungry

START 4814 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, TX