Ocala, Florida isn’t exactly where you would expect to find amazing vegan food. In fact. we were convinced we would be cooking for ourselves all week, but we were wrong! Ocala’s Downtown Diner, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, boasts an impressive and extensive menu of fully vegan diner food. There are at least 10 different kinds of Beyond Burgers, pancakes, chick’n and waffles, and sandwiches galore! When we pulled up Happy Cow and saw this place, we were ecstatic! We popped in for the first time (yes we came more than once) after we went snorkeling at Devil’s Den. It was a weekday and was pouring rain outside, so we were the only ones in the Diner. It must have also been after the lunch rush, which would explain the lack of people. We each ordered a burger and a buffalo wrap to split and they were DIVINE! We loved this place so much and had been thinking about the Philly Cheesesteak all week, so we came back on the weekend for brunch. If you’re in the Ocala area, definitely don’t miss this place!
What we ordered
S-Curve Popper Burger- Topped with grilled jalapenos, bacon, cream cheese, & mayo on top of a Beyond Burger. It’s like a jalapeno popper on top of a burger! At first glance, Aaron wasn’t quite sure what to think about the concept of cream cheese on a burger, but after one bite he quickly changed his tune. This is a fantastic way to show off the versatility of the Beyond Burger by letting it support the popper flavors while still retaining everything that makes a good bacon cheeseburger.
Gotta Love Kraut Burger- Topped with grilled sauerkraut, pickles, thousand island dressing, & Teese cheddar cheese on top of a Beyond Burger. This was basically a Reuben burger and has officially become Hayden’s favorite burger ever made! From now on, all burgers that she eats must be made “Reuben style.” It was absolutely delicious with the dressing that tasted just how she remembers 1000 island to taste, with the sourness of the pickles and kraut, gooey cheese, all on top of the infamous Beyond Burger patty.
Not So Chicken Philly- Seitan, mozzarella, mayo, grilled peppers, mushrooms, and onions. This sandwich was HUGE, so it’s a good thing that we split this. The peppers, mushrooms, and onions were grilled to perfection (a little heavy on the mushrooms for Hayden’s taste). The seitan had great texture and flavor and the cheese was super melted right on top. We loved this so much that we were inspired to make our own!
Buffalo Wrap- Chick’n strips, mozzarella cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, celery, ranch, and buffalo sauce. The ranch and buffalo sauce came on the side, which was actually nice to be able to spoon it right onto the bite you were about to take. The sauces were on point, the buffalo had just the right amount of heat, the chick’n had a great flavor and wasn’t too chewy, the crunchiness of the lettuce and celery made for great texture, and the wrap overall was fantastic.
Chick’n and Waffles- This was a very large waffle topped with 4 chick’n nuggets. These definitely weren’t the best chick’n and waffles we’ve ever had, but they hit the spot once they were covered in butter and syrup.
Pancakes- We had been craving pancakes for weeks, so we were very excited when they arrived at our table and we saw they were as big as our heads! They actually fit the entire span of the plate, so huge! They were light and fluffy and of course, we smothered them with butter and syrup, which was just perfection.