Business Intel: Vegan fast-food restaurant opens in Roanoke | Business Local

Will Kreznick

Chef Thomas Leonard said many vegans find it difficult to eat out at restaurants and have to make modifications to their orders. That won’t be the case at Screaming Vegan, where he said customers on a plant-based diet “don’t have to […]

A new vegan fast-food restaurant has opened off Melrose Avenue in Roanoke.

Screaming Vegan offers comfort foods like hot dogs, cheeseburgers and patty melts, but all menu items are 100% plant-based, said chef Thomas Leonard.

“The idea is that we wanted to do a plant-based menu that kind of fools, for lack of a better term, people who are not vegan,” he said.

For those more accustomed to the vegan diet, Leonard said, the menu also features dishes like a quinoa bowl, jackfruit sliders and falafel.

Leonard, who has been on a completely plant-based diet for about five years, said many vegans find it difficult to go out to eat at a restaurant, where they have to ask lots of questions about the menu or make modifications to their orders.

“I want to create a space where vegans can come in and you don’t have to question anything,” he said.

But Leonard said he enjoys serving skeptical customers, too, mentioning one man who couldn’t believe the restaurant’s take on a crab cake sandwich was vegan.

“We’re wanting to appeal to everyone, not just people who subscribe to a vegan diet,” Leonard said. “We’re making believers out of people every day.”

Leonard said he’s particularly proud of Screaming Vegan’s sauces and condiments, mentioning a Louisiana remoulade sauce for the crab cake and a “cheese” sauce made from vegetables.

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