America's First Veggie-Focused Fast Food Drive-Thru Plans Nationwide Expansion
While dining at drive-thru joints, vegetarians are often forced to stick with meat-free menu choices like fries, fro-yo, and side salads. (As for vegan and gluten-free patrons, their meal options are likely even more limited.) But thanks in part to Amy's Drive Thru—a California-based restaurant that bills itself as the nation's first organic, gluten-optional, and veggie-focused fast food eatery—customers across both the Golden State and the greater U.S. may soon get to indulge their cravings guilt-free, according to Geek.com.
Amy's Drive Thru—which sells everything from organic burgers to vegan mac 'n' cheese and gluten-free cinnamon rolls— may soon open a second location in Marin County, California, in addition to its flagship location in Sonoma County, California. Eventually, the restaurant hopes to expand nationwide, providing the veggie-loving masses with fast food made from local ingredients and farm-fresh produce.
If both the concept and the name of Amy's Drive Thru sounds familiar, that's because it's an offshoot of Amy's Kitchen, the frozen and canned food brand stocked at Whole Foods and other grocery stores. After years of enticing shoppers with foods like organic frozen pizzas and gluten-free burritos, the business opened their first stand-alone eatery in Rohnert Park, California, in 2015.
The Amy's Drive Thru in Marin County isn't a done deal quite yet: For one thing, local planning officials still need to address the project in a preliminary hearing planned for September 12, 2017. (According to Eater, existing local zoning rules already prohibit drive-thru restaurants, but Amy's is hoping for some wiggle room.) "We are very early in the design process for Amy's Drive Thru on Paradise Drive, and look forward to sharing additional information as quickly as we can," company officials tell Mental Floss.
That said, expect to hear more about the restaurant in the future as it grows in both scope and scale, with multiple potential locations in the works for Northern California, Fast Company reports.
Keep in mind that terms like "vegetarian" and "gluten-free" don't technically mean fewer calories: Amy's signature double-decker veggie burger, "The Amy," reportedly has more calories than a McDonald's Big Mac, according to a review by Paste. While the fast food franchise may be a great option for customers who choose not to eat meat, or have conditions like celiac disease or lactose intolerance, you still might want to check how Amy's Drive Thru stacks up, health-wise, against other fast food giants before chowing down with abandon.