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The Savory Tater sweet potato

Let’s face it: Drive-thrus are part of the American landscape. But who ever said they have to serve only fattening food?

Start restaurant, Dallas’s newest eatery with a conscience, aims to dispel that dietary notion. And thanks to an eclectic menu full of hormone-free meats, organic ingredients and made-from-scratch condiments, this fast-casual entry is off to a good, well, start.

Whether you head to Start for breakfast--the egg white and vegetable sandwich with curry butter ($4.50) is a stellar standout--or end your day there with dinner (we suggest the vegetable-bean-quinoa burger, $7), the menu options are amazingly fresh, not to mention creative.

As in, when was the last time you ordered an empanada at a drive-thru? Start’s baked cheese empanada ($3.50), with its winning combination of cheddar, goat cheese, herbs and a whole-wheat crust, is certainly a delicious take on the traditional turnover.

The Savory Tater ($7)--a sweet potato stuffed with chicken, spinach, blue cheese and buttermilk dressing--marries disparate flavors with huge success. And even the ubiquitous chicken Caesar wrap ($9) emerges as a taste sensation: Its crisp romaine lettuce, thickly grated Parmesan and tangy dressing will soothe even the most discerning palate.

At last, fast food without a side of guilt.

Start, 4814 Greenville Ave., Dallas; 214-265-1411 or www.startrestaurant.net

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