June 5, 2023

North Star Diner is a great example of quality vegan food

My food is vegan so it’s all plant based. It’s just nostalgic food from my past, made with plant-based ingredients. No meat, no dairy. ”

Demarco’s Confectionary is no more, but the current owners of North Bay have stayed true to the tradition of serving delicious meals, just don’t look for menu items like meatloaf sandwiches, a customer favorite served by Demarco’s former owners.

In fact, don’t look for meat at all

“My food is vegan, so it’s all plant-based. It’s just nostalgic food from my past, plant-based. No meat, no dairy,” explained owner Melissa Wyness, who has named her restaurant North Star Diner.

“I have worked with food most of my life. I did a lot of farmers markets, and that’s where I started.”

The exposure from the market led to “quite a few followers, so that was very helpful.”

In the end, he decided to get his own permanent place of business, which he found at Demarco’s office.

The restaurant is believed to be North Bay’s first vegan restaurant.

“There’s a food truck that’s plant-based, but it’s seasonal, and we dine in,” Wyness explained.

“What a beautiful place, a lot of history. It’s a comforting place, there are many people you know. You come here and you just feel a nice vibe and I think it’s more about the community and not just the food. “

Wyness was introduced to North Bay when his father moved to the area 20 years ago and later put down his own roots.

As interesting as the food is, customers are just as excited about the interior, which can best be described as an eclectic mix of the owner’s own art and pop culture.

“I went to art school and then I started cooking when I was 20.”

The menu changes as Wyness creates new taste experiences.

“I started by making homemade tortillas every week, changing the ethnicity of the flavors. So I could do Ethiopian, then Indian, and then maybe Mexican flavors, just like that from all over the world.

He’s had a good response to his Big Mac Quesadilla.

“It’s vegan ground beef with onions and sweet pickles and like a Big Mac-type sauce and cheese.”

Which is a plant-based vegan cheese.

The Green Taco is another popular menu option.

“There’s a green sauce that’s arugula and parsley and garlic. There’s vegan halloumi cheese, guacamole, and Beyond Beef, which is a plant-based beef product that we just fry. And there’s a green salsa, it’s like a cucumber, jalapeno, green onion, and green pepper salsa . There’s pickled pink onions and vegan sour cream.”

Wyness chooses to keep his menu small.

“We change it up quite often. And we usually have a special every night,” Wyness said.

“Everything is basically made from scratch, and presentation is important.”

The restaurant owner is proud to source food locally, through community farming.

“So you’d join the farm, and every week they’d give you a selection of their vegetables over the summer.”

Even people with dietary restrictions can find something to enjoy.

“We make gluten-free options. People love it. Most of our customers are not vegetarians or vegans. It’s nostalgic home cooking. I love being in North Bay. There is a great community of support here and I really appreciate that.”

North Star Diner offers plant-based comfort food on Thursdays from 17:00 to 21:00, Fridays from 17:00 to 22:00, Saturday brunch from 10:00 to 14:00 and Saturday dinner from 17:00 to 23:00.

“For brunch, we do eggs, pancakes and all kinds of breakfast-type dishes. We have a local vegan bacon company that makes vegan bacon called The Kind Butcher.

Wyness has expanded the fun to include bingo nights every two weeks.

“It’s pretty packed. It’s free and there’s prizes. It’s fun,” Wyness grinned.

“And we just started doing karaoke, so we do it once a month. And we have bands playing here and there.”

Wyness says he’s getting a lot of community support.

“And I really appreciate that.”

For more information about North Star Diner, visit its Facebook page.

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