San Antonio’s Vegan Cuisine

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San Antonio’s Vegan Cuisine

Naya Jayaram, Staff Writer

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When the word “vegan” meets your ears, you probably cringe at images of pale, slippery tofu and bitter lettuce. However, this is not the case in our city of San Antonio, where our diverse culture does not permit any type of food to be bland. The term vegan describes a diet without any animal products in it, meaning no milk, eggs, or meat. This is commonly viewed as majorly restricting when, in reality, it is not. Think of all the vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, grains, and more that provide for extremely delicious, dynamic, and culturally diverse recipes. Due to health reasons and animal abuse protest, more and more people in our city are becoming vegan, and restaurants have opened to meet these demands.

Firstly, if you crave Mexican food, you can find vegan versions of your favorite dishes at Señor Veggie and Green Vegetarian Cuisine. Located in the eccentric Lavaca, Señor Veggie is a purely vegan restaurant whose chef, José Alfredo Cruz, makes the best non-dairy nachos in the city. The plate comes with a huge mountain of crispy tortilla chips blanketed by creamy cashew cheese, steaming beans, and sizzling jalapeños. However, my personal favorite is Green, with locations in the historic Pearl District and Castle Hills. They make the most scrumptious vegan version of potato and egg tacos, which are stuffed with spiced hash browns and fluffy tofu scramble. For lunch, their Southwestern Bowl and various burritos will make your stomach warm and happy. Green’s chef, Mike Behrend, also makes totally vegan desserts, from vanilla flaxseed cupcakes to gooey chocolate brownies replacing eggs and dairy with applesauce, almond milk and coconut oil.

Chef Mike Behrend also recently expanded into Pan-Asian cuisine with the opening of Bok Choy on broadway. This small, cozy restaurant is filled with good smells and cheerful staff members. The sweet and sour tofu chicken is lathered in a delicious sauce and sprinkled with spring vegetables. Their Good Pho You Bowl and River City Ramen’s herbal broth steam with heavenly tofu and crispy mushrooms. If this is not enough, Thai Vegan on Huebner Road will certainly satisfy your noodle needs. Its menu is packed with delicious dishes, including hot yom yom soup, silky Pad Thai, and mouthwatering spicy noodles.

Lastly, there is Moshe’s Golden Falafel on McCullough Avenue, an Israeli canteen. Its famous chef Andrew Weissman serves made-on-site pita filled with falafel and vegetables. A single bite of the hot, puffy pita wrap full of fresh vegetables, spiced falafel, and smooth hummus will send you into ecstasy. Although the service is slow, the food is worth every waiting moment.

It can be seen that San Antonio is perfused with vegan/vegetarian establishments that serve delectable plates of healthful food. Whether desiring Mexican, Chinese, Mediterranean, or other, this city’s vegan cuisine does not disappoint. I myself am a vegetarian, and it fills my heart with cheer to see that my home city is experimenting with environmentally-friendly foods and that more and more people are reaping the benefits of a no-animal-product diet. Still, for carnivores and herbivores alike, one cannot help but smile over a veggie burger shared with friends.