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10 Hot Restaurants: Where to Eat and Drink Right Now in San Antonio 

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click to enlarge DAN PAYTON
  • Dan Payton

Viva Vegeria

1422 Nogalitos St., (210) 465-9233,

Viva Vegeria is Fred Anthony Garza’s new South Side outpost for plant-based cuisine. From its colorful interior he hopes to spread the gospel of “cultural education through food, healthy eating, urban gardening …” all under the watchful guise of La Virgen. It already looks like the locals are responding to the likes of Two Lovers guacamole with the added kick of chipotles.

Less obvious as a vegan selection at first glance is a dish called Ancho and Cascabel hot wings (buffalo wings). But read the fine print: This is actually a plate of battered and fried cauliflower florets served with an ancho and cascabel “buffalo” sauce. Yes, the cauliflower seems more like “nuggets” than “wings,” but the dish works regardless; the fry job is right-on and the sauce is punchy. The accompanying carrot and celery sticks may help further the wing reference, but it’s the mild cucumber and poblano dip that shines. It was good enough to save in case it came in handy for the next course.

click to enlarge DAN PAYTON
  • Dan Payton
Which it did: We drizzled it on the lightly dressed baby spinach salad that came with an entrée of spinach huitlacoche enchiladas. Word to the wise: Keep reading the fine print. Entrées, already blessed with a salad, come with an additional house side, so unless you’re feeling a real need to get very green, maybe pick black beans or papas fritas with garlic curry ketchup to go with your plate. As good as the sturdy ginger kale salad we ordered was, it was a little overkill — especially with the additional greenery inside the earthy enchiladas topped with vegan queso and a sunflower seed crema. Sweet potatoes come into play with several other entrées, flautas and enchiladas alike; portobello mushrooms are fried crisp to stand in for chicharrones in a plate of street tacos; and Mexican squash cooked in coconut milk adorns a mollete with melted vegan cheese. Vegans both confirmed and reluctant will find much to like.

Dishes to try: ancho and cascabel hot wings, spinach huitlacoche enchiladas


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