Brittney Davila/ The Paisano
Señor Veggie, a venue that offers a modern take on vegan Mexican, Mediterranean and American cuisine opened its doors to the Downtown area of San Antonio on Jan. 31, 2014.
Owners José Alfredo Cruz and wife, Tiffany, brought plant-based dishes to their neighborhood before taking it to the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers market, where they still serve falafel pitas and more, Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
However, Señor Veggie now has an earthy, open space to entice its customers. A colorful design scheme with each wall painted a different, vibrant color sets the tone of the business. Unique art hangs on the walls: paintings accompanied with wood etchings or created on metal. With plenty of seating inside and outside and a convenient parking lot, Señor Veggie is the perfect location for anyone to visit while Downtown.
The restaurant offers appetizers large enough to share at a full table, soup, salads and sandwiches. To drink, Señor Veggie offers iced black tea and hibiscus tea, assorted hot teas, coffee, bottled natural cane sodas and aqua frescas.
Appetizers range from the zesty Poblano Corn Fritters to the Sweet Potato Wedges. The Baba Ghanoush, served with warm pita bread, is made from mashed eggplant with oils and spices to add a kick to the hummus-like dip. Along with the Fava Bean Hummus appetizer, the Baba Ghanoush is a great introduction to Mediterranean cuisine.
The soup and salads menu boasts distinct mixtures of ingredients. The smoked tomato bisque is a popular choice from the soups of the day, while a variety of salads can be ordered from Kale Salad with beets and sprouts to the Southwestern Cobb Salad that comes with jicama, black beans, corn, tortilla strips and cilantro lime. Grilled tofu, smoked tempeh (a soy product similar to tofu) and falafel (similar to a meatball but made from chickpeas and fava beans) can be added to any salad for $1.99.
Although there are only six choices for main dishes, each dish is a unique element at Señor Veggie. The most popular choices are the Falafel Wrap, SV Burger (made with a black bean patty) and the Buffalo Tofu Po Boy. The falafel wrap comes stuffed with hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and falafels wrapped in pita bread. Despite the dry texture of the falafel balls, the wrap was delicious and fulfilling without the heaviness.
An interesting menu choice are the veggie street tacos made with “jackfruit carnitas.” The jackfruit is an odd, prickly fruit about the size of a melon with fibrous flesh that resembles pork meat.
Sandwiches are served with a choice of fries, a cup of soup, a side salad or the veggie of the day. For those who are worried about the indulgence of fries, the sweet potato is cut shoestring style and crisped to thinness. The well-seasoned fries indulge without the guilt.
Señor Veggie also offers a variety of baked goods including sweet potato and pumpkin empanadas. The pumpkin empanada is sweet and crispy with extra sugar on top and a thick, jam filling.
The restaurant is staffed with friendly individuals who make connections with their customer — an apparent extension of the owners’ way of business.
Señor Veggie is located at 620 S. Presa St. and open Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and closed Sunday and Monday. Salads and sandwiches range from $7-9.