Living in Texas where beef is king, there aren’t many restaurants where we, as relatively new vegetarians, can go and have our pick of anything on the menu. We had that luxury for the first time when we visited Green Vegetarian Cuisine last weekend. It was great to see a large number of menu items representing a variety of tastes from which we could choose.
Located in the Full Goods Building at the newly revitalized Pearl Brewery compound near downtown San Antonio, Green has a laid-back and friendly atmosphere. The restaurant appeared clean and the staff was very welcoming. Despite being busy during Sunday lunch, our waiter took the time to ascertain that this was our first time visiting, and to provide some of the restaurant’s history, including their recent move from North Flores to E. Grayson. He asked if we were vegan and explained that while the standard preparation for most items on the menu was vegetarian, they all could be made vegan.
One could easily describe the décor at Green as “hip and artistic”. The two long side walls are giant chalkboards covered in drawings and writing. One small wall is hung with bicycle-themed images, and there are a number of brightly painted bike tire rims mounted on the walls as well. One problem we did have is that the high, unfinished ceiling makes the large room rather noisy. A covered patio is also available for outdoor dining, but the day we visited was too cold to be able to sit comfortably outside.
We started off with the Deluxe Nachos ($5) as an appetizer. Crispy chips were topped with refried black beans and cheese; guacamole and jalapenos were served on one side of the plate. Despite ordering real cheese (as opposed to vegan) the nachos were not greasy. The portion was generous and we were able to take a few home with us.
Vickie also ordered a Blue Healer smoothie which consisted of blueberries, banana, spinach, and soy milk. It was smooth and well-blended. The rich blue color indicated that plenty of blueberries were used, but they didn’t overwhelm the drink and hide the taste of the other ingredients.
Vickie’s entrée was the special of the day, Mole Enchiladas. While the mole was not the thick, dark gravy she grew up with, it was still very good. I (Larissa) ordered the Traditional Enchiladas, which were comparable in taste to the cheese enchiladas served in non-vegetarian restaurants; minus, of course, the meat gravy. Both entrees were served with sides of rice and refried black beans. The rice was not the traditional Spanish or Mexican recipe, but rather a coconut-cilantro version. Vickie liked it; I didn’t care for it because of the strong cilantro flavor.
We were both pretty full but couldn’t pass up ordering a couple of their 100% vegan cupcakes ($3 each) to go. Vickie doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth but was curious about how a vegan cupcake tasted. She ordered the Hostess, which was like the classic Hostess chocolate, cream-filled cupcake, complete with the white loops over chocolate icing. I ordered the Peanut Butter and Chocolate. Vickie ate hers later in the evening and couldn’t believe it was vegan. While it was a bit drier than a non-vegan cupcake, it wasn’t overly dry and the taste was incredible. The fact that we refrigerated them when we got home may have contributed to the slight dryness. I loved my peanut butter cupcake; it had a good peanut buttery flavor, which was complemented by the chocolate ganache. The cupcake was filled from the top with a peanut butter cream, and eating it with a fork made it easy, to paraphrase Seinfeld, “to control the cream distribution”, and get a little bit of cream in each bite.
Overall, our first visit to Green Vegetarian Cuisine was thoroughly enjoyable. The service was fast and friendly, the food was good, the atmosphere laid-back. Despite the noise level and the fact that we were charged 50 cents for a take-out container (and were not informed there would be a charge when we requested a box), we will definitely be returning soon!
If you plan to visit Green Vegetarian Cuisine at the Pearl, here’s what you should know:
Location: 200 E Grayson St / Suite 120 / San Antonio, TX 78215
Phone: (210) 320-5865
Hours: Sunday: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Monday-Thursday: 7:00 am to 9:00 pm
Friday: 7:00 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday: Closed in observation of the Sabbath