San Antonio’s Growing Vegan Scene – San Antonio Magazine

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Rogelio and Michael Sanchez started Hash (Heal and Spread Healing) Vegan Eats out of a own desire to live healthier. Rogelio says he’d decided to get sober alongside his brother after battling addiction, and veganism was a next step.

“I started to ride bikes and while riding I realized that I was more sluggish if I ate a big ol’ burger,” he says.

Like Sanchez, some eat vegan for health reasons, others in support of the environment and animals, and still others out of curiosity about whether things like vegan fried “chikn” can taste like the real thing. Whatever the reason, an increasing number of locals looking for plant-based options has led to an explosion of vegan menus.

San Antonio is not alone. Nationwide, the plant-based food market grew almost twice as fast as the total U.S. retail food market in 2020, according to data from the Plant Based Foods Association.

At Hash, the menu is 100 percent plant-based and alcohol-free, featuring buffalo chikn hash, “phish” tacos, mixed berry waffles, CBD-infused teas and more. “We don’t want you to come in thinking you’re going to eat a boring salad or block of tofu,” Sanchez says. “We want to give you something better than you ever expected.”

Jackfruit barbacoa tacos by Plantaqueria. Photo by Marty Morris.

Chef Sofia Maria Renteria has the same goal at her Plantaqueria pop-up, which launched in 2020, selling vegan tamales, carne asada and jackfruit barbacoa tacos meant to taste just as good as traditional Mexican dishes.

Even Thanksgiving can be enjoyed vegan-style, says Urban Soul owner Tia Rodriguez, who offers vegan holiday feasts. Many of her customers tell her they, like her, are seeking plant-based foods for health reasons.

Project Pollo founder Lucas Bradbury says while health and sustainability drive some to fully vegan eating, a survey they conducted found that 79 percent of customers aren’t vegan or vegetarian, they simply want to eat some plant-based food. The San Antonio–based vegan chicken eatery opened just over a year ago and has since grown to include nine restaurants in Texas. Bradbury hopes to have 100 Project Pollos by 2024, offering a vegan alternative to Chick-fil-A. “The future of consumption in fast food is plant-based. Period,” he says.

A grilled chik’n Caesar wrap from Project Pollo. Photo by Marty Morris.

Still, Adrian Messina and Gene Liguori know there are plenty of vegan skeptics. It’s the reason they hired a non-vegan chef to help them curate the menu at their new Verve Pie in Cibolo. They say they’re “rescuing animals one slice at a time,” but also just serving really good pizza.

Glamaris Cakes founder Amaris Garcia admits even she had doubts about making delicious vegan baked goods, but she found with some creativity, the vegan alternative can taste just as good—or better.

Glamaris Cakes’ vegan apple spice cake with vanilla buttercream, caramel drip and fresh figs. Photo by Marty Morris.

Source: Thanks https://www.sanantoniomag.com/san-antonios-growing-vegan-scene/