When the little restaurant affixed to Viva! Bookstore on Broadway first opened about three years ago, an exclusively vegetarian menu was a largely untested concept in San Antonio. That didn’t deter Fred-Anthony Garza, who owns Vegeria Restaurant. Inspired by his grandmother, who raised him and taught him to cook at an early age, Garza and his creatively flavorful Tex-Mex cuisine helped prove that vegan and gluten-free fare can draw large, loyal crowds of healthful patrons, even in the heart of beef country.
Garza’s ever-evolving artistic recipes will soon reach an even larger clientele next month when his second location, Viva Vegeria, opens near Southtown, just east of IH-35 on Nogalitos. “I’m very excited to find this place that reconnects me to my roots,” Garza says, noting that his great grandfather owned a Mexican restaurant several blocks from the new location. The new Viva Vegeria restaurant is set to open just after mid August.
People who know Garza understand that creating healthful, flavorful foods isn’t his only passion – he’s equally passionate about service, about educating and giving back. That’s one reason he chose the new location on Nogalitos. “I really wanted to be in an area that needs education, that can benefit and learn how to prepare more healthy meals,” he says. Garza says he wants to host cooking classes at the new location and be involved in the local community near the restaurant, in the schools and with children and older residents in the area.
“We want to share our Tex-Mex roots, vegan style,” he says. “We want to provide fresh food and teach people how to do this for themselves.”
Garza said faithful fans of the original Vegeria restaurant on Broadway don’t need to worry; the original location will continue serving delicious vegan and gluten-free dishes without missing a beat. They’ll also be welcome at the new, larger location next month, he says.
Vegeria Vegan Tex-Mex is located at 8407 Broadway, in the Viva! Bookstore. The new Viva Vegeria location opens the latter half of August at 1422 Nogalitos. For more information about Vegeria, visit www.myvegeria.com.