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Is it a coincidence that the San Antonio Express-News wrote that USA Today gave Vegeria, the Alamo City’s first vegan restaurant and gluten-free bakery, a shout out on the same day I visited for the first time? I don’t think so. Word has gotten out that the food at Vegeria will make your taste buds tap dance.

Vegeria creates artistic, plant-based cuisine to change the world: “For us, being Vegan is more than just not eating animals or animal products. Being Vegan is environmentally responsible, health conscious, and a loving, peaceful and spiritual way of life.”

Located next to Taco Garage on Broadway just inside Loop 410, Vegeria is in the same center as Viva!, an interfaith bookstore. The light-filled space is an inviting, happy place. Work by local artists, like Brother Cletus and Vera Smith, enliven the walls.

Vegeria’s menu is extensive. I had a difficult time deciding, so I trusted our waitperson’s recommendation: Sangria Mushrooms, sautéed mushrooms, onions, and peppers cooked in sangria and served on a bed of coconut cilantro rice. My entree also came with two sides, and I chose corn salad and refried black beans. I should have taken an “after” picture. My plate was scraped clean.

My lunch companion chose the special of the day: spinach-filled enchiladas topped with vegan cheese. They were fabulous. She also had a cup of coffee, and the waitperson brought a carton of almond milk to the table for her. We both couldn’t get over how filling our meals were. You definitely won’t go away hungry.

If you “like” Vegeria on Facebook, you can keep up with their daily specials named for the owners’ grandmother, Rosalie. Next time, I want to try what our table’s neighbors ordered: a heaping pile of nachos that were served with sliced avocados galore. Also, I want to get a taste of their vegan tamales. They were sold out on the day I visited. Plus, we didn’t even attempt any of the gluten-free desserts because we were just too full.

For those of you who’ve made eating healthier one of your 2013 goals, Vegeria awaits your visit! They are open Mondays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.