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- Lane Pittard
Pharm Table Cafe106 Auditorium Circle, (210) 802-1860, pharmtable.com
Elizabeth Johnson is on a mission to make vegetables sexy. With the opening of her meal delivery concept Pharm Table, the chef and former Culinary Institute of America-San Antonio instructor helped families and individuals on the go nourish themselves without resorting to fried and sugary foods. Instead, Johnson and co. delivered with anti-inflammatory meals devoid of dairy, sugar and gluten. Before you roll your eyes and express some Texas-y sentiment, it’d behoove you to spend some time at Pharm Table Café. Inside the Radius Building, this rustic and charming eatery takes locally grown produce and livestock and turns it into whimsical and culturally diverse cuisines.
Open for breakfast and lunch (and the occasional dinner as themed around whatever’s going on at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts), Pharm Table Café’s turning heads and pleasing tummies with a succinct menu that changes almost daily. Begin with a meal starter, a light mix of pickled ginger, lemon juice, raw honey and salt to get your digestion juices going. Otherwise you really can’t go wrong with any of the menu options. Johnson’s winter squash soup, a velvety smooth and warm serving, is presented in a tumbler glass.
To that effect, most of Pharm Table’s presentation looks at conventional plating and scoffs. You’re not getting a boring salad here, you’re getting a finely shredded bowl of kale, massaged in garlic and prepared as a Blue Plate Special topped with carrot puree and shredded local beef — and you’re eating it with chopsticks.
Taking notes from the world’s Blue Zones — areas where civilizations tend to live longest — Johnson is turning downtown denizens into culinarians ready for fall Burmese salads, Punjab cabbage bowls and vegetable curry bowls come lunchtime. Oh, and they just so happen to be vegan.
Making vegetables sexy was the mission, and so far it’s working.