I spent the afternoon in Greenville today, and as I always do before going to another city, I checked out in advance what my lunch options would be. Happy Cow pretty much had one restaurant choice for me, not including grocery store hot bars.
I like checking out all vegetarian restaurants anyway, and authentic Indian food can be hard to find, so we decided to give it a try.
First, let me get out of the way that the food was absolutely great. I ate a lot of Indian food in high school at homes of friends and I’ve been lamenting the fact that I never seem to get that same experience in restaurants. Particularly the fact that I can never find idli on the menu. Well, I found it today and it was just as I remember, along with sambar (like a soup) and cucumber chutney. I also ordered a vegan “tomato omelet” made with lentil flour. In all honesty, it was not much like an omelet at all, not even a vegan one, but it was incredibly tasty even so. It was a little thinner and crispier than you would expect from an omelet.
But more importantly, being in Swad was just a wonderful happy experience. It is clearly a family restaurant with the owner also being the chef, and his son being the waiter. When I asked what had no dairy in it, the chef personally came to my table, asked if I was vegan, and then told me everything on the menu that I could have, which was almost everything.
He seemed genuinely delighted to have me there, and made a point of mentioning that the entire restaurant is vegetarian and the cooking equipment never touches meat of any kind, or any eggs. The owner is a lifelong vegetarian.
I was so very full when I finished my meal. But when the owner so enthusiastically came back to my table to give me a free cup of lentil soup and rice to try, I had to say yes. And it was delicious. I wish I could remember what it was exactly.
The people there were so genuine. I really felt as though I was a guest in their home and they were serving me the best they had to offer. I absolutely will make this a regular stop any time I’m in Greenville.
Swad is located at 1421-A Laurens Rd. in Greenville, SC. Open Mon-Sat 11AM-9PM.