RESTAURANT REVIEW: Mexican menu sparks Fruteria – Botanero

By Crystal Moncivais


The Fruteria – Botanero by Chef Johnny Hernandez, 1401 S. Flores St., captures all the beautiful vibrant colors associated with Mexico’s traditional and savory fruit stands.

Hernandez said he was born and raised on the west side of San Antonio and was inspired by his father to become a chef. He grew up loving food and being a part of the restaurant industry.  Later, he attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York.

The concepts behind the Fruteria are very much driven by Mexican influences and Hernandez felt the restaurant was a great opportunity to showcase Mexico’s food, beverages and culture.

“I once said, ‘The day I open up my restaurant I’m going to focus on interior Mexico.’ And I did. That’s where I draw all my inspiration from,” said Hernandez.

The Fruteria offers succulent gourmet dinner plates and signature alcoholic beverages at reasonable prices for all to enjoy.

“My restaurants are designed to attract and be affordable to all walks of life. I want it to be accessible to everybody. My goal has been designed to appeal to different people in different ways.”

Aside from the easy access entry from two major highways, Hernandez felt the south side of town represented a very interesting mix of businesses and gave him a true feeling of San Antonio.

“What totally convinced me was the (San Antonio) river. I saw what it was doing and I understood what was happening to the south. To me it made a lot of sense on the map and it was going to be incredible.”

Customer service has always been a great deal when it comes to enjoying food with friends and family. The Fruteria consists of employers who not only enjoy showing great hospitality, but also have a high respect for Hernandez and his love for food.

“I love giving great hospitality and making customers feel like they are at home,” server Ray Martinez said. “Chef Hernandez is a big inspiration and a very humble guy.”

Fruteria’s manager, Honre Perez, said building relationships with customers and making them feel welcome is a must.

Hernandez also has opened up another Mexican-inspired restaurant called La Gloria, which sits in the center of Pearl Brewery. He also is planning on opening his second Fruteria in Houston on April 12.

Feel free to stop by and embrace Hernandez as he prepares his authentic savory aromas and ignites you with his signature tequilas, as you bask in the ambiance of Mexican artistry.

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Hours for the restaurant – 1401 S. Flores St. — are 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 8 a.m.-midnight Friday; 9 a.m.-midnight Saturday; and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday (brunch). The restaurant is closed daily from 3 to 4 p.m. The phone number is (210) 251-3104 and e-mail address is


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