Grateful for Cafe Gratitude

There is one more San Francisco foodie experience I must share with you. I know I am still leaving out the gala dinner. I will get to that in some form or another. But first things first.

Over the weekend, I chowed down on burgers, octopus, pork, buttery croissants, to name a few. But not all of it was animal based. In fact, I ate a lot of vegan while there too!

It started on Friday after a yoga class at San Francisco’s Yoga to the People. Astrid and I showed up with 50 lbs of luggage, only to find out we had to climb five flights of stairs to get to the studio.

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You have got to be kidding me.

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I think we could have skipped the sun salutations, we were already warmed up when we got there!

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The climb however was worth it, as the studio was gorgeous. Large and bright, with windows overlooking the San Francisco cityscape. I know some people think doing a yoga class is a weird way to experience a city. I did the same thing while in Banff. However, finding new yoga studios is one of my favourite ways to experience a new locale!

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The class itself was wonderful. Not so much “hot yoga” as “warm yoga.” Enough to open you up. Crazy leg postures, including a low lunge for what felt like 10 minutes. I left feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and completely elated!

It was with this feeling that I first experienced Cafe Gratitude.

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A small vegan restaurant that specializes in mostly raw dishes. Apparently they used to operate on a by-donation basis.

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I loved everything down to the cloth napkins.

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My table started with an I Am Abundant Sampler Plate.                  

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Sprouted almond hummus, hempseed pesto crostini, spicy cashew nacho cheese w/flax chips, olive tapenade, buckwheat crackers, spring roll & mini house soup.

Cafe Gratitude only just started serving warm dishes and didn’t even have an oven when we were there. Thus, only served two of their cooked options. I opted for the I Am Trusting Tamal Plate.

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A hamdmade corn tamal made with stone-ground heirloom masa and filled w/ seasonal vegetables served with beans, salsa verde & Mexican cilantro coleslaw.

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I don’t think I’ve had a tamale since I was in Mexico 8 years ago!! I loved the cilantro slaw and the green salsa.

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The best part though were the pieces of squash in the tamale. Great for taste and texture.

After lunch, we decided it would probably be in our best interest to order dessert too.

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I Am Devoted Coconut Cream Pie: Rich coconut cream pie in a coconut-date crust. Holy coconuts!! I definitely would not compare this to the real thing, but that doesn’t mean this version still wasn’t delicious. So coconutty and surprisingly fluffy in the centre considering no cream was used.

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Group shot stolen borrowed from Ashley :)

Come Sunday evening, I found myself with no official schedule or dinner plans. When I heard a group of bloggers were hitting up Cafe Gratitude, it sounded like just what I needed after a weekend of heavy food.

I hummed and hawed over what to get once again. Picking the menu up, feeling overwhelmed, then setting it down again.

I finally decided on a dish that caught my eye on that first visit. I didn’t want to leave wondering what it tasted like!

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I Am Festive Taco Salad: Shredded romaine lettuce with crumbled pumpkin seed-walnut taco filling, guacamole, salsa & cashew nacho cheese, topped with flax chips.

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I loved the flax chips. Some people thought they were a touch too spicy, but they were right up my alley. The walnut taco filling was good too, however there wasn’t enough of it. Cashew nacho cheese was creamy and spicy, but this time too much of it! I totally blanked and forgot to ask for it on the side.

Even though I got just a half order of the salad, my belly filled quickly from all the delicious food ingested over my weekend at the Foodbuzz Festival in San Francisco.

Sometimes it’s easy to zip through vacations so quickly that they’re gone in a blink of an eye. Suddenly, you’re laying in bed watching Mad Men in Toronto thinking, “Wasn’t I just soaking up the rays in California?”

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Thankfully, Cafe Gratitude slowed me down just long enough to appreciate being in that moment. With new blog friends, enjoying wonderful food, in a place I never expected to be.

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Picture copied borrowed from Raya.

And for the record, Cafe Gratitude gets extra points for proper signage.

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For all you Americans who say “bathroom” ;)

 

My other Foodbuzz Festival/San Francisco recaps:
California Dreamin’
The Bakery That Changed My Life
All Good Things Come To An End
A Food Lover’s Paradise
A West Coast Story

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Posted on November 10, 2010, in Restaurants and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Cafe Gratitude sounds amazing! Not only does the food look delicious, it also looks so cozy and welcoming! :-)

  2. I loved yoga so much, and I especially loved those up, up, up signs that mocked us as we lugged our luggage. Seriously. And Cafe Gratitude was phenomenal. I actually loved all the affirmations for each menu item. And the coconut cream pie was unbelievable. I have never had a raw dessert that delicious. How great that you got to eat there again! I want to go there the next time that I am in the area.

  3. they’re opening a cafe gratitude down the street from me in LA! I CAN’T WAIT!!!

  4. My parents learned english the british way so i say “lou” or “toilet”. bathrooms are for….what else….baths!
    I feel like I totally missed out for not going to lunch with you guys!

  5. i love that you love checking out yoga studios as a way to explore a new city!!!
    :)

  6. Cafe Gratitude sounds amazing! On my list of places to go when I (finally) visit San Fran… :)

    We need to do another blog meetup so I can hear all about it in person!

    xo

  7. Haha, well technically if Americans say bathroom and this was IN the US, they were wrong!! ;)

    There’s something about cashew cheese that sounds wrong yet it tastes really good- curious.

  8. love the pics of the food! wow that coconut cream pie sounds out of this world I cant believe I never have had it!

  9. I wish I had gotten a tamale! I liked the sampler plate bt the falafel hurt my tongue :(

    Love and miss you, FEEL BETTER.

  10. The studio looks amazing. The only yoga I do is on Wii….I’m jealous of your experience.

  11. I know, I was out of breathe before yoga even began ; ) I am was a lucky girl for being able to enjoy two Cafe Gratitude meals with you!! I enjoy meeting you and look forward to seeing you again one day!!

    ~
    Michelle

  1. Pingback: Reflections of a Festival Gone By | The Great Balancing Act

  2. Pingback: The Food I Brought Home | The Great Balancing Act

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