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oooops...i meant cafe gratitude...

m
mindy Mar 22, 2007 06:26 AM

sorry...i posted the other day with the wrong name and stand corrected...my sister is a raving maniac about this place(several locations)...any opinions????

  1. Mari Mar 22, 2007 07:43 AM

    Do a search - there are several posts. I have been once and have been trying to get back because I thought the food was great. I particularly liked the salads and the pizza. Someone else on the board has raved about the coconut cake Definitely give it a try.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Mari
      Lori SF Mar 22, 2007 09:29 AM

      raw coconut cream pie-called *I AM DEVOTED " is excellent, I can eat this for breakfast!

      I like Cafe Gratitude they have a dish that I crave from time to time- called *I AM ACCEPTING- steamed Bhutanese red rice tossed with
      raw vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, scallions and Asian sesame dressing.

      I go to the one on 9th Ave. mostly because it is closer. I always feel really good after eating there, fortified in a way.

      1. re: Lori SF
        Ozumo Mar 22, 2007 01:37 PM

        Steamed? I thought they don't apply heat to anything there?

        1. re: Ozumo
          chaddict Mar 22, 2007 09:43 PM

          Yeah, common misconception. Not a strictly raw food resto. They cook quinoa too.

          1. re: Ozumo
            Lori SF Mar 23, 2007 09:30 AM

            Quinoa- I am Grateful it is slightly cooked, how else could one eat it? It expands about 4 times when it is cooked.. I guess it becomes bigger than life.

    2. larochelle Mar 22, 2007 08:49 AM

      I am not vegan but I have two friends that are vegan who are also reliable food informents -- that is they are not militant or preachy, are actually good cooks and have good taste -- both of them gave it the thumbs down.

      I believe the knocks were annoying atmosphere and food that ranged between barely competent, nothing special and "tortured".

      1. Morton the Mousse Mar 22, 2007 09:45 AM

        Definitely a love it or hate it kind of place. I want to like it as I share their enthusiasm for sustainable foods. Unfortunately, I find that the food makes me nauseous for a few days, probably due to the high tannin content from the nuts and grains, and the fact that the complex proteins and carbohydrates are not broken down via cooking and are therefore difficult to digest. I always leave feeling ill and unsatisfied, which is the exact opposite of how I want to feel after a pricey meal. The desserts have an interesting texture, but are way too sweet for my taste. So, I've given up on Gratitude. Still, it's very popular. You should try it for yourself and see.

        1. JasmineG Mar 22, 2007 09:53 AM

          I really tried to like it, but just...didn't. The salad was good, but I really didn't like the "pizza." The textures are all off to me, and there are just too many nuts (and I like nuts!).

          1. pane Mar 22, 2007 10:56 AM

            Breakfast at Cafe Gratitude probably my worst dining experience ever. The food tasted like mudcakes left to dry in the sun. Again, though, I've heard positive experiences from others. If I had to return, I'd probably stick with a salad and avoid any of the fake-baked items.

            1. n
              ngardet Mar 22, 2007 12:37 PM

              Pros:
              - The desserts are actually quite good for vegan stuff
              Cons:
              - Very expensive
              - Annoying dish names
              - Cultish vibe
              - Small portions

              1. c
                chemchef Mar 22, 2007 02:56 PM

                I don't like the atmosphere... too hippy/new agey or something, but I *LOVE* the food. Interesting textures and flavors and very innovative.

                I've only been to the newer Berkeley location. I had the special, which was a raw phad thai. The noodles were made with celery root (I think) and it was very good, both texturally and flavor wise. I also had some sort of lemon drink (I can't remember what it was called) and it was good as well. I had their ice "cream" for dessert and found it *addictive*.

                Have always felt satisfied, not stuffed afterwards and invigorated. Plenty of food, but not enough for leftovers. I've never felt sick, but that may be a sensitivity that some people have to all the "roughage".

                A little pricey, but that's to be expected at any specialty restaurant. I would still definitely recommend it. Oh, and I'm a meat-eater btw.

                1 Reply
                1. re: chemchef
                  Morton the Mousse Mar 22, 2007 03:25 PM

                  In my case, it's definitely not *just* a sensitivity to roughage; I eat 5-10 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day, and my stomach almost always feels fantastic.

                2. l
                  Lil_Miss_Foodie_SF Mar 22, 2007 04:05 PM

                  The food here is wonderful. It makes me feel like I am doing something good for myself when I eat it. I especially like their rice and quinoa bowls as they are pretty filling for the price. However, the service here is truly awful. i thinked the waitstaff is trained in bad customer service or forced to smoke huge doobies before they go on their shift. If you go here make sure you are not starving or you will truly loose it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Lil_Miss_Foodie_SF
                    o
                    oaktowngirl Mar 24, 2007 09:54 PM

                    I have seen the staff of Cafe Gratitude at Whole Foods on their lunch break (self-identified) and , based on that, would be hesitant to try the restaurant. They seemed very *young* and not particularly savvy.

                  2. MollyGee Mar 22, 2007 04:18 PM

                    I've only been to Cafe Gratitude once and I *really* wanted to like it, but everything was just really off for me (me: vegetarian, worshipper of good fruits and veggies). I wanted to be able to say, "Wow, that's really good...for a raw cracker.." but I couldn't even say that. I can't remember the names of the things I tried, but one was some sort of vegetable burger served on a piece of pressboard ("bun") and about a pound of various random undressed foliage. It (the "burger") was so uncomfortably spicy, I couldn't eat it and no where was the dish described as spicy and I intended to share it with my two young kids. The guacamole (whatever it was called ) was delicious, but it was about a quarter of a cup of the stuff for close to eight bucks = yikes! The hummus tasted good but had a bizarre textural quality to it that prevented my fussy son (normally a big fan of hummus) from trying more than a bite. The smoothies were absolutely fantastic - the fruity one was very fresh and the creamier nutty one was very satisfying, but, again, the price was shockingly high.

                    The servers were very sweet to my kids, but it was waaay too price-y for what it was. My kids really liked the smoothies, but even my more adventurous child barely ate anything that was not sweet.

                    1. tara Mar 23, 2007 07:08 PM

                      I've only been the original outpost in The Mission. I'm a meat-eater, and I love the food -- I too feel fulfilled after eating there. Not such a fan of the menu items' affirmation names, but I can get over it.

                      1. c
                        Carnitas Mar 23, 2007 07:15 PM

                        I'm a serious carnivore. I've been twice and have no problems with the food or the place. I think what they do and what they do it with is just incredible. I don't think it's hit or miss. I think it is just great and not at all expensive unless you are thinking " for no meat" If that's what bothers you think about the work that goes intoi it. I think it's a deal.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: Carnitas
                          Lori SF Mar 23, 2007 07:43 PM

                          organic produce cost almost as much as meat these days. carnitas is right, it's about what they put into it. I agree about it not being a hit or miss, I mainly go to the one on 9th Ave like three times a month for lunch and always feel satisfied. I also think you need to know what to order.

                          1. re: Lori SF
                            Ozumo Mar 23, 2007 09:45 PM

                            What do you order?

                            1. re: Ozumo
                              Lori SF Mar 23, 2007 10:30 PM

                              Some of the salads I liked-
                              I AM DAZZLING Caesar salad - is quit good

                              I AM HEROIC Quinoa Tabouli – quinoa tossed with fresh parsley, mint,
                              cucumbers and classic lemon dressing- nice and clean, refreshing.

                              main dishes-
                              I AM FLOURISHING Mediterranean plate -is great- has a coconut yogurt cucumber tzatziki salad that is delicious.

                              My favorite - I AM ACCEPTING stir-unfry - Steamed Bhutanese red rice tossed with raw vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, scallions and Asian sesame dressing.

                              I have tried different smoothes and liked all the ones I tried.
                              and the AM LOVED latte with steamed almond milk is heaven.

                              The best thing is the I AM DEVOTED live coconut cream pie - Rich coconut cream pie in a coconut date crush- I can't get out of there without this.
                              The I AM MAGNIFICENT raw chocolate mousse - Raw cacao and coconut
                              blended into a rich and creamy mousse - is pretty good too.

                              The lemon meringue pie and live tiramisu were just too weird, could not finish them after a couple of bites. Taste, texture did not work with these.

                              Their seasonal soups are usually good.

                              I would not order the pizza either.

                              1. re: Lori SF
                                Ozumo Mar 24, 2007 08:36 AM

                                Thanks for the recs, I plan on going there with my vegetarian brother some day soon. He wanted to try the raw pizza, but that might be one of those things that he'll want to try even if it might not be that good, because he's very intrigued by the concept of raw pizza.

                                But seriously, can anyone explain why they can steam some stuff? If they can serve steamed rice, why not cooked pasta or pizza crust? Where is the line drawn and why? I tried asking earlier in this thread, but a mod deleted it, hopefully this time they'll leave my post up so I can get an answer or two...

                                1. re: Ozumo
                                  Atomica Mar 24, 2007 08:55 AM

                                  They don't do pasta or pizza crust because they are trying to be gluten-free and dairy-free.

                                  1. re: Ozumo
                                    Morton the Mousse Mar 24, 2007 09:56 AM

                                    1) Raw whole grains, even when sprouted, are indigestible. If they didn't give them a light cooking, they couldn't serve them.

                                    2) Warm food is very comforting when it's cold outside. With an all raw menu, they'd have trouble bringing in the crowds on a frosty, January night.

                                    1. re: Morton the Mousse
                                      Lori SF Mar 24, 2007 10:11 AM

                                      Morton yes that does some it up pretty much. Also, I will add that their pasta and pizza crust in made with live food that does not need to be cooked as Atomica said gluten-free and dairy-free.

                                      Water-based cooking as in soups, steaming, and cooking in a pressure cooker results in very little loss of nutrients and a significant increase in the absorption of phytochemicals. Generally, most Vegans on Raw diet will have steamed whole grains.

                                  2. re: Lori SF
                                    o
                                    oaktowngirl Mar 24, 2007 09:56 PM

                                    Has anyone here been to The Gravity Bar in Seattle? Some of these dishes sound like some of my old favorites. Please tell me they are similar. Please.

                            2. s
                              sweetdreamsoffood Mar 24, 2007 11:19 PM

                              I am not vegan but can do vegetarian. While I liked their desserts quite a bit, their "cheese," a brazilian nut "cheese" was grainy, chalky and not at all good. Thus, I don't recommend their "fondue" with apples. Also, most of what we ordered was too cold for my taste. The "pizza" came on a cracker (or some form of unleavened bread), the marinara sauce on it was cold, and of course, the grainy nut cheese accompanied the cold sauce. The "burger" was pretty similar (served on an open-faced cracker with cold "ketchup").

                              In addition to being disappointed in the food (I agree with those who say it is pricey), the experience was a bit too hokey for my taste.

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