cafe gratitude (rose st. in venice vegan restaurant).
Homemade veggie burger on an organic whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion and spicy chipotle ketchup. Served with a side salad
terrific, in the same league as the burger at M Cafe de Chaya
note: this is NOT a "phoney meat" kind of veggie burger, it is the "vegetable patty" type of veggie burger.
also had the mocha "cheesecake," which i thought was excellent
also, the restaurant itself was VERY pretty, and very clean, and very reasonably priced.
the food in addition to tasting good, also LOOKED good.
i plan to add this place to my regular rotation
as veggie burgers go, there are basically two general categories:
1) the type of veggie burger that attempts to taste like meat , have the texture of meat, and look like meat.
a couple of examples of this category are:
a) the burger served at the Veggie Grill
b) boca burgers
2) the other category is the type of veggie burger that makes no pretense or attempt to taste like meat nor have the texture of meat nor look like meat. they are basically veggie patties
a couple of examples of this type are:
a) the M Cafe de Chaya burger
b) Dr. Praeger's burgers (sp?)
I have to admit I've been curious about this place every time I walk by, which is often...but I've also been very put off by the "woo" vibe.
The names of the dishes make my face scrunch up. I'm imagining myself trying to get through the ordering process ('Hmm...I'll have an "I Am Fulfilled" to start, and for my main, I'd like the "I Am Elated"...oh, and a large "I Am Succulent," please...')
And here I thought IHOP's "Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity®" was hard to choke out!
Can you comment on the "woo" aspect of the dining experience? Did you find it amusing, or did it detract?
you are asking this question to someone who got her Bachelor's degree from Berkeley in the early 70,s.
In those days i used to lead Encounter Groups.
the "woo" factor makes me think about my youth in a very nostalgic way.
today, i am as cynical and hardened as the next guy, but that doesn't mean that i have lost all appreciation of the more innocent point of view.
cafe gratitude is part of a tiny chain that is owned by one family. it was started in the SF Bay area.
think of the John Phillips song
If You're Going to San Francisco (be sure to wear some flowers in your hair).
That said, their food is good enough and the portions plentiful enough that woo factor or no woo factor i would be returning there.
don't know when you went to UCSC but my favorite meal was at two places. the first one was salad with tofu at the restaurant next to the bookstore. the second was at the Saturn cafe on mission st. with the brown rice and tofu sauce. it's nice to have a resurgence of this type of food. only if we can get one over here in the SGV!
The song "If You're Going to San Francisco" was actually written by the guy who sang the hit, Scott McKenzie, who was actually named Philip Blondheim. Sure SEEMS like a John Phillips song, though.
I have actually been to Cafe Gratitude in SF and the whole verbal silliness thing of the food names takes a while to get used to. The seventies at their silliest!
I've been eating at the CG on Larchmont for awhile now, and cheesy names aside, it's an awesome place and the crowds attest to it. My favorite thing on the menu right now is the I Am Guapo/a, a take on a torta. They altered this sandwich recently (the black beans are the most significant change), but it's still great.
What I dig most about the sandwich is the "coconut bacon" -- at least, that's what it was called originally. Though I'm pretty sure it's the same exact ingredient, it's now listed as "crispy chipotle maple coconut" -- which kind of makes me chuckle. I'm imagining a handful of vegans up in arms at even the sight of just the word bacon.
Call them whatever you like, they're good. I can take or leave real bacon (sacrilege in this day and age), but I adore those tiny coconut bits. I haven't looked in to how to make them myself or where to buy them, but I should.
What a coincidence you should mention the torta; I just went to the place for the first time a few hrs ago and had the torta. Very tasty and flavorful (the server "warned" me about the spiciness, which was pretty mild), w/ nicely toasted bread. My partner had the veggie burger ("I am magical") and a side of butternut squash, both of which were very good (although I liked my torta the best).
I felt a little ridiculous reciting the overly cute names (and the server actually will flip the name to "You are magical"), but the food and setting were both quite nice. And the place was VERY busy (even at 3PM!).