Yesterday around noon PST, I found myself in San Francisco, very hungry. I’d been up since 3:30am Central to catch a flight to Phoenix and then on to SFO, grabbing only a muffin on the fly.
When my companions asked what I wanted for lunch, I insisted ‘something San Franciscoey’. I guess I was thinking Rice-a-roni, what with it being The San Francisco Treat and all.
Not so much.
They took me over hill and dale to Cafe Gratitude…a raw, vegan eatery near the Mission District.
I started to explain that we had raw food places in Kansas City, but we called them things like Hen House and Price Chopper. At the same time, I was intrigued, so we went in.
We were greeted by a friendly young man with a big smile and some very cool tribal earrings. He explained the ethos behind the venture, and that it wasn’t just a resturant, it was a board game. We could play and eat. Then he left us with the menu. You really need to look at the menu.
It seems like raw food tastes a little like cardboard if you don’t add milk, but being vegan ruled out milk, so they make a milk substitute (they’d say a milk improvement) with various nuts mushed into submission by a wooden spoon. After a good look at the menu, I realized almost everything had nuts.
I asked our waiter “What do you recommend for someone with a nut allegery.”
She replied “I recommend people with nut allergies don’t eat here.”
Eventually we decided I could try the “I Am Warm”. It’s miso broth with shredded carrots, shiitake mushrooms, scallions, sprouts & hijiki sea vegetables. I’d heard of sea cows and sea monkeys and sea horses, but never sea vegetables. Turns out they’re a little like land vegetables. And I have to say….it was good!
My companions ate things like the “I Am Sensational” and “I Am Abundant.” The conversation was fantastic and the people-watching excellent.
As we walked to the car, though, I had to admit, “I Am Hungry.”
By the way, 10 oz New York Strip for dinner last night…and I’m glad to be back home in my own bed tonight!
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