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I Am (fill in the blank and order…)

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.    header

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!


6 Responses

  1. I am amazed you ate there!! Not sure I would have.

  2. To clarify, the soup was very good, and my lunchmates were all quite impressed with their meals as well.

  3. OH MAN! 1 little phone call and we could have set you UP!! One little text, phonecall, email….

    For anyone finding themselves in a raw food place with no clue….

    1. Eat DESSERT! Raw Food Dessert is probably MORE nutrition than an average DAY on a regular diet. Real Raw Foodies often eat dessert FIRST. Nut allergies make this tricky, but I would have picked the “I am Devoted” or “I am Magnificent”.

    2.Eat a Salad. Eat one anyway! They can avoid the buts easy ont his one.

    3. Eat a WRAP. These are salads with stuff in a collard green. Check that the sauce isnt nut based, or go for GUAC!

    Shameless plug… CHECK OUR WEBSITE.

    2. Eat a

  4. Ok, now I am hungry.

  5. I confess: I totally panicked when you said you had a nut allergy – I’d usually ask ahead of time. My second choice was going to be the soul food restaurant on 3rd street, but I thought the gratitude bent might give us a smile. So it’s settled, then: next time, blackened catfish and sweet potato pie.

  6. AG – no worries! It was great fun! The kicker was a few hours later when we arrived at Larry’s house and he offered us Walnut Bread. I thought Rob was going to fall off the chair laughing at me. 🙂

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