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Restaurants & Bars 6

Cafe Gratitude - I Am Satisfied! (Long)

tom in sf | Aug 13, 200401:56 AM

OK, this place is worth a visit. In fact, I wanna do a chowdown here very soon. Read on....

Ambitious, creative, innovative and very fresh!

We were five: four chowhounds and a willing spouse. One couple knew the owners, Mathew and Terces, and were part of the focus group that helped determine the menu and wine list. So, we got some special attention, which was nice.

(my limited knowledge) Live food means the food is still living as you're eating it - like a sprout. It has not been 'fired' or cooked and has a larger percentage of the original nutrients intact (though I know that some foods require cooking in order to breakdown the cell structure enough to release the nutrients). Cooking can destroy some nutrients in some foods. Anyway......

We wanted to taste a wide a variety as possible. And, yes, the names of the dishes are all 'I AM (fill in the blank)' - all positive, affirmation-type descriptors.

The dishes we ordered were:

Teriyaki carrot-almond pate with savory live toast

Very tasty. 'Live' crackers of pressed, crispy vegies and a gingery pate. Bright, sharp, tangy, substantial.

Spicey coconut curry soup w/shitake mushroom

My favorite and enjoyed by everyone. Delicious, creamy, fresh room-temp soup, luxurious mouthfeel with deep coconut and green curry that was milder than spicey. Live sprouts, pieces of fresh tomato and avocado swimming throughout. No shittakes, but who cares. Pleasing to the eye and the palette.

Butternut squash noodles with ginger, garlic, lemon, tomatoes, cucumber and cilantro

The noodles looked like grated bright yellow cheddar cheese. However, they tasted of raw butternut squash, which was surprisingly refreshing, ginger, cilantro and plenty of lemon. Flavors were bright, almost vibrant. Everyone liked this dish. Presentation was beautiful with intense yellow, red and green.

Live bruschetta with tomato

Pressed, crispy, yellow-ish 'bread' topped with cherry tom's, sprouts and a wonderful sauce (which I can't remember what's in it).

Bhutanese red rice w/gaucamole, salsa and brazil nut parmesan

This was wonderful! Substantial, nutty rice, lots of guacamole, fresh salsa and a cheesy brazilnut 'parmesan.' This was served in a medium-sized cereal bowl. Looked small, but was very fulfilling. A fave.

Whole avocado in halves stuffed with sunflower pate and chipotle chile mole

Delish. Whole avocado, sliced in half, stuffed with a nutty, yummy sunflower seed pate and a lovely, dark red, spicey-smokey mole.

I AM ?????
Cauliflower 'cooked' in the dehydrator, spiced with garam masala.

This was very tasty. The dehydrator softens the texture of the raw cauliflower creating a 'steamed cauliflower' mouthfeel. Interesting. The garam masala was mellow and reminicent of gobi aloo.

Most dishes came with a side salad of mixed micro-greens/mesclun mix and house dressing. Usual toppings/garnish were whole sprouts and grated vegies. Most entrees looked like small plates, but everyone was stuffed. Everything was lovely and not too oats-and-groats-hippie-healthfood.

NOTE (to the choir): Flavor comes from nutrients. More nutrients means more flavor. More nutrients also means you get fed, which means you don't have to eat as much.

We split a bottle of an organic Chilean Cab/Malvec called Nuevo Mundo 2002 at $27. Nice, rich, good body.

Oh yeah....Desserts:

Cashew-cheese cake with meyer lemon

This was nice and creamy, more a pudding than a cake and came in a small bowl. Meyer lemon was hardly noticeable which was disappointing. With more lemon this could be a great finisher.

Chocolate almond-milk pudding

Everyone's preference. Pronounced chocolate/carob up front, creamy pudding, with a hint of coconut.

Service was polite, relaxed and a bit odd (the waiter kept asking us things like "who is Vivacious and who is Bountiful?)

We left fulfilled and slightly high on life.

We're going back.

Anyone up for a chowdown to this vegan heaven????

email me.


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