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Really Liked Gracias-Madre in SF's Mission District

Fine | Dec 2, 201004:21 PM

A few weeks ago I asked for advice on a lunch spot. Finally chose this place I'd been meaning to try but had avoided mainly because it was reputed to be too noisy to carry on a conversation without shouting.
We sat in the small enclosed front patio area late on a warm weekday afternoon and enjoyed every bite and sip and kindness by staff.
Neither my guest nor I had the feeling of consuming anything but delicious Mexican cooking--no "This is good for vegan," "What a successful attempt at imitating"--we just chatted and ate and said to each other occasionally, "You gotta taste this," virtually forgetting that it wasn't real crema, etc.
It was certainly a big plus for me to be aware I was eating organic, my everyday preference, but my tastebuds remain separate from my intellect!
Extra delight: The waiter asked a smoker on a bench outside the enclosure to move on, aware that SF's law against smoking within 15 feet of entrances has now finally embraced restaurants and bars!
We tried four dishes that covered much of the type of entry on the largish menu--beans, homemade tortillas, enchilada, tamale, kale--and the lemonade, horchata, and coffees. With minor quibbles (it could use a touch more this or less that, mostly the veggie) everything really was a wow and portions were huge.
The indoor space is very long and narrow, so I imagine it would be noisy when busy.
Wish restaurateurs could find a way to mediate between too noisy to hear the day's specials and "festive."

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