Cafe Gratitude CLOSED 1730 Shattuck Ave./Delaware St., (415) 824-4652. L-D daily; $$-$$$. No reservations. This casual cafe serves 100% organic vegan cuisine and invites you “to step inside and enjoy being someone who chooses: loving your life, adoring yourself, accepting the world, being generous and grateful every day, and experiencing being provided for.” Sounds pleasant, and it is. The atmosphere is one of natural wood banquettes lining the brick walls, upbeat music, and skylights. A small sheltered patio in front is inviting on warm days. My waiter was super cheery, and seated in the main dining room I enjoyed my view of the kitchen activity. A dishtowel was my napkin. The restaurant has been accused of being “more like Cafe Attitude,” but that’s a cheap shot. Each item on the menu has a name that starts with “I Am . . .”. For instance, for breakfast “I Am Awesome” is avocado toast with pickled red onion and cashew ricotta; for a raw specialty “I Am Honoring” is nachos with sunflower-seed pate, cashew nacho cheese, and carrot flax chips; and for entrees “I Am Extraordinary” is a BLT with maple coconut bacon and cashew chipotle aioli. I chose the “I Am Fortified” bowl. It was composed of sautéed green beans, carrots, zucchini, and spinach over brown rice and topped with big sunflower sprouts and a tasty garlic-tahini dressing. As my waiter served it to me, he said, “You are fortified, my dear.” Drinks include elixirs, cold-pressed juices, and smoothies, and the best desserts are reputedly chocolate cream pie, key lime pie, and vegan soft-serve nut-milk ice cream.
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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers