Alive & Cafe Gratitude: San Francisco Raw Eateries

Golden Gate Bridge

 

These two are long due for a review. I dined at Alive & Cafe Gratitude during the 4-day San Francisco visit in mid July and boy, did I walk away at the end of my meals with the biggest satiated smile.

 

Considering how quickly you fill up on raw foods, I ordered an ample amount of them for one person for every time that I go, (yes, I went on solo.. my family party wasn’t too keen on dining raw) but the intention for this summer holiday travels was to try out (wherever available) raw eateries as many as, if not more than the number of cities I visited. I would order 3 or so dishes, eat halfway on each and take away the rest. Though I shouldn’t have done them with the cake slices because they required refrigeration to stay firm and solid; I ended up with a pile of mush a few hours later.

 

Raw food menus generally carry heavier price tags than the regular non-raw menus. I suppose all those extensive processes of nut milking, soaking, straining, sprouting, dehydrating, dicing, blending, pureeing, julienning, chopping, cubing, did I already say dicing? In care of keeping those exogenous enzymes in tact so our pancreases can focus solely on body maintenance rather than digesting are high premiums to pay. So was I willing to exchange the content of my wallet to please my palate with fancy, labor-extensive prepared raw culinary delights to alleviate stress off my pancreas’ enzyme-producing duty? I guess I was.

Alive

Neighborhood: Marina/Cow Hollow

1972 Lombard Street

(between Buchanan St & United States Highway 101) 

San Francisco, CA 94123

(415) 923-1052

www.aliveveggie.com

 

Alive


Ordered:

1. Spicy red curry avocado wrap

2. King trumpet mushrooms, capers, and Mendocino sea palms with almond cream sauce

3. Chocolate coconut banana torte

 

I was in love with their ‘king trumpet mushrooms, capers, and Mendocino sea palms with almond cream sauce” (they should really come up with a name for this) entree. The Mendocino sea palms made a superb pasta/noodle feel of the whole dish; crunchy, lightly slimed, fettuccine shaped sea vegetable. I would toss out the old method of creating raw “pasta” from zucchini and squash (I rarely can mouth this very well, they quickly turn bland) and in with this! or at least mix the two together to give a balance.

 

Sea Palms, botanical name: Postelsia, grow in the North America. So do not attempt to find them in an Asian grocer, you’d waste your time looking. There are online retailers you can buy them from, get googling. They are also protected species and has been in danger of over-harvesting as the shorn edible plant blades affect the limit of its spore production, needed to reproduce. Currently illegal  (to harvest, I believe) in B.C., Washington, and Oregon.

 

 

Cafe Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude

Neighborhood: Mission

2400 Harrison Street

(between 20th St & 21st St) 

San Francisco, CA 94110

(415) 824-4652

www.cafegratitude.com

Cafe Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude

Ordered:

1. Daily special enchilada

2. Key lime pie

3. Tiramisu

 

enchilada

Daily special enchilada

THE tiramisu

THE tiramisu

The lovely lady taxi driver who brought me back to the hotel from Alive the night before recommended Cafe Gratitude. I’m happy I didn’t miss this place. I got the entire key lime pie to go and did the half/half-eat in/to-go with the enchilada and tiramisu.

 

All I can remember eating here was taking part in savouring the taste of every bite. The enchilada foursomed with cooked quinoa, red rice (i’m still a sucker for rice and other cooked grains), and cabbage salad was just.. out of this world. From its dehydrated enchilada wrap to its nutty filling, served warm, I think I found the ultimate comfort food in raw. Eating it reminded me of times when I would eat a plate of fried eggs, bacon, and potato waffles the morning after an alcoholic night out; except I would get an unpleasant coma from the breakfast and not from the enchilada.

 

The tiramisu. Oh! THE tiramisu. Thank the Gods and Goddesses I can eat tiramisu again, this time without the fight to break free from a never-ending addiction to refined sugars and double/full-fat/heavy cream fixing spoon after spoon after spoon. Whoever says (refined) sugar satiates the appetite is a big fat evil liar. The appetite only ends when the dessert plate shines clean. I don’t think a detailed description of the tiramisu is necessary here. Just try it when you happen to be in the city. I’m going to try to create my own version (good luck to me!)

 

-Dom

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