Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cafe Gratitude

I Am Full.
Cafe Gratitude opened a week ago Monday on the miracle mile in San Rafael, and I took myself there for a refreshing lunch. The first cafe opened in San Francisco, and I've been wanting to go there since I heard of it. When I heard Cafe Gratitude was opening in Marin, I of course kept watch!

I am Aloha

First off, the menu is large, and you have to read it through as none of the labels are recognizable, except as affirmations. Yes, everything is an I AM statement. The food is raw and uses a lot of sprouted nuts and grains. A very 'earth-mother' kind of atmosphere. Nourishing! On each table there is a bottle of water at the ready with some positive word labeling it -- mine was "Love". Think they are followers of Dr. Emoto's work following messages from water? As if love wasn't enough, I ordered an "I Am Aloha", fresh coconut water of Thai young coconuts. It was served in it's own ecological coconut shell with a hole drilled in it to insert a straw. I was advised to take the vessel home and crack it open to eat the meat after finishing the drink.

I am Bountiful

I had my "oh it's raw veggies so I'm going to starve" mindset in place, so I actually ordered too much. I started the food courses with the "I Am Bountiful". This dish consisted of "live" crustini – Four different toppings atop live toast. One of each of the following: Fresh tomato, basil, garlic; thinly sliced avocado with Himalayan crystal salt; Hemp seed pesto; Raw olive tapenade. I must have been in a really silly mood because when I read "live crustini" all I could picture was a "live crustacean- a lobster" being held over a pot. I'm sure it must have caused some scary vibes to reverberate around me. I kept trying not to giggle. But the crustini were quite good, and the live toast was made of some kind of sprouted nuts, so it was very filling.

I am Festive

Next up was "I Am Festive". This is Cafe Gratitude's take on 'taco salad', consisting of shredded romaine lettuce tossed in a creamy dressing topped with crumbled walnut-seed taco filling, guacamole, salsa, nacho cheese and green sprouts topped with flax chips. It was really quite good, I'd have it again in a heartbeat, but I was, well - "I Am Full", would be the best description at that point, so I didn't do it justice. There was a lot of love going around in that place too -- my waitperson kept patting my back and sliding her hand down my arm with positive words.

I really felt quite refreshed and more 'alive' somehow when I left. My waitperson also asked me the "question of the day" -- "How does your community support you?". My answer -- they are there for me. And thank you readers for being there with me!


lola coca-cola said...

The coffee at Cafe Gratitude out out of control amazingly awesome too.

cookiecrumb said...


Anna Haight said...

Thanks all!
Cookiecrumb: I forgot to ask them one question -- how is a Thai coconut local and sustainable (I still enjoyed it, but they do mention that they are into the local sustainable food scene).

Marcy B. said...

I have been to Cafe Gratitude both on Harrison Ave in the City and in San Anselmo. As a person with a penchant for raw foods but lacking the time to prepare much more than salads and the occasional all-ingredients-in-one-blender soup, (in another, less chaotic life, I'd definitely be a raw foodie), I AM GRATEFUL for this delicious and convenient dining out opportunity. Aside from serving food that is alive, unbelievably tasty and beautifully presented, the owners/staff seem to walk the talk. I always walk away satisfied and amazed at what one can do without using enzyme and nutrient destroying heat. By the way, they sell a cookbook with very easy recipes for many of the menu offerings. And while I do appreciate the attempt to use local ingredients, I take no issue with the possible exception of a coconut here and there!
Enjoy! Oh, by the way, try the Coconut Curry Soup; not only outrageously scrumptious but really easy to make at home.....