It is the nature of modern society to strive for more. The process of evaluating our lives tends to focus on what we don’t have as opposed to what we do. Although aspirations and an acquisitive eye have their merits, when is the last time you took a moment out of your busy schedule to appreciate what you already have? If you can’t remember, I suggest you take a long deep breath and march yourself over to Café Gratitude for a little inner harmony.
The seed for Café Gratitude was planted when Terces Engelhart read a book on live foods while on her and her partner Matthew Engelhart’s farm in Maui. Inspired by the concept, she and Matthew ate ‘live’ for 30 days straight and were so impressed with how good they felt that they set out to open a live foods café.
With many locations around San Francisco and even in Los Angeles, Café Gratitude offers 100 percent organic, vegan and raw food options that are simply gratifying. I should warn you, however, that coming to Café Gratitude may mean swallowing your inner cynic first. From the “I am Peace” live sesame bagel to the “I am Grateful” grain bowl, each item on the menu is its own personal mantra. The décor at the Mission District restaurant, the first café opened, is summer camp meets café, with ‘What are you grateful for?” scrawled across the doormat. A painted mural covers the wall in the bathroom and there are inspirational cards to read while you wait for your food.
Expecting to feel a little silly repeating the menu item names, I surprising found that the words resonated with me throughout the meal. I ordered “I am Comforted” which is a live foods version of macaroni and cheese, consisting of noodles cut from zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes with cashew cheese sauce and topped with Brazil nut Parmesan. The dish was delicious, filling and in my opinion, more than comforting – especially at the end of the meal when I had zero post pasta regret, despite my full stomach.
My Italian pizza loving husband ordered “I am Hearty” which is a deep-dish pizza made up of a live onion sunflower pizza crust with sun-dried tomato marinara, Brazil nut parmesan and ricotta and olive tapenade. Although slightly confused by the non-conventional appearance of his pizza, it took one bite to make him a believer. To top the meal off, we ordered the “I am Magnificent” raw cacao mousse, which is light, rich and creamy and thoroughly earns its name.
2400 Harrison Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
HOURS OF OPERATION:
Sunday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.