Raw, adjective: 1. uncooked, as articles of food: a raw carrot.

Had a killer dinner at one of my favorite area restaurants last night, and this morning's all afterglow. Figure it's worth a mention for anyone who's in the neighborhood or who might be visiting anytime soon. This is a prime example of the kind of little intangible reasons I love living in SF.

Cafe Gratitude is a relatively new-ish collection of raw vegan restaurants here in the City and spreading quickly throughout the area. The original (I think?) is down sort of Mission/Potrero area, but they've had a location in Berkeley for the last year or so that's been really convenient. It's a great space, all brick walls and high ceilings and communal tables (though it could use a little more fresh air - I need windows and sunlight, people!), and the most friendly (sometimes nauseatingly so), mellow, chilled-out staff you've ever seen. You definitely have to be in the right mood to hit up this place, you know, fly that hippie flag, as it's all "let it go" mantras and ruminations on abundance and whatnot. Just sayin' - there are definitely those more cynical moments when you walk out the door and just want to dive headfirst into a pool of Jack Daniels and waffles and artificial whipped topping to counter the shiny-happy-people energy oozing out of the place.

But, most days, it's generally a lovely place and well-intentioned, for sure, and if you're in the mood for lots of greens and unidentifiable nut meats and organic wines and cold-pressed coffees, well...there's nowhere better. And you feel so goddamned good afterwards, too, even after you're so full they have to roll you out. And they will, with a blissed-out mellow hippie-dippie smile.

So check it out when you're feeling all positive and Buddhist and open to abundance and shit. Link to the restaurant's website is above and here's a specific link to their creative, extensive, and just generally fabulous menu. You won't see this kind of raw brilliance many places outside of here.

Which is why so many people leave their hearts ... cue Tony Bennett ...


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