Last week I ventured over to Cafe Gratitude in San Rafael for a wonderful lunch. In addition to this location, they have three others, two in San Francisco and one in Berkeley. Along with their commitment is to support local farmers, sustainable agriculture and environmentally friendly products, all dishes are prepared daily to ensure freshness and quality. If organic ingredients are not available for a particular dish, they will not serve it.
I took advantage of the incredible sunny winter day by sitting outside on the front patio. Although I am not new to raw food, this was my first time dining at this particular place and I was excited at the myriad of possibilities. The menu is large and filled with wonderfully entitled items such as the "I Am Passionate" marinara pizza, "I Am Cheerful" live sun burger and the "I Am Fabulous" live lasagne. Knowing I would probably come back, I decided to skip a main entree and order two appetizers instead: "We Are Bountiful", a cracker and spread sampler plate, "I am Insightful" spring rolls along with the "I Am Youthful" fresh almond milk served warm, like a latte. The sampler plate included three spreads of soft cashew cheese, spicy hummus, and green and black olive tapenade that you spread over pieces of carrot-flax seed cracker and sourdough buckwheat flatbread. Each one was tasty and unique, but my favorite was the cashew butter. The two large spring rolls were filled with carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, avocado, tropical fruit, sprouts and fresh herbs in collard green wraps with an almond thai dipping sauce. A little spicy, very crunchy, these rolls are fresh and tasty and the dipping sauce was smooth, creamy and delicious!
Be prepared to answer your server's "Question of the Day" which on the day I visited was "What are you grateful for in your community?" To which I answered that I was grateful that I lived in a community in which people know each other and socialize regularly enabling us to exchange our knowledge and experiences. What a great way to start a healthy lunch with a little "grateful" grace.
Cafe Gratitude also has a "To Go" menu and offer catering services as well. If you are tired of the same old soup and sandwich for lunch or want a meal that's way "outside the bun", then venture over to a Cafe Gratitude near you. Bring a friend or co-worker with so you can sample as many of the dishes as possible. I can't wait to go back and try the pizzas and Mexican dishes.