Thursday Night Dinners: Gracias Madre

My girlfriends from college get together on Thursday nights for what we call “Thursday Night Dinners”. Oh so creative of a name, I know. It all started when I moved to San Francisco and Melissa and I decided we would try out a new bar every week until we found our “Cheers.” This lasted a little while, but we found that going out to dinner and drinks was more fun. We would try to pick a night each week that worked with both our schedules, but that made it too easy to skip weeks. So, once Daniela moved to the city, we decided to pick a consistent night and get serious about our dinner group. Our other friend Colette wanted in on the fun, so she started joining us as well. And Kristina makes special appearances every once in a while.

The premise of Thursday Night dinners is to try new restaurants in this culinary mecca of a city that we live in. And in the midst of enjoying good food, we get to catch up on what’s new and exciting in each others lives. No, we don’t make it out every Thursday, but we usually manage twice a month and our wallets probably thank us for that. I love trying new restaurants, talking about restaurants, reviewing the food and atmosphere, eating,  and hanging out with friends. Thursday night dinners are a great combination of all of the above.

I have yet to tell you about these dinners because I have been hesitant to take pictures at restaurants. This is part due to the mild embarrassment of taking pictures of food in public, as well as the difficulty of taking pictures when food is sitting in front of me ready to be devoured. But, I’m going to wo-man up and do it anyways. Maybe they will think I am a food critic and will give me extra special treatment. Or maybe I’ll just be that annoying girl that won’t let their friends take a bite before she snap a few shots (and makes them hold the cell phone flashlight for high quality lighting).

Now to the fun part- dinner. We went to Gracias Madre last week. I was on my no-processed foods kick and thought it would be fun to try this well-known vegan place. My aunt was in town and she filled in for Daniela who couldn’t make it.

The atmosphere gets 5 stars in my book. I loved the community tables, the lighting, the bar, and the heated patio. But the food? I remembered why I have no desire to be vegetarian or vegan. Here is the low down of what we got:

Brusselsprouts in some creamy sauce

Butternut Squash Quesadilla with Cashew Cheese (who knew there was such a thing?)


Enchiladas with Mole Sauce

Chocolate Cream Coconut Dessert (with no processed sugar, imagine that!)

I mean, everything was pretty good, but I don’t even consider it Mexican food. When I think of Mexican food, I think of chips and salsa, mounds of cheese, grilled chicken, and sour cream. I don’t think of cashew cheese, butternut squash, and brussel sprouts. Ultimately, I went here because I thought it to be a “healthy” option but I probably ate more since I was craving Mexican food and didn’t get it. But, if I were vegan or vegetarian, I’m sure I would love this place. Moral of the story is; if you are like me and want a giant burrito with all the toppings, don’t come here, but if you want some gourmet vegan food that resembles Mexican food, go for it!

Now off to El Farolito to get myself the good stuff…

3 Responses

  1. I love this place, so good and never makes me sick like traditional Mission Mex. The atmosphere is great, love all the wood and colorful mural with cozy heaters on the front porch. I appreciate the fact they cook the food here, in contrast to their sister restaurant Cafe Gratitude’s raw menu. Best part, gluten free chocolate cake that is actually amazing. Great spot to hit with your food sensitive friends and family.

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