Gracias Madre!

S visited for two weeks during my birthday (or, as I like to think of it, for my birthday) and stayed with me most of the time. On one warm, January eve, we hit up Yoga to the People in the Mission (gorgeous studio!) with H and followed it up with some serene and spiritual Totally Inauthentic Vegan Mexican Food for Non-Mexican People at Gracias Madre. I’d been curious about this place for years, started by the same couple behind Cafe Gratitude, and after hearing mixed reviews finally got to try their organic vegan food.

At the least we caught the mariachi band while they were making their way down the street.

I'd been craving horchata all day, and the $5 on this small cup was worth it. Not sure if it's usually vegan, but this tasted no different than others I've had. The fruity sangria S got was a much more exciting choice.

Quesadillas de Calabaza Butternut squash and caramelized onion folded into tortillas with cashew nacho cheese and pumpkin seed salsa (8). All three of us felt that every dish we ate could have held back on the salt. If you remember my visit to Cafe Gratitude, I had the same problem. With such delicious organic ingredients, there should be no need to over-season, and it makes me think they're trying to mask a lack of quality/technique. Which is absurd because it was delicious otherwise. Except that, wonderful mashed sweet squash complimented the creamy cheese sauce and chewy, thick blue corn tortillas. The pumpkin seeds were a perfect savory, crunchy contrast to the tacos. I've been seeing pepitas in many vegan Mexican dishes, and it never gets old.

Sseasonal greens sautéed with fresh garlic and chiles, grilled plantains, rice, beans and salad (10). A nice sampler plate, but elements of it were also too salty. This has been a consistent problem for a lot of people I know, so I doubt it was a slip of the hand. Otherwise, a very solid plate of food with good variety (and more of those bomb tortillas on the side).

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