Within my knowledge, there are three places in Berkeley that serve raw food. The cafe at the art museum (to be reviewed soon), the famous and morally questionable Cafe Gratitude two blocks north of me, and Raw Energy Juice Bar two blocks south. Two minutes by foot, 1 minute by car, 3 seconds by jet (not including parking time).Raw Energy’s a tiny stand that’s been next to the 24 hr fitness for ten years, run by a old couple, and focuses on juices and smoothies. They have healthy sandwiches and soups, but the dish that’s really worth your time is the raw pizza. Aside from a large variety of raw bars and crackers it’s their only raw one and they’ve sure perfected it.
I wouldn’t go to this place if I wanted a juice or smoothie. There are plenty of good places for that in Berkeley which are cheaper, but guess it’s convenient for the gym rats.
C had a "strawberry nut milk" which had a heavenly-sounding emulsion of banana, strawberry, and walnut. People seem to get this a lot. I forgot to try some, but she said it tasted like a smoothie, alas not like something worth 5. Still, it's pennies compared to cafe grats and the way to go if you don't want a traditional SAD (haha standard american diet) smoothie.
Good god, their raw pizza (7) is as delicious as it is ingenious. The crust is sprouted for 3 days and dehydrated for another, resulting in a chewy, crumbly texture full of what seems like oats and nuts. Like a flavorful/cheesy shortbread crust with surprises inside. Don't expect a warm doughy crust, but expect tastiness (good rule of thumb for raw cuisine).
avocado sauce was more of a chunky and tangy guacamole, topped with tomatoes, shredded carrots and cabbage, sprouts, and a heavy sprinkle of raw vegan "Parma". I wasn't expecting to love this but something about the different textures and flavors and guac overload took it over the edge. Plus it's so unique and impossible to prepare myself. The only thing I missed was more salad. Paired with that, it could easily last two meals. I'll be back weekly.
ambiance N/A, hole in the wall
You might recall my visit to Tangerine Bar in July. Yesterday I went into the Xocolate Bar next door without expectations and picked up a Chai flavored Ayurvedic Love Nugget by Kitchen Alchemy. Translated into English, that means some lady goes into their kitchen once a week and makes these raw cookies, claims they will improve your health/spirit, and charges 3 dollars for a teeny tiny bite. “Nugget” is quite a clever euphemism.
for the record i have small hands. careful not to let it slip through your fingers and dissipate into the atmosphere. but really, it was bloody good. I thought it was a cookie but it was more like fudge so you have to eat it pretty slowly. The woman who works there told me she adores them and they are a whole meal in themselves (riiight). She was right about how it tastes sweet/salty/bitter/sour at the same time, though. That might not be an appetizing description but i really liked it. It'd be easy to make this, with the right spices.