Gracias Madre

A few weeks ago some friends invited my husband and me to dinner at Gracias Madre, a Mexican restaurant in the Mission that they had heard a lot of good things about. They reported that the food is organic and sustainable (my favorite foodie buzz words that will be repeated in this blog unabashedly) and more importantly, vegan. I had never been to a vegan restaurant before and wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. However, this is San Francisco, and in my year and a half in the city, I have only eaten one bad meal. So I trusted that the vegan food of San Francisco would be amazing. And it was.

It turns out that vegan fare is incredible for the lactose-intolerant, or the lactarded, as my husband calls me. I can’t remember the last time I went to a Mexican restaurant and could order anything I wanted from the menu. I typically get few options and all must be special ordered to not include cheese. And about 50% of the time the cook can’t comprehend anyone not wanting cheese, so I have the special joy of picking it out of my food myself.

But at Gracias Madre I felt this incredible, unbounded joy as I reviewed the menu options. Enchiladas? Yes please! Empanadas? Bring those suckers on! Nacho cheese? Don’t mind if I do! Every item that should have had cheese, instead had a cheese subsitute, ususally made of cashews. Granted, it didn’t taste like cheese per se, but it had the right consistency.

The four of us ended up sharing Coles de Bruselas con Queso Fundido, Roasted Fig salad, Calbaza Asada, Cashew Quesadilla with Mole and Butternut Squash Enchiladas. To me, everything tasted incredibly delicious. My husband thought the food was tasty, but that the titles were a little misleading (I guess these enchiladas tasted very different from normal enchiladas. I have no idea, I think I had my last enchilada in the mid 90’s).

I also need to mention that Gracias Madre had an incredible selection of wines and desserts. The restaurant itself, that might look slightly sketchy from the street, is inside a very warm and inviting space. It is comfortable and feels like you’re eating at the home of good friends. Overall, Gracias Madre served a very unique and delicious meal. I highly recommend it to anyone who is anywhere near the San Francisco vicinity. You’ll be glad you tried it.

~ by jessicamoriates on December 10, 2010.

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