A Bit of Gratitude

3 Apr

Erin just got back from a long ski trip in Austria, so we decided to catch up over lunch. We were both in the mood for vegan and had been plotting a date at Cafe Gratitude since it opened in Venice (like, 2 years  ago), so finally we decided to see that plan through.

Better late than never?

As you probably figured out, Cafe Gratitude is vegan. It can be a little pretentious and all of the menu items begin with an “I Am….”(eg, I am Happy)  but it’s so amazing that even I can see past that. I’m not gonna pretend that I don’t love a good rib eye, but I’m not exaggerating when I say I’d rather half half the menu items here than a steak any day of the week- I firmly believe that even the meatiest of meat eaters can find something on the menu to drool over.

interior

menu

Erin was posted up in a corner, hiding from hippies and sipping a rosewater lemonade when I arrived.  She was feeling slightly under the weather so we both ordered an I Am Brave: lemon, tumeric, ginger juices, oregano oil, and cayenne pepper, to boost our immunity a bit.

rosewater lemonaideUpon consumption, I immediately understood how it got it’s name. That stuff floating on top? It’s oregano oil. I have it in these kind of shots pretty regularly, but this was no joke.

turmeric shit Bottoms up!

cheers2

down

down done

down done2

If you’ve never had oregano oil…well, it’s sort of like taking a shot of Fireball …with a floater of siracha. It’s intense, to say the least.

Moving on: we couldn’t decide what to order, so we decided to split. We started with the catalyst for our butternut squash taco obsession, the I Am Transformed: soft tacos with chipotle butternut squash, black beans, avocado, salsa, and my favorite part, cashew nacho cheese. I think this might be my favorite meal in the world.

tacos

At least, I thought that until the next order came.  I am Gracious (sorry, the names kill me too) is a quinoa salad with sundried tomatoes, preserved lemon pesto, butternut squash, chickpeas, olives, almonds and Brazil nut Parmesan, all tossed together with radicchio and a golden balsamic vinegar reduction. I realize this might not sound like the recipe for utter heaven, but it’s damn close. There was about 3 pounds of it and we could easily have eaten the entire bowl – luckily our good sense got the best of us and we decided to save room for dessert.

bowl2

bowl3

done

We topped off our meals with a couple the vegan + gourmet equivalent of an Almond Joy in ball form, appropriately named I Am Joy. Whenever I’m craving sweets, I find myself driving to CG to pick a few of these bad boys up. They’re pure amazingness, I’m telling you.

truffles1

I need to apologize to you, my balls are overexposed (above), and I clearly need a mani (below).

Sigh.

truffle handIf you don’t live near a Cafe Gratitude, or just can’t deal with eating somewhere that has a Question of the Day (try it though…it’s fun), you can find our version of the I am Transformed here, or their recipes online here. Meatless Mondays for days!

Guiltless eating on all counts!

XO

M

 

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One Response to “A Bit of Gratitude”

  1. Amy M. April 3, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    All of this looks insanely delicious! Will definitely check out the next time we head up north.

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