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Café serves vegan food at meaty prices

Brenna Smith

Café Gratitude is an organic vegan restaurant with locations in North Berkeley and San Francisco that serves a variety of juices, smoothies, salads, entrees and desserts, all with names like “I am Luscious” to inspire positivity in diners.

Servers ask a question of the day like, “Who in your life could you love up?” The classic question printed on all their bowls and plates, “What are you grateful for?”

Most of the tables are communal, so a couple or two will share a large table with another person or group. This can either be an awkward or a fun and interesting experience depending on if you can embrace the community feel Café Gratitude tries to create. The beautifully decorated brick interior with a fireplace adds to the ambiance.

It is a very family-friendly restaurant with a bookcase of toys for little ones to play with while they wait for their meal from their newly added kids menu. This menu includes a vegan fruit and yogurt cup, almond butter and banana sandwich and more.

The Mexican bowl, also called “Yo Soy Mucho” ($10 for a small), is one of the most satisfying entrées on the menu. ÿThe quinoa and kale are the base for this spicy and scrumptious dish.

The falafel in “I Am Celebrating,” is tasty but a bit too salty. ÿThe texture is appealing, but nothing special. ÿHowever, the accompanying almond hummus is delicious.

Café Gratitude sometimes runs out of a certain crucial ingredient, but the waiters provide alternatives and the cook is usually willing to take suggestions.

After a main course, there is definitely room for dessert, and there are many to choose from. The vegan Mint Chip and Vanilla ice cream sundae for two (“I Am Innocent,” $11) is beyond amazing.

But at $11, the price leaves something to be desired.

Their website reads, “Café Gratitude is our expression of a world of plenty.” ÿ

This must be why their prices are so steep. Unfortunately not everyone lives in a world of plenty financially and many cannot afford a $7 smoothie.

Café Gratitude also sells cookbooks of their recipes and has a to-go counter and a glass case with baked goods. ÿThey also are available for catering take special dessert orders for wedding cakes and more.

Bottom line: ÿpretty good food, but too expensive to eat there often.