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San Francisco: Gracias Madre & The Plant (again)

February 29, 2012

After yesterday’s great daytime eats, I almost wasn’t even hungry for dinner.


Matt and I have been jonesing to return to Gracias Madre, the all-vegan Mexican restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission district, every since our first meal there last year. Once again, they did not disappoint.

Although I really wanted a glass of horchata like last time, I skipped it, since I had a feeling Matt and I would polish off the entire bottle of wine we ordered. (I was right.)

We shared the Papas al Horno to start: potatoes roasted with olive oil and garlic and topped with cashew nacho cheese.

Matt ordered the Chilaquiles for his main dish: handmade corn tortillas quartered and sautéed in a spicy salsa roja and topped with avocado, cilantro, cashew crema, and onions, served with refried black beans.

Like last time, I chose the Platillo de Legumbres, this time with seared broccoli and roasted butternut squash, served with brown rice, refried black beans, and handmade corn tortillas. I also got a cup of mole sauce on the side, cuz I lurve it.

I recalled Kelly telling me at some point that it was a tragedy we didn’t try Gracias Madre’s flan last year, so we made sure to select it for dessert this time.

It’s every bit as silky, creamy, and luscious as it looks, and then some.

What a great first day of food!

You’ll never guess where Matt and I went for breakfast this morning, our second day in San Fran…The Plant! Yes, again! That makes three visits in two days. Think we like the place a little bit?

I started out with a shot of wheatgrass again, and Matt got the Banana Almond smoothie (banana, almond butter, vanilla, and almond milk) with hemp protein added.

To break my fast, I ordered the dish that Matt got yesterday, the [gluten-free] House-Made Granola & Seasonal Fruit with soymilk.

Matt gave the Sambazon Bowl a try: açaí berries blended with blueberries, strawberries, and apple and orange juices, topped with gluten-free granola and seasonal fruit.

It made for a particularly chilly breakfast on this brisk morning, but was yummy nonetheless.

We ate our Gracias Madre leftovers for lunch, and in just a couple hours we’ll be heading back out to grab dinner. I’ll be filling you in on that deliciousness very soon!

3 years ago this week…
Pineapple upside-down cake
Spaghetti with raw tomato sauce
Crème-filled German chocolate upside-down cake
2 years ago this week…
Homemade vegetable bouillon
Citrusy sweet potato-carrot soup
December-January “leftovers”
1 year ago this week…
Road trip! First stop: 105degrees
Almost vegan at MEDIEVAL TIMES!
Meals at Whole Foods & Bliss Raw Café

35 Comments leave one →
  1. February 29, 2012 7:08 pm

    Gracias Madre literally looks like heaven on earth! Add a margarita on top, and I don’t think I would ever leave that place.

  2. Kathleen permalink
    February 29, 2012 7:09 pm

    Time for me to try both of these next drive to San Francisco!

  3. cheryl permalink
    February 29, 2012 7:16 pm

    YUM!! Do you have a recipe for the dressing on the potatos?

  4. February 29, 2012 9:21 pm

    Gah! I love the Plant! Did I mention that before…?

    So, I totally thought Gracias Madres was closed.. Cafe Gratitude closed all their stores. So sad but I’m glad it’s still open.. never been but still!

    • bitt permalink
      February 29, 2012 9:49 pm

      they were going to close everything but now said they will keep some open. you can check their blog to find out which.

    • February 29, 2012 11:03 pm

      Nope, all the CGs are still open right now (we went to the Harrison St. one for dinner tonight!), and actually 2 of them are staying open permanently. GM is staying open as well! YAY!

  5. bitt permalink
    February 29, 2012 9:49 pm

    Wow, what a meal. I hope they plan to keep that restaurant open, they have to so I can get there! Love black beans and sweet potato, mmmm.

  6. February 29, 2012 10:56 pm

    “It’s every bit as silky, creamy, and luscious as it looks, and then some.”

    I would fly up there just for that!

  7. March 1, 2012 2:47 am

    Wow, this looks so amazing. If I ever make it to San Francisco I’m totally dragging the husband here and not telling him it’s vegan.

    • March 1, 2012 10:25 am

      Yes, do it! He honestly may never even know. One of my favorite things about GM is that they’re so quietly vegan – it only says at the very bottom of the menu in tiny letters that everything is vegan and organic. They focus on just providing solidly excellent food – love that!

  8. March 1, 2012 3:45 am

    Nothing but smiles and happiness and strength and laughter this trip, okay darling? That’s an order. Plant looks amazing; I’m still in envy of the raw coconut meat apple breakfast you had the day before!! Also, those refried black beans make me think of the La Brea Tar Pits (or however that’s spelled) and that gives me the heebie jeebies 😛

    P.S. You latest email = heart. I’m so sorry, I’ve been walloped with some sort of exhaustion-stress-virus these past few days, and am writing here on the power of panadol and a tonne of chocolate (bahaha, feed a cold, right?). I have a farewell party tomorrow night and have to work Saturday, so please know that any delay in replying is not due to not wanting to xoxoxoxo

    • March 1, 2012 10:26 am

      I’m trying 🙂

      No hurry on writing back! I’ll have less free time anyway these next couple days (flying home Saturday). Feel better!

  9. March 1, 2012 5:22 am

    You can’t go wrong with Mexican. Gotta try that flan one day, too. I can also see why you went back to The Plant for breakfast. I wish there were places like that around here.

  10. March 1, 2012 11:32 am

    I am sitting here in Kansas City, drooling on my laptop, drinking my Hater-aide. 🙂 I am a little jealous…
    Never been to San Fran or the West Coast for that matter. Stateside, we always travel south or east. (I can’t help it…I LOVE seafood, it’s just about the only ‘meat’ I consume. And the shell fish on the East Coast is my favorite cuisine.) But S.F. is on my list of places to visit in the next few years, and mainly for the food.
    I’m going to make your raw apple pie oatmeal this morning. This will be a ‘first’ for me!

  11. March 1, 2012 3:26 pm

    My god, do I love Gracias Madre’s beans! Best beans ever. Still sad I won’t get to hang with you while you’re here, enjoy the rest of your trip!

  12. March 1, 2012 4:35 pm

    Everything there looks sooooo amazing, especially the taters with cheeze sauce!! Omg! I must eat there on my next trip to SF. On an awesome note, the PR folks for your book sent me a review copy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it arrived today!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait to give a few recipes a try and do a post (or three). I have a freezer clean-out week next week, but then I should be able to devote several days to Practically Raw. The book is BEAUTIFUL, Amber!! Nice job. My co-workers and I have been drooling over the pictures all day.

    • March 1, 2012 8:28 pm

      AAAHH, you got your copy today too? So did I! My editor sent me one to my hotel here in SF. I just opened it, like 20 min ago. ::scream:: Thank you so much and I can’t wait to hear what you think of the recipes!!

  13. March 1, 2012 5:29 pm

    Wow! All that food looks amaaaaazing! I would love to eat at Gracias Madre sometime (and The Plant too). 🙂

  14. March 1, 2012 10:49 pm

    Everything looks lovely in the photos, and i bet they’d taste even better. I love Mexican dishes and it’s good to know that Gracias Madre is there to cater to vegans(of course non-vegans too). Definitely won’t be missing that one on our next stop to San Francisco. By the way, can you recommend other nice dishes they serve too?

  15. March 2, 2012 9:52 pm

    Seriously, the first time you talked about Gracias Madre I was drooling, and this time too! This one goes on my list for if I’m ever in San Francisco.

  16. March 4, 2012 1:24 pm

    Chilaquiles and flan…two of my favorite things on the planet. Yum!

  17. Matt permalink
    March 11, 2012 10:11 am

    If I could eat at Gracias Madre every night, I probably would. That place is my favorite restaurant in SF and probably my favorite vegan place anywhere. For that matter, it’s probably my favorite Mexican restaurant anywhere. Wish they were opening GM in KC instead of CG. But beggars can’t be choosers.

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