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The opening of Café Gratitude Kansas City!

April 23, 2012

I’m so pleased you all liked the massive tour of my kitchen and pantry in the last post. Please feel free to tweet it, “pin” it, or share it with your friends. It took a lot of work and time, and I’m kind of proud of it! 😉

I’m also proud that Kansas City, Missouri is the site of the brand new Café Gratitude. Yes, the raw/vegan restaurant. Yes, the same one as in California. No, they didn’t all close, just most of them, and the KC CG is brand spanking new.

I went to the grand opening celebration last night. The best part of this new location? It’s right around the corner from my apartment building! It took me and my friend Hillary all of a minute or two to walk there last night.

It’s so surreal to go there and see all the familiar CG signage – right here, in MY town! – plus their characteristic murals and décor inside.

We arrived right at 6pm, but somehow, the place was already pretty crowded!

Plenty of Café Gratitude merch was for sale.

The organic beer and wine was flowing, and it was all free! (Once again I will say, it sucks I can’t drink right now.) Servers were walking around with trays of finger foods, mostly flax crackers with various toppings (hummus, tapenade, salsa, guacamole, pâté, and more.)

The woman in the blue dress on the right in the photo below (reaching over the tray) is Natalie, the person responsible for bringing CG to Kansas City. She’s been working on this dream since 2007, and now, 5 years later, it’s finally happening!

Terces and Matthew Englehart themselves (the creators and owners of Café Gratitude) were there too, of course. Matthew was even walking around with a tray of smoothie samples! Another dish they brought out many plates of were these roasted potatoes with nacho cashew cream sauce.

And there were these chocolate macaroons. Ohh, man.

Hillary and I spent some time on the back patio to get away from the crowd, but when we tried to come back inside, we found that the crowd had grown exponentially! In fact, there was literally a line out the door at this point, since no more people could fit inside (and the patio was already standing-room-only, too).

A live band called the Makepeace Brothers played inside (they’ve opened for Jason Mraz before; not my type of music at all, but cool nonetheless).

Hillary and I ducked out of there early, around 7:30 (the crowd was just a little too overwhelming for me), but I’m really glad we went. I can’t wait to enjoy a few (dozen? hundred?) meals at this new Café Gratitude in the years to come!


3 years ago this week…
Chickpea-lentil slow cooker stew
Oat crumble jam bars
2 years ago this week…
Quick blueberry compote
Almost Vegan in Chigago, parts 2.1 and 2.2
1 year ago this week…
Lichtenauer family birthday “red cake”

41 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2012 10:31 am

    Oh My!! I feel a road trip to KC in my near future!!!

  2. April 23, 2012 10:40 am

    I’m very excited to try out Cafe Gratitude. I’ve been ‘following’ the lady who brought it to KC through a ‘spiritual’ and holisitic healing magazine called Evolving, so I knew for a long time it was coming but thought I’d never actually see it open. Glad I was wrong. I actually have experience with some of Cafe Gratitude’s desserts, primiarly the raw cheesecakes. At a former place of employment (*grins*), I used Cafe’s ‘Sweet Gratitude’ book for the recipes. Oh man…there is SO much stuff in that book! Would be a great book to compliment yours, Amber. Nothin’ but sweet stuff. Perhaps you should also pen an all-sweet book in the future? I never had even had ‘raw’ desserts prior to that (aside from fresh fruit and dips, hahaha), and after making and tasting the raw strawberry swirl cheesecake, I was hooked. I don’t like real cheesecake (I DETEST chream cheese), but the raw ones are pleasant, creamy, and super filling thanks to all the nuts. So the small slices they serve really will fill you up vs. one filled with white sugar and flour and dairy, which will only spike and crash one’s blood sugar and leave you begging for more. I would love to try the cakes. Not my husband’s cup of tea (he says too many hippies around places like that, and ‘real’ men eat meat, lol–he grew up in Zimbabwe, where you would never be a vegan by choice…), but I will def be heading that direction soon. Thanks for sharing your post!

    • April 23, 2012 10:46 am

      I think a lot of us were wondering if it would ever really happen – I’m so glad it all finally “came true”!

      Re: the all-sweets book, I’m way ahead of you there…but I can’t talk about it quite yet! 😉 Shh…
      Totally agree on the raw cheesecakes. Matt HATES real cheesecake (I’m ambivalent about it), so it took me forever to get him to try a raw one, but now he LOVES them.

      Maybe you and I should meet for lunch at CG sometime soon!

  3. hungryvegantraveler permalink
    April 23, 2012 10:43 am

    I’m DEFINITELY going there whenever I make my big return to Kansas City.

  4. April 23, 2012 10:43 am

    I am so jealous of all the cool restaurants and stores you have! In Mississippi, I am lucky to find anything vegan. I was so excited to find tofutti mini “ice cream” sandwiches the other day for $3! I usually don’t buy processed stuff, but I got it as a treat 😉

    • April 23, 2012 10:48 am

      KC is cooler than people give it credit for!
      Hehe, you gotta take what you can get sometimes! Enjoy those Tofutti Cuties 😛

  5. April 23, 2012 10:45 am

    OMG I hope these open all over the state! o you have ANY iea how hard it is being a raw ood vegan in Missouri???

    • April 23, 2012 10:47 am

      I do – since I live in Missouri! 😉 I really don’t find it hard, though, at least not here in KC – we have 800+ raw vegans in the area. Where in MO are you?

      • April 23, 2012 10:56 am

        I live in Perryville M and it’s AWFUL! You say raw food vegan here and people think you’re nuts “Yer a WHUT?? Dang woman how can you jus’ eat that there RAW?? if’n God had meant fer us to eat our food RAW He’d have never’ve given us STOVES!” lol

      • April 23, 2012 10:57 am

        Oh man, haha. Yeah, rural Missouri is a whole different story! That sucks =/ You’ll have to make frequent mini-road trips here to enjoy CG!

  6. April 23, 2012 11:25 am

    Fun!!! Adding this to my to-do-in-KC list. And yes, it super sucks when you can’t drink in a free booze situation. I went to an art walk with free wine and beer during my January cleanse, and I was sooooo sad.

  7. April 23, 2012 1:37 pm

    Oh wow that looks fun! I loved Cafe Gratitude, glad to see even though they had some closures they are still thriving!! YUM…

  8. April 23, 2012 3:52 pm

    Oh Amber…this is so exciting. Cafe Gratitude is my FAVORITE restaurant!!! I live in Davis Ca, and so about an hour away is Berkeley and SF and home to three Cafe Gratitudes – which I often frequent. I own their cookbook too and it’s a wonderful inspiration! We are taking the kids this summer to the Cafe Gratitude Farm (it’s about 1/2 hour away in Fairfield). So excited for you to have this amazing, sustainable, eco-friendly establishment in your neighborhood!!!!


    I talk a little bit about my love for this restaurant and showcase their fabulous fig balsamic dressing here:

    • April 23, 2012 3:54 pm

      I’ve been to the CG in San Fran multiple times, as well as the one in LA, so I’ve been on the edge of my seat for a LONG time waiting for the one here to open! All of us here in KC are indebted to Natalie George for her 5 years of work to get CG to open up here. 🙂

  9. April 23, 2012 3:56 pm

    How cool that you have a CG there! It was always crowded, in whatever location, when I lived in the Bay…Always buzzing. But I’d have been totally overwhelmed by that crowd too. And just around the corner from you–I see great collaborations in the future.

    • April 23, 2012 3:57 pm

      I’ve offered up my “services” before but never got responses to my emails…oh well. I’m content to just eat there…probably ALL THE TIME. 🙂

  10. cheezyk permalink
    April 23, 2012 6:48 pm

    That looks like a lot of fun. Those crowds would have had me hyperventilating though …

  11. April 23, 2012 8:37 pm

    awesome!! i had no idea they were opening another location.!!!

  12. Jessica permalink
    April 23, 2012 11:35 pm

    So excited for this! And it’s so close to UMKC and Rockhurst that I can bring a bunch of friends! Awesome!
    And the New York Times said we didn’t have enough vegan options….Psh…

  13. April 24, 2012 4:56 am

    I would’ve found those crowds suffocating too. You and I will go when it’s quieter 😉

  14. April 24, 2012 2:21 pm

    I’m bummed I missed the opening (until about 4 o’clock Sunday, we were planning on going). Thank goodness it’ll be open soon so I don’t have to wait much longer to try it out!

  15. April 29, 2012 4:09 am

    Wow free organic beer and wine?! Congrats to Café Gratitude

  16. April 29, 2012 1:52 pm

    Hey, CG isn’t in the same spot LuLu’s was, is it? I swear the interior of that building looks VERY familiar. Lol.

  17. May 16, 2012 3:45 pm

    Cafe G in the big KC! You all are Rawsome! Looking forward to visiting!

  18. Jaime Thomas permalink
    May 21, 2012 3:39 pm

    I’m only 3 hours south in Bentonville, AR! I want to come try it out and get to meet you in real life 😀

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