I never thought I'd eat vegan food, but when your close friend who is visiting from out of town wants it, you just go. So I squashed my inner foodie's cries and had lunch at Gracias Madre in the Mission. The restaurant is surprisingly spacious with a cute outdoor area in the front entrance. The weather was nice so we sat outside. In a tradition that dates back to our early college years, we over ordered. Although, we didn't think it was over ordering and actually wanted to order more. Seeing our gluttony, the server told us it was more than enough food and that we were fatties. Ok, so he didn't say that last part, but I'm sure he thought it. I was open-minded about the food since it was recommended by my dining companion's friend. And not surprisingly, vegan food tastes like how I though vegan food would taste. Good, but not anything I would voluntarily eat.
Quesadilla with butternut squash and caramelized onions with cashew nacho cheese and pumpkin seed salsa.
Spicy mole enchiladas topped with mushrooms and cashew cheese served with sauteed greens and beans
Brussels sprouts baked with cashew cheese and topped with garlic breadcrumbs
So I've noticed something when it comes to my eating habits. If I love something, I will keep eating it no matter how full I am. If I don't love something, I'll stop eating when I am no longer hungry. We had a lot of leftovers from the three dishes we ordered, but neither of us wanted to take it home. I can see the appeal of this place to people who are vegetarian or have a lot of dietary restrictions, but can't see why anyone else would want to go here. Yes, I didn't feel bloated or gross after this meal but at the same time, I wasn't satisfied. I also can't see how anyone can argue that cashew sauce is "nacho cheese." It's not. Call it something else.
I'm glad I tried this place but will definitely be heading to El Farolito the next time I want Mexican!