Archive for the 'Raw Restaurants' Category

Cafe Gratitude

July 27th, 2009

cafe gratitude
Guess what other raw food establishment I visited on my whirlwind west coast tour? I had to do it…Cafe Gratitude.

mint choco
They had a milkshake there that was especially designed for me. My fave…mint choco nib! I meant to take a picture of it, but I guzzled it down so fast I missed my opportunity. I actually got one the next morning for the road too. It was that good.

They had some other amazing flavors too which I will have to try next time. But I am really inspired to see what I can do with hazelnut milk now…

i am festive
This was ‘I AM FESTIVE’…a taco salad of sorts. Really good.

I also had this soup. I can’t recall which one it was. But it was tasty.

The coup de gras though was this german chocolate layer cake with vanilla ice cream! WOW! Truly amazing. I will definitely be back. I miss the west coast already!!


Au Lac

July 22nd, 2009

Well, I’m back from my little adventure. It was such fun that it’s admittedly a little depressing to be back. I met some pretty interesting characters along the way. Like the infamous Samantha who took me to AU LAC.

au lac
Au Lac is one of Southern California’s most esteemed raw food restaurants. It’s nestled unsuspectingly in a strip mall in Fountain Valley…in a place I would have never thought to look. Lucky for me, I had a local raw foodist extraordinaire show me the way.

That would be none other than Debbie of DEBBIE DOES RAW.

The humanese soup was OUTSTANDING. Maybe the best thing I had. Though the salsa was AMAZING. Possibly the best salsa I’ve ever tasted. I wish I had taken a picture!

The desserts were lovely as well.

sam and mom
Debbie and Samantha were the hostesses with the mostess.

elixir bar
In the background, you can kind of make out the elixir bar. This is where they make all the magical healing concoctions. While they looked intriguing, I didn’t order any this time. Magic isn’t free, you know. Especially in LA. 🙂

parking stump
Even the parking stumps were raw.

samAfterward, we went to Debbie’s house to make some raw ice cream. Samantha made this beautiful sign. She’s very artistic. Tom and I were so surprised when we arrived to find that Sam had made the most charming welcome poster that said ‘Welcome Alissa and Tom’. I wish I had it here. But I actually mailed it home in the box with my analog tape reels (from our recording session) so that it wouldn’t get crumpled in my suitcase.

We also met Malcolm, the wonder dog. He’s quite possibly the most well adjusted dog to walk the face of the earth. He even tolerates being ridden horseback.

Apparently, while Debbie and I were preparing to make a raw food VIDEO (which might appear on Debbie’s blog very soon), Joel and Samantha were practicing their headstands. I knew he was a good bass player, but this I did not know.

sam and debbie
I hope I’ll be back to visit these lovely ladies again soon…


Chaco Canyon Cafe

July 30th, 2008

I tried another raw restaurant while I was in Seattle – Chaco Canyon Cafe.  As far as I could tell, it was the only raw restaurant in town.  I heard rumors of an uber hipster spot in Belltown where everyone had tattoos, but I couldn’t find anything about it.  Maybe it was just a mythological spot.

hippie bowl

They serve vegetarian and vegan items as well as raw.  This was the hippie bowl that my friend ordered.


Another friend ordered the salad.  Both of these were really great.  They’ve definitely got the dressing thing down.


I ordered the nacho plate.  The salad, salsa, and guacomole were really outstanding on this.  The flax crackers were really beautiful looking, but admittedly I didn’t like them as much as the ones my BOYFRIEND makes.  It’s not that there was anything wrong with them.  I think the problem is that they are primarily made of flax, and I’m not really a big fan of flax by itself.  Though usually I find flax crackers to be too rubbery and these definitely were not.  The refried beans were okay, but I also preferred the ones from my MAN.

pesto pizza

Then, out of the blue, the chef brought us a pesto pizza.  I guess there was a leftover piece.  So, they decided to bless us with it.  WOW!  The pesto pizza was AMAZING.  Definitely a must try.

The kitchen window had a cool monument to community spirit.

For dessert, I had the carrot cake.

Heidi had the carob pie.  I think I preferred the carob pie.  The carrot cake was good and prettier looking.  But definitely the carob pie was better. 

So, next time you’re in Seattle, you’ll have to check it out.  Definitely not an uber scenester place.  It’s nestled in the U District, deep in the heart of hippieland.  Less tattoos, more patchouli.  If you do go, you should definitely try the pesto pizza…


I Am Grateful

July 13th, 2008

This is another book I purchased on my book buying BINGE. This book was published by Terces Engelhart who runs CAFE GRATITUDE, a chain of Bay Area raw restaurants that she runs with her husband, Matthew. I had heard of Cafe Gratitude through a friend of a friend who happens to be vegan and lives in the Bay Area. Then, I heard mention of it again on a blog I was reading. So, I went for it.

I have to admit, that initially I was a little confused by the titles. They’re not descriptive in the usual way – indicating the physical items that are components of the dish. They’re more like affirmations. I am ______. Every single one of them. I am Ravishing, I am Thankful, I am Smooth, I am Insightful – you get the idea. When I was initially perusing the book, I found it kind of confusing and disorienting. So much so that I was drawn to the other book I ordered first. I thought I’m never going to be able to find anything. But then I got more connected to how the book was laid out. At the beginning of each section is an index that lists the dish with a descriptive sub-title. Once it sunk in, I started thinking about how the titles had added an interesting association to the dishes – one that’s not normally considered but is subtly important on one’s healing journey. I think I’m just starting to tune into that, personally. Getting in touch with how certain foods make you feel. It’s interesting to get some insight into that from a third party before you even try the dish.

I’ve only made one recipe so far. I am Lovely – a kind of strawberry-apple cobbler. It seemed kind of plain at first. But I was deceived by the simplicity of the recipe. My boyfriend (who hates cobbler) devoured it quickly. There are a handful of new ingredients mentioned in this book a lot which I haven’t tried yet. For example, they use Irish Moss as a thickening agent. Which is new for me. There are quite a few interesting sauces that I’m looking forward to trying – like a chutney of some sort with jalepeno and mint. And there are some exotic soups as well. There is also a really nice selection of salads to try. Some really hearty looking and interesting salads which ‘I Am Grateful’ for. As I seem to have found what I was looking for. I will keep you posted on my progress..


Whole Foods Raw Cafe CLOSED?

November 5th, 2007


HORROR of HORRORS! I just heard the most awful rumor. The last time I was in Austin, TX was last March (for SXSW). I was having a horrible time acclimating with the air quality (among other things), and I happened upon the raw food deli at the WHOLE FOODS FLAGSHIP STORE. It was a lifesaver. The food was FANTASTIC, and I had my first piece of raw cheesecake. It was mind-blowing.

Well, as I was mentioning earlier, my BOYFRIEND went down to Austin this week for business, and one of his first stops was the Whole Foods. Come to find out…the raw cafe was nowhere to be found.

I guess there weren’t enough raw fooders in Austin to keep it going? I used to live in Austin, and I can see it being slow to catch on there. I was joking with my boyfriend last time I was there about how I had forgotten how it was kind of stylish to wear an extra 10 lbs of chips and salsa there. 🙂