Café Gratitude Bereavement Plan »
It sure sucks that Café Gratitude is closing. Lucky for me, I said my goodbyes a few months ago with a slice of raw cheesecake, right after I said goodbye to S.F. Pride and right before I got on a plane and moved to Denver.
Lucky for you, I’ve had time to figure how to live Life without Gratitude. And because I’m the nicest person ever, I’m going to share that hard-won knowledge.
Gather round, grasshoppers. Here’s what you do:
WARNING! REPLACING CAFÉ GRATITUDE IS HARD AND EXPENSIVE AND WILL MAKE PEOPLE THINK YOU’RE WEIRD! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK! BUT IT’S HELLA TASTY!!!
- Admit that the best thing about the restaurant was dessert. Then buy Sweet Gratitude, the book that will tell you how to make said desserts.
- Flip through the book. Cry a little when you realize how hard and complicated they are and how much better it was to just pay for them.
- Take a deep breath and COMMIT. It will be worth it!
- Buy Irish Moss.
- Buy a kitchen scale.
- Buy raw coconut oil.
- Buy soy lecithin.
- Buy raw cacao butter, powder, and maybe nibs.
- Buy raw vanilla beans.
- Buy a VitaMix. Or don’t but you’ll wish you had one. Trust me.
- Choose a recipe. Buy the rest of the stuff you’ll need, like almonds and cashews and dates and agave and coconuts, from the grocery store.
- Plan ahead. You’ll probably need to soak things for various amounts of time, from one to 24 hours. Maybe make a Gantt chart?
- Whip! Blend! Chill!
- EAT AMAZING FOOD!
That’s a lot of steps, partly because I’m making fun of it. To be honest, it really is worth it, at least for special occasions. I still haven’t tried making the tiramisu at home. But I will. And you’ll hear about it.
Look what I made! Raw lemon-blueberry cheesecake! It rocked!
- Start with some of the simpler recipes. The cheesecakes, for example, don’t need Irish Moss.
- Making this food will make you covet a better blender, unless you have a great one already.
- Blend longer than you think you need to.
- If you’re not a raw food purist, don’t be a raw food purist. Use canned coconut milk. Use the almond milk you always use. Screw raw vanilla, use regular. Yeah of course it’ll taste different but you’ll be more sane.
Thanks, Gratitude. I am grateful you existed, and grateful for the challenges you’ve left us. Though I’d still rather just let you do the work.
Eat this immediately: Gourmellows! They’re what’s for every meal if you’re not an idiot! »
You guys, you really really really really really have to try these gourmellows from Desiderio Chocolates. Yes, gourmellow — it’s GOURMET and MARSHMALLOW made into one awkward word, but who cares, the taste is nothing short of legendary. Legendary, I say! I found them while browsing the vegan section of the adorable Abe’s Market instead of working (it’s one of the many things I do that don’t involve working), and BAM: Gourmellows:
They’re half-fudge, half-marshmallow (roughly the same composition as yours truly) and then covered in the smoothest dark chocolate I’ve ever had. It’s almost milk chocolaty. I mean, HOT DAMN! It tastes like nothing I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve eaten pretty much everything. If you don’t believe me, I’ll send pictures.
Man, I love Gourmellows so much. I’ve gotten into the adorable habit of g-chatting my boyfriend simply, “GOURMELLOW DOWN!” because it makes him sad that he’s at stupid work without delicious gourmellows and I’m living the dream!
Get at them, either via Abe’s ($14 for six, or $12.60 if you give them three friends’ email addresses, YOU ASSHOLE) or Desiderio Chocolates’ Etsy store ($6 for three). Also, their sea salt caramels are UNSANE. You like nougat? Oh, they’ve got your nougat! Oh fuck it, just get a sampler snack pack and go to town, fatty. FUCK, I see that they’ve got ROCKY ROAD, TOO. Goddammit!
Here’s the sea salt caramel:
Here’s my hand-model hand and a Gourmellow EXTREME CLOSE-UP:
Bomb Truck! Has anyone in S.F. tried these organic vegan popsicles yet? »
The Bomb Truck is apparently roaming the streets of the Mission, selling vegan organic popsicles in flavors like Mom’s Flan, Pineapple Chile Lime, and Avocado. They look amazing! I want one right now very badly! And, according to the site, all the ridiculously delicious-looking flavors are vegan! AND THEY DELIVER?! Let us all get up on this.
Here’s what the truck looks like:
Here’s what the pops look like (adorable kid not included, I am assuming, but not 100 percent sure):
Here’s a better pic and a list of flavors. Per Food Truck Law, follow them on Twitter to see where they’re headed next!
[Peanut Butter Banana Pop, I love you! All photos from Bomb Truck’s website! Hat tip, Abby! Hi Abby!]
New vegan gelato coming to Whole Foods! »
It’s called Genuto (cause it’s made with nuts GET IT) and I tried it at last weekend’s World Veg Fest in San Francisco and wrote about it (and an entire World Veg Fest breakdown, with awesome photography by my phone!) over at the wonderful Bay Area Bites. Go read it and learn about this delicious new vegan gelato that’s about to take over your life! It’ll be in Whole Foods and local natural grocery stores staring very soon. Like, in a month. Or less. Anyway: Learn lt, love it, live it.
Coconut Whipped Cream topping from Vegan Dad! For use on a Banana Cream Pie. Or on EVERYTHING EVER. I like this recipe because it looks like it actually works. There are other recipe for whipped cream made from coconut milk where you just basically whip coconut cream until it’s firm. Yeah, that shit don’t work. But his has detailed instructions and sounds very smart and I know he doesn’t publish bullshit recipes so I’m gonna put my faith in him! And if it fails, there’s always Healthy Top. Seriously, buy a lot of that shiz today because that shiz is MAGICAL. Despite the fact that it stupidly has healthy in its name, it tastes like freaking fatty fat whipped cream deliciousness. Ugh, I love it so much. Put it on chocolate chantilly* and live the rest of your life as the happiest person there is. In fact, Meave is spending the night tonight (jealous??) so I can going to email her right now and ask her to make it. The dishes are done, man!
*Every time I type chantilly, I get that damn Big Bopper song stuck in my head. Why do I even know that song!? Was it a Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies tune? That could explain it because my mom forced me to do those as a kid so that I might become less of a fatty fat. All I have to say is: 1) didn’t work and 2) THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES, MOTHER.
Finally: Tartine has some VEGAN DELICIOUSNESS! »
If you live in San Francisco and think you know anything about food then you are most likely obsessed with Tartine. If you aren’t, congratulations and let’s be friends and eat donuts and drink Folgers and leave this place PLEASE I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE.
Anyway, they’ve got a vegan carrot cake now! Hooray! Now us vegans can wait in line for three days to eat a delicious 10,000-calorie sugar-and-fat-bomb with the rest of you assholes! High five! SO LET’S DISH. Has anyone tried it? Thoughts? I haven’t (photo via awesome reader Shelley!) but my initial feelings go thusly:
1) Excited! Foodie assholes everywhere will have to see a vegan pastry in their butter case!
2) Confused! KAMUT FLOUR? FOR REALLY? Why? The vegan product needs the funky flour, too? Okay, whatever.
3) Excited! I LOVE TO EAT FOOD.
So, there you have it! If you’ve tried it, let us know. If not, I GUESS I’LL TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM GOD.
Eat this NOW: cupcakes and pie in a jar from Fox & Fawn Bakehouse! »
You gotta eat these cupcakes right now. Fox & Fawn Bakehouse make honestly some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever eaten in my life! I know I say that almost every time I write about anything (best ass-kicking of my life! best lobotomy of my life! best shit sandwich of my life!) but for real, I really really really mean it this time, for real! The cake was spongy and light, and the frosting was sweet but not cloying. Deeeeeelicious. Man, I could eat a few right now and that’s no joke! These are the cupcakes you wish you could make but you just don’t have the skillz to pay the cupcake billz. Speaking of honesty, I honestly have no clue how my fingers haven’t fallen off from all the typing I’ve done in the past month. The fact that I can still walk upright and (kinda) speak English are miracles.
Anyway, you will not regret getting these cupcakes into your mouth, so go ahead and order from them immediately. Oh, and the pie in a jar? RIDICULOUS. It’s a PIE in a JAR and it’s the perfect wedding favor, housewarming gift, present to yourself for making it through the day. Also, Fox and Fawn Bakehouse prices are extremely reasonable! $24 for a dozen is only $2 per cupcake and that’s way less than what you spend in a store. THE DEAL! It is AMAZING! So order a bunch of stuff and fan them on Facebook and generally just eat the shit out of their goodies because even though I got some for free (doesn’t guarantee a good review or even a review period), I’m totally planning on ordering cupcakes from them and PAYING. This is the Real Deal, people, because I don’t like to pay for shit, ask anyone. I mean, ANYONE.
Oh and if you’re not into special ordering things (I don’t know why this would be the case but maybe you’re too poor or don’t think you’re special enough), you can track them down at the Benicia Farmers’ Market, where they’ve been selling out!
Plus, look at this damn logo:
[Cupcake photo by Damien Jay! Thanks, Damien!]
Hodo Soy Beanery’s new kiosk makes the Ferry Building worth entering! »
Norm and Joe want to sell you tofus!
You’ve seen them at farmers’ markets around the Bay Area, hocking their delicious soys. You’ve hidden incriminating toothpicks in your pocket and covered your face with a scarf so that you could go grab another sample of their spicy yuba strips. You’ve considered selling out to the man so you could afford to eat this magical stuff every day. And now, ladies and gentlemen, you will drag your asses to the Ferry Building, past the “Praise the Lard” t-shirts and the innumerable fancy cheese shops, in order to patronize the brand-spanking-new Hodo Soy Beanery kiosk that is open as of Tuesday.
The soy has arrived, and it is good.
Hodo, which is based in
Emeryville West Oakland, sells its soy milk, tofu, yuba (a.k.a. tofu skins, a.k.a. chewy manna from heaven), and some prepared foods at area markets. But they’re kicking it up a notch with their kiosk, offering new grab-and-go foods that you can only get there. Foods like forbidden rice pudding ($4), Scharffen Berger chocolate mousse ($4), yuba Kung Pao salad ($7), the sky is falling sandwiches (vegan egg salad on Vital Vittles bread, $7), and soy custard fruit parfaits ($4).
Hodo gave me free cups of the rice pudding and chocolate mousse to try, and I can report that they are both worth eating. The pudding uses black rice and lots of cardamom, and includes coconut and golden raisins suspended in the impressively creamy tofu base. Except for the sugar blast, it’s almost healthy, but so clearly dessert. Win.
The mousse was less intensely chocolately than I had hoped, but again won big on texture. I do love me some creamy tofu.
The kiosk also has exclusive drinks, including chocolate soy milk ($3), Thai iced tea ($3), and a kale avocado smoothie ($4). They gave me a free bottle of that last crazy-sound one, because it’s Joe the tofu-seller’s favorite. I found its serious undertones of cucumber and very mild sweetness both refreshing and filling. But it involves chewing chunks of kale and thus is neither suitable for beginners nor for people on a first date. Luckily I’m a pro with no one to impress so I downed the whole bottle in one sitting.
Nearly everything the stand offers is vegan (some of the granola they sell contains honey), and most of it is gluten-free as well (not the sandwich bread). They’re open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. They take cash or credit cards with their cute little iPad register. And for the moment at least, Hodo will still be doing the farmer’s market thing outside on Saturdays, in addition to the permakiosk indoors.
Main bummer: Because of Ferry Building and health code rules, they’re not able to offer samples at the moment. Let us hope they overcome these limitations.
Coming soon: recipes cards for some of the new products so you can learn to make them at home. As the proverb says, “Give a man some tofu, he eats for a day. Teach a man to tofu, and he can throw stellar dinner parties and invite you.” Or something like that. Carry on.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Tartlets recipe from Manifest Vegan. This turns me into a stereotype of a PMS-ing woman, I’m all, “Give me the chocolate and nobody gets hurt.” It’s true, my hormones are raging! I’m out of control and the only thing that will calm me down is a chocolate sandwich! ACK!!!
Source: New SF veg restaurant opens today! »
And Vi’s got the scoop over on Bay Area Bites. We’re intrigued by this somewhat insane concept, and plan on checking it out soon. We do know that all the desserts are vegan because they’re from Wholesome Bakery. Aaaand, that’s about all we know. Oh, except the menu pretty much has every type of food ever on it, and they employ something called “color therapy.” Let’s do this, you wacky hippies.
Reports coming soon, and let us know if you check it out!