Knitting in the raw

Last weekend, Richard, Kathleen and I went to a “living” food restaurant in Berkeley, Cafe Gratitude. There are four of them in the Bay Area. And while Cafe Gratitude has the vibe of an old-timey health-food restaurant from the ‘70s, it’s also concepty. Whenever the staff gathers around a birthday celebrant to sing, one is forced to think, New Agey Bennigans. Menu items, too, are named for affirmations. So in order to order a cup of coffee, one is asked to say, “I am courageous.” Or for a raw chocolate smoothie, “I am luscious.” Check your cynicism at the door, or you will feel most awkward.

We didn’t dine there, but instead stopped for coffee and cake. Coffee is cold-processed, meaning that it’s infused as opposed to brewed, and it arrived with a frothy cup of foamed almond milk. And we shared an “I am lovely,” the cobbler of the day, a surprising raw apple, pear, blueberry crumple topped with an oaty, nutty mix. We had it ala mode with the cafe’s signature soft serve, a light frozen dessert made from nut milk, dates and vanilla bean. Quite delicious, but pricey at $9.50; organics don’t always come cheaply, do they?

Anyway, I was fascinated. It’s such different food, like steamed quinoa and hemp seed pesto. Or lasagna made from sliced zucchini and cashew ricotta cheese?

So back home, I pulled out my copy of Living Cuisine, a book I received when I was on some press list. I’ve been threatening Mitch with raw food since cracking the binding, but “cooking” raw is quite an enterprise, what with the juicing, sprouting, nut soaking and dehydrating. Not to mention sourcing the ingredients and the equipment—juicer, mandolin, dehydrator, saladacco. One meal can involve days of preparation when you’re talking about sprouting grains and whipping up nut cheeses.

Call me crazy, but I just went to Craigslist to see if I can find a juicer cheap. Wanna bet this lasts all of about a week?


Comments (10) -

March 25. 2007 23:58


Well, who knows, you might end up adding a recipe or two to your repertoire that make that bout of craziness worthwhile.

The restaurant sounds like a total parody. Thanks for the report!

Kitt |

March 26. 2007 00:26


Fabulous. Can't wait to visit. How long before we have one in Santa Fe?

Susan |

March 26. 2007 01:00


We took the suburban girl-turned-hippie chick niece there last month. I went in with a bad attitude--I refused to use their names when ordering--and wasn't disappointed. But the kid liked it.

Becca |

March 26. 2007 07:37


This could last less than a week, with that kind of prep time.  But, healthy eating is always the goal to strive for.

John |

March 26. 2007 11:07


I have a juicer and I love it!  Although it's been quite some time since I've dug it out.....

Cathi |

March 28. 2007 09:09


Who wouldn't just want to be obnoxious and order an 'I am hungry' or and 'I am carnivorous?'  I wouldn't be able resist!!!  

Christie |

March 31. 2007 01:36


Eating raw isn't something I can truly imagine. There's a blogger, Eileen, of">, who doesn't blog so frequently anymore, but she mentioned on her blog awhile back that she's been eating raw for 6 months (longer now) and she loves it. Some of the desserts she shows on her blog look totally delicious. Juicing, I think, is great. I hate that I gave away my old juicer, but it was a beast. I wouldn't mind having a nicer juicer now that doesn't require all the peeling, chopping prep work to have a juicer. I think those would be nice.

Wanda |

June 29. 2007 11:37


On my worst, most shallow and self-doubting days, I take solace in remembering that even Azar made stupid car ads for upscale magazines, and that I'm pretty damn lucky to have landed in the arms of one of her discards.

上海数据恢复 |

September 7. 2007 01:51


Nake-id Knits |

September 7. 2007 01:58


Nake-id Knits |

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