My first day in London included a wonderful dinner at Manna in Primrose Hill. I was looking forward to trying this restaurant after reading Evan’s review over at The Wannabe Chef and one of my colleagues was kind enough to indulge me. I’m always nervous taking non-vegetarians/vegans to restaurants that have a plant-based menu, but the three omnivores who accompanied me all enjoyed their meals.
We ordered four appetizers and shared them, which was great because I was having trouble deciding which one I wanted! The basil & cashew cheese croquettes were excellent, really flavorful with a great crispy shell. My favorite starter was the spiced jerk tofu, plantain & sweet potato kebabs, which were both savory and sweet, and had a really great flavor combination. We also got two orders of the quesadillas, which were good but nothing too special.
For my main I ordered the organic bangers and mash (come on, it was just too traditionally British to pass up!) which included fennel and pumpkin seed sausages with greens and a delicious parsnip and carrot mash. I especially liked the faux sausage since I like trying new non-soy based fake meats, and this was a great version. My boyfriend ordered the enchilada casserole which was absolutely delicious, I definitely snuck a few bites from his plate. Our two dining companions ordered the spaghetti & meatballs, the faux meatballs were admired and shared, and the ravioli, which they both seemed to enjoy.
The restaurant was packed for a Sunday night and I even heard one of the waiters tell someone on the phone that they were completely booked for the night. It’s always nice to see a vegan restaurant that is doing so well!
This past weekend was busting at the seams with amazing and memorable moments. Three of my best friends from college came to San Francisco and we had a truly amazing weekend. There was dancing, running, watching the CrossFit Games, laughing and a whole lot of food. One of the major highlights?
Cafe Gratitude has been on my Must Try list for years but I almost never make it to the Mission so I’ve never had the pleasure before. And, WOW, what a pleasure! This is a famous San Francisco vegan landmark that supports local farmers, sustainable agriculture and environmental-friendly products. The quote at the top of the menu really says it all:
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food – Hippocrates
The four of us girls have all vegan or vegetarian at various times over the years and were genuinely thrilled to try this place on for size. My boyfriend, however, was slightly less enthusiastic. He was a good sport about it though and I ordered him Indian once we got home. 🙂
We spent an insane amount of time looking over the menu and finally settled on just ordering half of it.
- I Am Enlivened: High protein algae shot
- I Am Luscious: Vegan milkshake w/ hazelnut milk, figs, dates, cacao & vanilla bean – UNFREAKING BELIEVABLE!!! This was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever had.
- I Am Courageous: Organic slow dripped coffee
- I Am Complete: Mediterranean plate featuring raw green falafel (not a huge hit), live crackers (yummy) and a seriously delicious almond hummus
- I Am Grounded: Roasted organic potatoes w/ spicy cashew nacho cheese – I’m not going to try to lie and say that we behaved like ladies, we didn’t, we practically licked the plate clean.
- I Am Transformed: Corn tacos w/ brown rice, black beans, salsa & cashew nacho cheese – This was my order and I ate it in under two minutes. And then promptly started on my neighbor’s food… 🙂
- I Am Warm-Hearted: Organic polenta w/ Puttanesca sauce, cashew ricotta & Brazil nut parmesan – Delicious & hearty, this would be a great dish for a chilly winter night
- I Am Elated: (Entirely raw) live spinach tortilla enchilada w/ sprouted seed filling & topped w/ spicy mole & cashew sour cream – This looked delish, but it never made it around to me
- I Am Grateful: This is a really great dish and consisted of brown rice & local community-grown veggies w/ an amazing tahini & garlic sauce
Immediately after trying the cashew nacho cheese in the I Am Grounded appetizer my friend Emi and I bounced out of our seats and ran to the front to buy the Cafe Gratitude cookbook. Be on the look out for some recipe adventures once I dig in!
Unfortunately there was a major downside to this lunch… Namely that I’m now addicted to a restaurant that is really, really far away from my apartment.
I also want to offer a quick congratulations to Crystal & Ashley for their amazing time at the SF Half Marathon!
Last week I enjoyed a phenomenal meal at Millennium, which is located in the Tenderloin/Union Square area of San Francisco. Here’s brief description of their goals from the official website:
Millennium Restaurant is dedicated to supporting the essential earthly concepts of organic food production, small farms, sustainable agriculture, recycling and composting. We cook with fresh produce delivered every day, and choose organic whenever possible. We believe that a gourmet dining experience can be created out of vegetarian, healthy, and environmentally friendly foods. We are proud to state that our restaurant is completely free of genetically modified foods.
The location may not be the nicest (the Tenderloin is fairly rundown) but it’s certainly convenient, only a few blocks from the Powell Street BART station and very close to Union Square for some pre or post meal shopping.
The interior is lovely, a very large, open space with plenty of tables and a giant bar in the center.
Now for the good stuff…
My friends Liz, Mark and I have a monthly dinner in San Francisco to explore new restaurants and introduce Mark, a new UK (via Spain) import, to California cuisine. They’re both omnis and were kind enough to accompany me to this veggie-friendly restaurant, which they both ended up enjoying. We ordered a number of dishes and there was plenty of
me reaching across the table sharing going on.
We all really loved our meals and I would highly recommend this restaurant, even for non-veg*ns. The food is incredibly tasty and healthy, a great combination no matter what your food preferences are.