Friday, September 9, 2011
Gracias Madre is not for vegans only. But even carnivores will find the non-meat and non-dairy dishes at Gracias Madre not only sufficiently good but bursting with flavors, refreshing, filling and delicious!
Gracias Madre's space is attractive. A colorful mural of Mother Earth who resembles the virgin mary greets diners at the entrance if they want to dine semi-alfresco style as an option. Her statue is also present inside the restaurant. Despite the hovering of Mother Earth the restaurant is rustic and relaxed. The place is a little dark but the a long sunny open kitchen in the back provides light.
COMMUNAL STYLE EATING:
The heavy wooden chairs and tables are meant to be shared communal style but we did not have to. At 1:30 pm, the restaurant was busy but had plenty of space.
MEXICAN/LATIN AMERICAN VEGAN FOOD:
My gf H and I shared the following. We had the
ENSALADA DE HIGOS: Farm lettuce tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette, topped with toasted hazelnuts nuts and grilled figs, served with grilled Acme bread and queso blanco $9
**A very simple, fresh and well-made salad bursting with flavors. I honestly make this greens-fig at home almost every summer night minus the hazelnut. But I still enjoyed it for its simple but lovely flavors. The bread with queso blanco was the treat for me. The vegan cheese had a nice light nutty flavor to it.
TAMAL: Stoneground heirloom masa steamed in the husk filled with sautéed zucchini and onions, served with beans and escabeche $ 11
**Really good and bursting with Spring flavors. The tamal was moist and the veggie filling, escabeche (functioned as the salsa) and beans all complimented each other. The result was a symphony of light flavors.
EMPANADA: Homemade pastry filled with grilled plantains, served on a bed of spicy mole sauce, topped with cashew cream $7
** For this alone, I would likely go back next week to order a couple more. This empanada is not the traditional fried or baked kind. The dough is soft and nestled on a bed of delicious mole sauce and vegan cream. Sweet plantains and savory sauce. Oh so good!!!!
GREEN AGUA FRESCA: This was my gf H's order. It was very green, It is made with veggies including kale and celery. Too earthy for me. I tasted it but I am glad I did not get it. :) H finished it though. So she might have liked it. $8 for a large glass.
VIRGIN MARGARITA: Refreshing drink that tasted like a real margarita w/o the alc. Nice! $5
Go now! And experience this bounty from Mother Earth done justice by the culinary skills of the folks at Gracias Madre. GM is a good alternative for lard-free Mexican food but the flavors are not compromised. I am happy to know that I can eat good Mexican food without having to suffer a heart attack later.
CHECK AND VALUE: $53 including 19% tip.
Pricey but I can understand why. Good quality ingredients made with lots of culinary talent and love. The 3 dishes got us pretty filled without making us feel overstuffed.