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VeganMoFo: Gracias Madre restaurant review or, where's my wedding invite?

This post is part of the Vegan Month of Food - or VeganMoFo to you and me. To learn more about VeganMofo, click here.
I've been in San Francisco recently, eating my way around the city. The absolute highlight for me was this place - Gracias Madre.

Gracias Madre is an all-organic, all-vegan, all-awesome Mexican food place in the Mission district of the city.

After arriving at the heaving venue and taking a gander at the menu, I was massively tempted by a starter of what can only be described as cheesy spuds - or papas al horno if you'd rather: potatoes baked in olive oil and garlic with cashew nacho cheese. 

We asked our waitress would we need a starter? We'd been foxed in previous dinners out by portion sizes and over-ordered. The waitress gave it a negative - people don't usually finish both, she said, and have to take the remainder away in a doggy bag.

So, much to my greedy chagrin, we skipped the starter and proceeded directly to mains: nopales for me, tacos for Flicking the Vinos.

I don't often get to eat nopales so I don't have much to compare Gracias Madre's offering against, but I couldn't keep the smile off my face as I waded through the generous rice, refried beans, salsa and prickly pear with cashew cheese sauce. Yep, it was that good. 

Bonus points too for the corn tortillas, which put me in mind of my recent Central American wanderings - and which show up flour tortillas for the dull plate-filler they really are.

Flicking the Vinos went for tacos, choosing squash, aubergine and poblano peppers as his taco filling of choice. I only got to try the squash and peppers - he'd inhaled the aubergine before my questing fork could head there. No wonder - if the smokey peppers and crisp, almost batter-like squash were anything to go by, I'd have inhaled the lot too.

We may not have needed starter but did we need pudding? Well, no, no one needs pudding - but we got one anyway.

After wrangling with whether to opt for a vegan flan - a delight I've never yet made the acquaintance of - the Mexican wedding cookies won out. 

I've never been to a Mexican wedding before, but after scarfing down the walnutty glories at Gracias Madre, I'm on the hunt for a wedding invite to some Mexican nuptials. 

Oh, and the ice cream was wonderful too - imagine a taste of burnt sugar, powerful but licoricely good, doused in creamy goodness, and you're there.

If I had a complaint - there's always one, right? - it would be that $8.50 seems a bit steep for two cookies and one scoop of ice cream, but I loved it so much, I forgave the wallet mugging.

Maybe those wedding cookies are helping the chef to save up for a honeymoon somewhere. Being able to knock up such good food, they're not going to be short of proposals.

Gracias Madre
211 Mission Street
San Francisco, California, 94110-1811
(415) 683-1346

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  1. Jealous! This all sounds delicious, I'll have to book a flight out :)

    You're post yesterday had me giggling out loud, its been a while since I've been on a plane but you brought back vivid memories - definitely not looking forward to my first vegan plane food next year now lol.

    I’ve been loving your blog this mofo so I passed on the Liebster blog award to you! Pick it up at http://thevegankook.wordpress.com/ :)

  2. Every time I see a review for Gracias Madre I instantly become hungry and jealous. I would enjoy everything you ordered too.


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