We don't mean to panic you, but that enticing enchilada you’re eating might not have actual cheese in it.
No, not because it's 4a and you're at a questionable Taco Bell.
It's because you’re at Gracias Madre, the new vegan Mexican joint from the Café Gratitude guys.
You’re not here to make a statement on herbivorous living. You’re not growing a rooftop herb garden. You're here to devour as many tacos as possible in one sitting.
So the fact that everything here is organic, vegan, local, and “consciously sourced” is great, but unless the food is also downright delicious, you’ll probably be asking, “where’s the beef?” (Or in this case, “¿Dónde está la carne?”)
Luckily, this meat and dairy free spot is vegan-ifying everything from gorditas to pozole. Unlike your virgin visit to Café Gratitude, you’re not blindly walking into any "I am Humbles." Nah, you're getting your fill of stone-ground heirloom masa tamales filled with sautéed butternut squash and devouring flaky empanadas made with grilled plantains.
Come dessert, there's that spiced pumpkin cake with maple cream sauce over vegan vanilla bean coconut ice cream. (Cómo se dice fourth meal?)
After a few ancho chili-encrusted anejo, lime, and pomegranate cocktails, you just might be convinced to go plant-based full time.
And if not, hey, there's always fifth meal.
Price: 3 (out of 4)
Noise: 3 (out of 4)
Parking: Valet and treet
Scene: Hipsters, housewives, and health-conscious shoppers
Hot Seat: A spot on the patio
Best Bet: Hominy stew with an ancho-chile broth
Nearby: Dan Tana's; Fig & Olive; The Abbey