Text and photos by Caitlin Donohue
The aura of these tacos de hongos is orange
It’s easy to pick on the Café Gratitude cabal of which the “vegan taqueria,” Gracias Madre is the newest representative. At the original CG raw vegan menu items are named after affirmations- from their “I am insightful” spring rolls to the “I am cherished” cheesecake special. Plus, there's the issue of their slightly creepy policy of semi-mandated “self discovery” workshops for employees. Let the Birkenstock-baiting begin.
But I don’t hate (much). And to be real, I was stoked for the much-delayed opening of Gracias Madre. I heart vegan food and I heart Mexican food, and secretly, all that aura-nurturing nonsense makes me feel very nice inside. Mmm, all natural Kool-aid.
And largely, Gracias Madre did not disappoint. The space itself is warm, redolent of the Café Gratitude’s original mission to be a spot where visitors could play their curious, soul-searching board game. The communal tables from CG make an appearance, and like it’s parent eatery, Gracias Madre has lovely wall art. A striking mural of the Virgin Mary raises her arms over the gated front porch area, taking a stylistic page, perhaps from the neighborhood’s art form de riguer. There’s no affirmations on the menu here, but the staff is warm and give the impression that if they weren’t so busy, they’d be happy to sit down with you and talk about feelings.