Maybe the most surprising thing about Café Gratitude
spinoff Gracias Madre
? The week-old spot is decidedly nicer than other taquerias, without seeming fussy. The menu is 100 percent organic and vegan, with a few raw dishes.
Starters include guacamole ($6), a quesadilla made with butternut squash and cashew cheese ($7), Caesar salad ($8), and crispy tostadas with refried beans and roasted chiles ($5). We went for the intriguing-sounding coles de bruslas con queso fundido ($7) a dish of Brussels sprouts with cashew cheese and crisp garlicky breadcrumbs.
Entrees include tacos ($10 for 3), enchiladas ($12), tamales ($10), and a platillo de legumbres ($12) -- two sides of your choice, with rice, beans, and handmade tortillas. Chiles rellenos ($14) brought roasted poblano chiles filled with squash, epazote, and more of that nut cheese. Liquid offerings include beer, wine, and cocktails, along with aguas frescas and homemade ginger ale and lemonade.
Gracias Madre 2211 Mission (at 18th St.), 683-1346; open daily, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.