I've heard a LOT about Cafe Gratitude, and since I had visited their awesome sister company (Gracias Madre) in San Franciso, when I made a return trip through Berkeley on my way to Portland, I decided I had to try them out.
They are located very near to UC Berkeley, on Stockton. I arrived at the perfect time; within the 30 or so minutes it took to eat my dinner, the place went from sparsely inhabited to jam-packed with a long line. Apparently Berkeley residents like the restaurant, too.
Even though I've been eating about 75-90% raw for about a month now, I wanted cooked food at CG. They do have some really great raw options, but I decided polenta sounded more up my alley. Also, I needed energy to make the long drive, so I wanted hearty food that would keep me going.
Naturally, I started with sugar and caffeine: I Am Eternally Blessed, a cold-pressed espresso milkshake.
It was strange to give my order and have it recited back to me. Being told I was eternally blessed was a little off-putting. They repeated it again when they put the order in front of me.
Next, my actual order: I am Warm-Hearted, grilled organic polenta with a fresh puttanesca sauce, topped with cashew ricotta and Brazil nut Parmesan.
I am stuffed (no, that's not an option on the menu, but I felt like saying it back to them when they gave me my bill).
I liked the restaurant quite a bit, but my aversion to hippie-ish restaurants would force me to make it a to-go order next time. However, the food was delicious, very filling, and definitely kept me going for a few hours (until I became so exhausted that I ended up sleeping in a Taco Bell parking lot in my car).