Don’t Leave Without Trying – Venice, CA Edition

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Location: Venice, California

Name: Cafe Gratitude

Price Point: $$

Dish: Macrobiotic Bowl

Why? Oh.kay. this is going to get longwinded but coming from Texas I am a meat lovin’ carnivore. That sounds terrible but it is true. I absolutely love meat and turn my nose up when I hear people say they don’t eat it. It may look like I am judging, and I am. Not in a mean way, more in a, “wow I think you are really missing out.” Now trust me, I understand the benefits of not eating red meat. You feel better, it is hard for your body to process, you feel less sluggish, and the spiritual benefits -wow! Yes, yes, yes. But for me –  no, no, no. That being said, when I arrived in Venice while visiting my friend Eva and Jena, Eva announced we were going to a vegan restaurant. I almost died. I didn’t want to be the poor sport of the group so I acted excited but I was less than. I had never considered vegan food as an option. A dish without meat? No, thank you! However, we walked-up to Gratitude, sat down, and then the waiter asked us what we wanted. Uhg, I don’t know. I LIKE MEAT! Whatever, I’ll have a juice and the Macrobiotic bowl (which Eva recommended). Before walking away to place our order the waiter left us with a question of the day (which they do everyday). “What is it that we are grateful for?” Okay, okay, this was pretty damn cool! I love questions that make us think and go deeper than the surface. I was starting to like this vegan place. Then the meal came. Hmmm… I immediately asked how I eat this bowl of “veganness”? The key – to mix it all up and dive-in. Diving-in is exactly what I did! HOLY VEGANNESS!!!!! It was one of the most divine meals I have put in my mouth. The freshness and mix of nature along with the greek-style yogurt sauce all rolled into one was almost too much to handle. You could literally taste every single ingredient – but in the best way possible. It wasn’t dry but full of flavor and richness. I can’t even describe what a moment me and this dish had. But let’s just say, it was a moment to turn this Texas native, meat eating girl into a vegan lover. Ya, that good. Something I recommend trying if you make your way to Venice.

photo via Jena’s instagram

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