Gracias Madre Serves Vegan Mexican That Even Meat-Eaters Will Love

That naughty V word. You know the one I’m talking about. No, not that one you perv. I’m talking about “Vegan”.

I don’t think it would come as any surprise to any of my readers that I’m pretty obsessed with meat. All types of meat. And to be honest, I usually don’t consider a meal complete without the inclusion of some sort of meat.

But, a situation recently arose that gave me the perfect excuse and opportunity to check out a completely vegan restaurant that I actually had interest in trying. Amy’s vegan and gluten-free cousin was staying with us in SF and it was my task to find suitable places to eat that we could all enjoy. I had heard wonderful things about the Mission vegan Mexican spot named Gracias Madre so I figured that it had the greatest shot at solving our puzzle. Seriously though, people love this restaurant. By reputation, it’s the kind of place that people claim will make meat-eaters completely forget that everything they are eating is even vegan. That’s a tall order – I’ll see about that. I’ll put that crazy claim up to the ultimate test – me.

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California Freshness at Rusty’s Southern in the Tenderloin

I always get really excited when new restaurants open, especially when they are close to enough to my home that they can easily become part of my regular dinner rotation. This particular new opening in the Tenderloin was only under a week old, but I couldn’t help but find myself drawn to it. Rusty’s Southern may be in a dicey part of town, but this spacious spot is serving up affordable, California-inspired takes on North and South Carolinan Southern classics. In a town desperately in need of more Southern food, what more could you ask for?

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Amazing Cocktails & Asian Inspired Barbecue at Fatty ‘Cue in NYC
Amazing Cocktails & Asian Inspired Barbecue at Fatty ‘Cue

Amazing Cocktails & Asian Inspired Barbecue at Fatty ‘Cue in NYC

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*Editor’s Note: I’m sad to report that this restaurant is not longer open.

The scenario: a random Tuesday, impromptu date night, day-of, no reservations. Sure, you could wrack your brain and come up with a place, but I chose to use ScoutMob to do the work for me. For those, unfamiliar, ScoutMob is a mobile app and newsletter that provides deals at carefully hand-picked venues without having to pay anything upfront. It alleviates the risk of coupon purchasing that is often associated with Groupon and its competitors. After scrolling through the Android app, my girlfriend and I spotted Zak Pelaccio’s Fatty ‘Cue, a place we had already talked about wanting to check out. It’s settled, we walk the four blocks from our apartment over to the restaurant and are seated promptly.

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New Orleans Meets NYC at Exchange Alley in the East Village

*Editor’s Note: I’m sad to report that this restaurant is no longer open.

Special occasions – not just regular date nights, but occasions like a girlfriend’s birthday or an anniversary. Where would you go on these kinds of nights? For me, I think and talk about food and restaurants all the time, so my criteria might be a little different than most. I don’t want to pick a trendy, super-popular place. I was to pick something unexpected, something a little off the beaten path, but it still obviously must have excellent food, with great ambiance, and ideally be reasonably priced.

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