Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5. FOOD: 3.5 / 5. VALUE: 3.5 / 5. AMBIANCE: 4 / 5
Nearly all of Gratitude Café’s dishes are vegan and gluten-free. Many are also raw. This is Calgary’s only raw food restaurant. Surprising for a city with a population of a million-plus people. Not so surprising considering the quality of Alberta beef. Read my Lunch Rush column in Metro Calgary, or continue for the expanded version…
It’s a quirky place, as every table features a deck of cards or small board game. The front of the restaurant features a massage chair, which I’m still confused about (are massages given by staff or is it a decorative accent?). Our server was almost so casual that I wasn’t sure if she worked there or if she had just wandered into the restaurant mid-jog.
Good thing the food looked promising. The menu is easy to read and organized into various levels of hungriness. And the dishes are named as affirmative statements. “I am thrilled” was our sushi appetizer with quinoa, basil pecans and avocado ($9). We liked the nuttiness, but the too-tightly packed rice made the dish dense.
My friend and I shared “I am awesome” ($12), a raw, vegan and gluten-free sunflower Thai salad with shredded coconut and pumpkin seeds stuffed into a bell pepper. It was bold, spicy and memorable. Warning: lots of chewing involved.
Next was “I am creating”, a spicy lentil curry with rice, tortilla chips and mixed greens ($13). It was tasty but not as remarkable as I’d hoped.
We were too full for dessert and left feeling healthy and refreshed. I.e. Come here if you’re feeling an onset of gout like I do after too much eating out.
Gratitude Cafe, #101, 227 – 10th Street NW, Calgary; 403-984-4433. Hours of operation: Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
Price range: ($8 to $18)
Low: ($8 soup creation of the day)
High: ($18 rustic thin crust pizza)
Is this restaurant appropriate for:
Client negotiations: Yes
Lunch with co-workers: Yes
Social lunch: Yes
Quick solo lunch: Yes