Could we interest you in a fine plate of Fabulous? How about a nice bowl of Thriving? Or maybe the Gracious is more to your liking?
No, we’re not having a mini-stroke. Fabulous, Thriving and Gracious are a few of the actual names of dishes served at Southern California’s flower-power chain of restaurants, Café Gratitude. (They refer to raw Mexican lasagna, the soup of the day, and a summer grain salad, respectively.) The restaurant's mission statement says it's a "celebration of our aliveness."
The earth-loving, peace and happiness vibe of these vegan restaurants, while maybe a touch off-putting to the uninitiated, isn't all that uncommon these days, particularly on the West Coast. What is unusual however, are the threats of extreme violence the owners of Café Gratitude received, according to the New York Times, when they revealed on their sustainable farming blog (where else?) their plans to begin raising and butchering cows for their own personal use at home.
For this perceived infraction, members of their loyal vegan following decided to shower the restaurant with death threats. The protesters also created an online boycott movement, and gathered outside the restaurant's branches to protest and yell things like “We will not be at peace until the animals are released!” (That rates a 4 out of 10, as far as protest chants are concerned. Personally we would have gone with “Where’s the beef?”) Even famous vegans like Moby got involved, criticizing the restaurant owners for their actions.
What’s particularly notable about all of this is that there appear to be plenty of other issues one might take with the restaurant. At Café Gratitude waiters serve entrees while asking inane nonsensical questions like “What is your gift to give?” (Idk, a tip maybe?) Every plate comes adorned with the message “What are you grateful for?” A section of “Wellness Elixirs” with titles like “Beaming," “Opulent” and "Brave" are available for purchase.
In short, there’s a lot more here to make a person nauseous than owners who reintroduced hamburger into their diet.
Then again, maybe a glass of Cheerful and a serving of Warm-Hearted would set us straight.
The Feast is Bravo’s digital destination serving culinary inspiration and essential food news. Like us on Facebook and visit daily for diet and wellness trends, kitchen hacks and tools — and the buzziest celebrity, chef, and restaurant happenings you need to know about right now.