I am neither vegan, nor do I live off of a gluten-free diet (thank god!). If I could have carnitas smothered in cream on top of pasta every night, I would. Well, that's a lie because that would be disgusting, but you get the point. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly satisfied by my meal here tonight.
Gracias Madre is very SF in the sense that they're taking a lot of seasonal ingredients (and maybe a few that are just past their season, i.e. butternut squash) and throwing them into classic Mexican entrees. Tacos with roasted asparagus is a perfect example. Although they haven't updated all the winter ingredients (kale, brussel sprouts, & squash, for example), they're certainly mixing things up. And, when the menu says "mushrooms" they don't mean flavorless button mushrooms, they mean shiitake. And if they mean shiitake, they mean business.
Although I'm generally not a huge plantain fan, surprisingly my favorite dish of the night was the enchilada with grilled plantains, cashew cheese, greens and beans. While the beans were slightly under-seasoned, the plantain enchilada was a home-run - sweet without being too much like a dessert. The mushroom taco was also a hit for me, but then again, I'm a sucker for delicious sauteed mushrooms.
Service was friendly and fast, and heaters kept the outdoor seating wonderfully warm despite the chill in the air. Overall, a solid spot to visit for cuisine that's a little more upscale than the neighborhood tacqueria.
2211 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110-1811