It’s hard to go wrong with a meal at Gracias Madre. Though a documented omnivore through and through, I wildly appreciate the vegan Mexican fare crafted by Chef Chandra Gilbert (formerly of Alice Waters' Café Fanny in Berkeley, San Francisco’s Cowgirl Creamery, and – since 2004 – the Café Gratitude family). The restaurant’s initiative to celebrate “the presence of the mother,” inspired by matriarchal Mexican recipes, is exceptionally welcoming – and its organic and locally grown ingredients do these traditions proud. From coliflór frito with cashew cheese; to potato-masa cake gorditas topped with warm salsa verde; to flautas filled with potatoes and caramelized onion, then garnished with corn relish, the heart of Chef Gilbert’s food is evident with each and every bite. It’s clear why the restaurant’s mission statement invites patrons to take “a seat at love's table,” and I’m always happy to pull up a chair at Gracias Madre.