Exciting things are happening at Café Gratitude on North Larchmont and their other locations in Los Angeles. CHi Foods, of Santa Barbara, has teamed up with the restaurant chain to offer delicious new menu items for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
CHi Foods is a Southern California-based company that has taken the plant based meat replacement industry by storm with its organic, keto friendly and gluten free, vegan ground pork. High in protein from fava beans and sacha incha, a South American superfood, this versatile meat replacement eliminates most food allergies that are an issue of plant-based proteins that contain wheat and soy. As a matter of fact, it’s free of the top 9 food allergens. In addition, there are no additives and preservatives often found in other products. This piqued my interest, as I’m always looking for the cleanest and healthiest way to get protein in my diet.
So…how does it taste? Well, lucky me I got to sample the new menu items. I can tell you, firsthand, CHi-rizo is delicious! Like Chorizo! Dense and chewy and meaty (hey, I haven’t found another word for that), with a good kick of spice. The flavors are balanced and savory with a hint of umami.
The breakfast burrito, “I am Loved” (yes, that it’s name), is now on my list of all time favorite burritos. One that I would eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a midnight snack. Luckily it’s available all day at Café Gratitude. Bursting at the seams with a mélange of ingredients, including CHi-Rizo, scrambled tofu, potato, avocado, black beans, almond burrata and salsa fresca, it’s a taste and textural moment of nirvana to take that first bite and the next and the next… I opted for the side of roasted potatoes, which are scrumptious. You can also choose a side green salad.
The CHi-Rizo Sausage and Pepper Pizza (“I Am Giving”) is everything you could want in a pizza. A crisp crust lightly charred and with a good chew, blanketed with an assortment of toppings that make for a stunning presentation. In addition to the CHi-Rizo sausage and roasted peppers, there’s almond burrata that’s somewhat like ricotta in texture, housemade marinara, brazil nut parmesan and arugula tossed in a lemon thyme dressing strewn on top. Pizza and salad on one plate. What a treat to have a stellar plant-based sausage pizza. Not an easy feat.
For years, Café Gratitude has taken plant-based meals to the next level, and these new CHi-Rizo menu items are no exception. Definitely stop in to try these yummy meals. FYI, you can now park for free in the underground lot just south of the restaurant all day on Saturdays and Sundays. No excuses not to go!
About Deborah Brooks
Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.
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