Doesn’t matter if you call it “Cinco de Mayo” or “Cinco de Drinko”. One things for sure–having Mexican food that day is a must!
My friend, Nicole, has been telling me about Gracias Madre for weeks. Finally, we decided that Cinco de Mayo was the perfect excuse to make the drive all the way to Melrose.
Walking up to the restaurant, you wouldn’t think this place served Mexican food. It is covered in white brick and black umbrellas (not the normal colorfulness that accompanies a Mexican restaurant). Nonetheless, it was still a beautiful atmosphere! Once inside, there are few accents of Mexican décor like the awesome patterned tile that covered the bar.
Gracias Madre may have wanted to keep the décor simplistic, however the food was anything but! All the color that was missing from the décor, was surely found on every single plate that passed by our table. But, before I get ahead of myself… did I mentioned this restaurant is entirely vegetarian, 100% organic AND vegan! I know what you’re thinking… a Mexican restaurant that doesn’t serve meat or cheese?! How is that even possible!? Well Gracias Madre made it possible! Their cheeses and milks are made using nuts and their tortillas and tamales are handmade from non-GMO organic heirloom corn. This was definitely a new experience for me! I guess for one day I’ll have to hide my carnivore eating habits and pretend to be an herbivore.
To start the meal off right (and in honor of the day), I got a grapefruit cocktail. It was beyond refreshing and looked so cute with the red stripped straw. (Most popular drinks at Gracias Madre are the boozy popsicle or the adult snow cone. I made a mental note to try those next!)
The most popular food items on their menu is their 3 bowls. They are called Uno, Dos, and Tres (how cute, right!?). Nicole got the Dos Bowl which consisted of braised lentils and mushrooms, peanut sauce and spinach, and served with coconut brown rice. Topped on the bowl is pico de gallo, pinapple salsa, and avocado. Now, if that doesn’t make your mouth water… you obviously don’t know what good flavor is!
I would’ve gotten a bowl as well, however that day I was craving a quesadilla. When I ordered the quesadilla I expected it to be like any other quesadilla I order at a Mexican restaurant. A big tortilla filled with yumminess and cut into 4 pizza slices… but that’s not what I got. I got a plate with the smallest quesadilla known to man. For a second, I was wondering if maybe they forgot to give me the other slices! Even though I was disappointed with the size of my food, at least it tasted good! It was stuffed with crema, butternut squash, pumpkin seed salsa, and cilantro. I recommend this to someone who wants something light and tasty, but for those who come to a Mexican restaurant hungry (aka me) I think you better opt for something else.
Gracias Madre is definitely a place to put on your “new restaurant’s to try” list. It is a modern take on Mexican food that will pleasantly surprise you with its colorful plates and yummy ingredients. Just keep in mind, its not going to satisfy you like a real authentic Mexican restaurant would! Go in with an open mind and enjoy the experience!