Y2 – Day 162 – Gather

Berkeley, San Francisco, this entire Bay Area is a Foodie Paradise.  I found myself being whisked to Gather restaurant on Oxford St. on Sunday shortly after my arrival.  The menu clearly depicts Vegan fare with a V, so it is super easy to order off of.  Smart.  The menu occasionally changes to reflect what is freshest and in season and the dessert menu at this time of year with all the herbs and fruits – is different pretty much every day.

What I love about most Berkeley eateries is you can go with omnivores, gluten intolerants, vegans and primals to the same location.  Everyone is special.  No one is left out.  Very democratically, they cater to everyone’s tastes.  Everybody is happy and eats what they want and it is almost always delicious all around the heterogeneous table.

While my son enjoyed a Lucky Dog Ranch Burger with cheddar and fries and a spring mix salad, his girlfriend chose a sausage pizza (they have a wood burning oven) topped with braised leeks, potatoes, kale and thyme.

I ordered a vegan Spicy Tomato pizza with olives, capers, cashew puree, chili oil and parsley.

I consider myself a self-declared connoisseur of pizza dating back probably to my 10th birthday when I insisted on eating 10 slices of homemade various flavored pizzas to honor myself and my absolute favorite food in the world (and still is).

I have eaten and participated in making vegan, gluten free, non-vegan and low carb pizza in my life. I have dined on this humble and simple option in three different cities in Italy as a taste test, all over New York over countless times at different stages of my life, in Argentina  – a land of Italian immigrants with special dinners in my honor and pizza as the requested homemade meal and at world famous pizzerias and on every occasion I allow myself the luxury.  I have eaten it plain with tomatoes and basil, sometimes cheese, with onions and ham, with veggies, meats, white sauce, garlic and chicken, you name it.

Chef Sean Baker’s version was the best vegan pizza I ever had.  I did not expect that. The crust was thin as thin can be and the flavors were exploding and making sweet music in my mouth.  Crispy, fresh and resonant flavors melded into one memorable meal, making this vegan momma very grateful and pleased as punch.

The place was getting nods as people stopped their conversations, tried their dishes and came up for air to utter, “This is delicious.” in between bites.

Everyone was impressed so of course we ordered dessert.

Seed Almond Cake with Coconut Milk Ice Cream and assorted designer looking fruits prepared in gourmet fashion with Basil leaves.  Outrageous and spectacular to the human eye, it was even more surprisingly delectable to this human palate.  I ate the whole thing.

Naturally, I declined to overindulge the following day, but today is another day in good ole Foodie Heaven!  Good thing walking is the best and easiest way to get around from point A to point B here.

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