The first thing you notice when you step into the restaurant is its atmosphere. It has a beautifully designed interior with a quaint bar on the side, and gorgeous paintings and embroidered quilts adorning the walls. This is no "In and out" dining experience, but a place in which to enjoy yourself and share.
Upon entering, we were greeted by the owners and managers of the restaurant and served mojitos, made with fresh mint, lime, and agave with soju—oh so refreshing. After some mingling within the crowd, we were invited to serve ourselves from a beautiful buffet of the Quesadillas de Calabaza, the Tamal (or tamale), guacamole, and fresh salsas. Everything was truly delicious, but the favorite was definitely the Tamal—stoneground heirloom masa (corn) steamed in the husk, and filled with butternut squash and green chile. It was so good, some of us had seconds. And though we were stuffed and satisfied with these dishes, we just couldn't pass up on dessert. Hugo, one of the managers, graciously helped us with our decision, and we were served the Flan as well as the Mexican Wedding Cookies with a cacao-cinnamon sauce. Both were marvelous.
With our stomachs full and our palates satisfied, the night came to an end—some of us are already planning a return trip. Among the plethora of wonderful restaurants in San Francisco, Gracias Madre is a great addition and one that truly stands out.