Balboa Park,

I Am Serene and Refreshed

12:00:00 AM Arianne 4 Comments

This past weekend, I got to experience vegan food. To be totally honest, I was worried about it. If you didn't know this about me, I'm not the biggest fan of vegetables, or anything that isn't meat for that matter. It was a bit of a shock to my system, but I survived.

The restaurant of choice was Cafe Gratitude in downtown San Diego. I remembered Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl talking about it in their Psychobabble podcast because it apparently originated in Los Angeles. The decor of the whole place was so peaceful and bright. The tabletops were marble and the whole place had a white decor. I would have taken a photo if there weren't so many people. 

My first order was called I Am Refreshed, which was a basil lemonade spritzer. Now, for some reason, I forgot that a spritzer meant a bubbly drink. I don't like carbonation because it doesn't agree with my stomach, but I thought once in a while shouldn't be too bad. It was light and truly refreshing. 

For my main order, I originally wanted the banana bread, but they already ran out by the time I got there, so I went for the cinnamon roll called I Am Serene. This was the safest option I could think of since it was basically just a sweet treat. I don't have a problem with sweet foods, vegan or otherwise. The roll looked like a normal-sized one, but I could only eat half. I was still trying to eat the rest two days later (lol). It wasn't as creamy as a regular cinnamon roll, but it was delicious. I thought it'd be great for portion control since it wasn't as addicting as a regular cinnamon roll.

By now, you're probably wondering why in the world would I go to a vegan restaurant? Well, it was because I was meeting Mickey for the first time and she's vegan. She's a freelance book editor like me, except that she's an expert in all kinds of editing. She's been doing it for four years and she's kind of my go-to when I have questions about the business. Sort of like a mentor, if you may.

I was so excited to meet her, though I was embarrassingly late. I went round and round in a circle in downtown SD trying to find parking. It was crazy! But anyway, I finally made it and we finally met, along with her husband. First impression? Oh my gosh, she had the most perfect skin I'd ever seen on a person in real life! The rest of the impression? She was awesome! She exuded positive energy; the kind of energy you wanted to hug and keep for yourself. 

Anyway, she ordered I Am Outstanding, which was the sprouted oatmeal with walnuts. We had kind of like a light brunch before we headed out to Balboa Park in search of the Japanese Friendship Garden. Head on over to my Photography page if you want to see the photos of the garden. It was so serene and peaceful. I did get a bit of a sunburn on my face, and we did a bit of adventurous impromptu hiking and climbing cliffs, but at the end of the day, we had fun. 

Meeting online friends for the first time in real life, dining on delicious food, and exploring beautiful places was a great way to spend my Saturday.

Let me know in the comments what you got up to this weekend!

Cafe Gratitude
1980 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
(610) 736-5077

x Ayre


  1. The food looks amazing, if I ever go to San Diego again, I'll make sure to check this place out. I mostly eat plant-based food so this would be perfect xx

    1. I hope you get to come back again one day, and we can meet hopefully!

  2. I'm SO glad we finally met!!! <3 You're so sweet, and I'm thankful you drove that far to meet up with me! The park was so much fun. It was great to experience that with you. :) Big, big hugs!! XOXO

    1. You and Josh are amazeballs! Thanks so much for meeting with me and going along with my crazy adventures lol