One of the best things about food, in my opinion, is its ability to transport you to another time or place. For example, it was cold and overcast in the Bay Area on Sunday, but a simple trip to Vital Ital Calabash in Berkeley made it seem sunny and tropical... while I was eating, anyway.
For those of you not familiar with Ital Cuisine, it's Rastafarian vegan food. 'Ital' itself translates to 'pure' and this means unprocessed food from the earth. It also means the use of some damn good Jamaican spices and sauces resulting in flavors beyond compare, at least at Vital Ital. For my lunch, I had their 'Osho's Bliss' sandwich, which is a tofu patty with an incredibly flavorful sauce on a toasted bun with tomato, lettuce, and sprouts. Honestly, I don't have the words. It was so yummy - bright and fresh, with just the right amount of 'kick.' To compliment the heat in the sandwich, I also ordered some fantastic fried plantains with a sweet and savory sauce. These were so rich and delicious I could barely stand it:
Those of you who know me know how much I loathe trips over the bridge, but it is worth it to have these flavors. Plus, it's right across the street from the Ashby BART station, so there's not even any need to drive. Get thee to Vital Ital now. It's sure to brighten up any day.