I was having a miserable day sometime last week. Or the week before.
I was running rather late, which always puts me off, but a homeless man made eye contact with me, and that meant at least saying hello. He asked to me to help him, and starting walking along side of me. The stench of alcohol floated about almost visibly. I offered to buy him something--I make it a policy to never give money, and he asked for a croissant. Easy. Or so I thought. I asked him where we could get one, and he said "Here," pointing to the next place to our right. He was about to go in when I stopped him--it was a nice sit down Thai place. I asked him again, where could we get a croissant for him--he muttered about a place called Au Coquelet. Having been there, it's a great joint, and I highly recommend it, but it was no where near walking distance away. And I had arrived at my destination. And was still late. I apologized, telling him I had to meet a friend, and that if he were still around after, we could go get him something, and I entered the restaurant. He followed. He sat next to me while I waited for my friend, who was apparently also late. For about five minutes he tried to make me sing Beatles songs, and for another five, I asked him to leave as politely as I could, while he talked about his ex-pet cow. He cried at me too. What can one do? Powerlessness is the worst. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty sad and miserable when my friend got there. I wanted to help the poor man, but he was beyond rational conversation. I still feel guilty about it.
Luckily, the restaurant was Cafe Gratitude. By the time we ordered, I was already happy again. The guilt lingered, but it was a learning sort of linger. Anyway, Gratitude is 90% raw, and 100% vegan. They had delicious cashew mozzarella and sour cream, and all sort of other tasty things. It really can lift your spirit. Each menu item is titled "I AM X", where X is some positive adjective. When you order, you are encouraged to say them out loud, to promote happy vibes. Very warm 'n fuzzy and very yummy.
Another Vegan place I recommend is Herbivore. And a third that I have yet to check out is Manzanita.