We arrived in Pacifica just before noon on Saturday. Our best friends live there and it is a cherished destination. After settling in, we snacked while we visited. We had early dinner plans in Berkeley with some additional friends.

They wanted to take us to a popular restaurant called Gather that focuses on locally grown, organic food. It’s an omnivore restaurant, but with plenty of vegan options including a vegan charcuterie. We met up with our other friends and walked over to the restaurant. We were not able to get reservations, so we opted for an early dinner hoping to be seated without too long of a wait. Thankfully, they were able to seat us outside right away. We initially preferred indoor seating, but the outdoor patio was beautiful, well shaded, and quiet. Later, while going through the inside dining area to use the restroom, I noticed how loud the interior dining room got as the place filled up.

We ordered drinks as we tried to decide what to try from the menu. Dave opted for the Vegan Charcuterie. I had the Poblano Cannelini Bean Soup and the Eggplant Caponata made with heirloom eggplant. The soup was delicious. It was slightly spicy, complex and creamy. They sprinkled some tiny chiles on top that I was afraid to try. Dave is much braver than me and assured me that they were mild. They tasted like tiny crunchy chile rellenos. The eggplant was both beautiful and tasty. Dave’s charcuterie was a site to behold and a sensuous mix of seasonal vegetables and fruit.

We plan to go again the next time we’re in the Bay Area. I will definitely try the vegan pizza. I snuck a piece of vegan crust from my friend and it was incredible.

After dinner we walked around Berkeley and stopped at Cinnaholic to try their vegan cinnamon rolls. It’s been a while since I’ve had a cinnamon roll and these did not disappoint. You start with a roll and then choose your toppings. We opted for apples, walnuts and caramel flavored icing. They were about to close and the place was packed. We ended up taking our cinnamon roll to go and ate it in the garden courtyard of Chris’s 1930-era apartment building.