Here we're surrounded by restaurants and we're having lots of fun checking out all the locals. The standard of food in California is amazing. And though we've found plenty of awesome restuarants we'd like to re-visit, at the moment we choose a different one each time we go out for dinner.
The other day we came across the Delancey Street Restaurant. It's just around the corner from our apartment so we thought we'd look into it further. Ratings on Foursquare were good, and their ribs were recommended, so we knew where we were headed for dinner.
Little did we know what a great choice we'd made - it turns out Delancey Street is not just a restaurant, it is part of a residential self-help organization for former substance abusers, ex-convicts, homeless and others who have hit bottom.
- There is no staff: the place is run by the residents themselves.
- All money raised is funneled into the community, and each resident receives food, housing, clothing, education, entertainment and all other services at no cost.
- The average resident has been a hard-core drug and alcohol abuser, has been in prison, is unskilled, functionally illiterate, and has a personal history of violence and generations of poverty.
- The minimum stay at Delancey Street is 2 years while the average resident remains for almost 4 years – drug, alcohol and crime-free.
- During their time at Delancey Street, residents receive a high school equivalency degree (GED) and are trained in 3 different marketable skills.
- Beyond academic and vocational training, residents learn important values, and the social and interpersonal skills that allow them to live successfully in the mainstream of society.
Seriously, this is one cool place, and the food was great. The menu changes daily and combines foods from residents' particular ethnic or regional backgrounds (they're encouraged to use old family recipes) and traditional American cuisine. And it's popular - it was packed full of families on a Sunday night.
So, about the food - good homestyle meals.
To start, buffalo wings
John ordered BBQ ribs with collard greens
which was served with sweet potato pie
While I chose blackened meatloaf (meatloaf with a Jamaican twist) served with chips and spicy coleslaw
We shared everything (except I ate the bulk of the collard greens and the sweet potato pie - something I'd always wanted to try and John thought was weird) and as you can see the portions were huge. It was great value, and tips are treated as donations.
Not only a great meal, but a good cause too! This is one restaurant we'll definitely be back to.
For more information check out their website Delancey Street Foundation.