Went to Cafe Reconcile for lunch today with Tom. First time I've been there, which seems odd. It's only open for lunch during the week, and Tom's been there a bunch of time with folks from his office. Cafe Reconcile is more than a lunch restaurant that serves New Orleans favorites like red beans, gumbo, jambalaya, and po-boys, it's a non-profit organization that provides training and other opportunities to local at-risk youth. From the Cafe Reconcile website, their mission is:
We are a community of concerned people committed to addressing the system of generational poverty, violence and neglect in the New Orleans area. Our innovative life skills and job training program assists young people (ages 16–22) from severely at-risk communities who desire to make a positive change in their lives. Reconcile’s students arrive facing a vast array of challenges, from extreme poverty and high school attrition to homelessness, violence, and participation in the juvenile justice system. Nonetheless, these young people possess a deep desire to break the cycle and become productive, contributing members of society.An excellent cause served up with some excellent food. The staff are in training, so, you know, the service is earnest but sometimes slightly confused. We both had the chicken and sausage gumbo and then one of the Thursday specials, shrimp and white beans.
The shrimp & white beans was a little light on shrimp, but the white beans were creamy and delicious. The gumbo was spicy and herby (lots of thyme).
We also shared a blackberry creme brulee which was a little runnier than usual, but it was light and lemony, and the sugar crust was perfect. Having the blackberries in there was a lovely treat. I liked it a lot!
I wanna go back and get the baked chicken.
A nice lunch date!