Animals quote

"Animals give their lives to feed us, so it's on us to eat every part of them. It's a form of respect, and it's a better way to live than just treating meat as a disposable commodity." —Seamus Mullen, Chef


SAME Cafe — So All May Eat

The last full day we were in Denver we made it over to the SAME Cafe, a place I had put on our "to-do" list months ago, and we were delighted. The slices of pizza we had (California Chicken and Margherita) were super fresh. The crust was crisp and flavorful, the veggies delicious, and the sauce ... my god the sauce. We also enjoyed the fresh fruit salad (juicy cantaloupe and pears), Asian Chicken Slaw (pineapple, cucumber, cabbage, carrots and chicken) and a modest coffee-mug full of Corn & Squash Stew (squash, corn, lentils, green beans, celery, peppers, potatoes in a light broth).

Sure, the food was fresh and tasty, but that wasn't the main reason we were drawn to the little cafe on E. Colfax Ave. Instead, it was the mission and concept behind SAME that drew us in.

SAME stands for "So All May Eat." Started by Brad and Libby Birky out of a desire to give back, SAME is a "pay what you want" cafe, which also offers the opportunity to receive a meal for an hour of volunteering. That could involve sweeping the floor, doing dishes, serving patrons or even making yourself handy in the kitchen.
This does not make it a place to get a "cheap" lunch. Instead, this allows anyone the opportunity to get a good, healthy meal—from those with to those without. Those who can pay often contribute double to triple what they would have paid in a typical restaurant—I know Ray and I contributed at least $30 for our meal. And those who can't, often the homeless, instead give what they may have or give an hour of their time for a meal. This fills their bellies and let's them feel good about themselves—at SAME, everyone is treated equally.

Moreso, as we marveled over our pizza (better than we've had at some places), Ray made a very good point: For the homeless who volunteer their time in exchange for a meal and opt to work in the kitchen, they are learning marketable skills. Sure, it might not land them in The French Laundry, but good kitchen skills are skills, no matter where you pick them up. And I'm sure with a recommendation from Brad and Libby, this could get someone off the streets and into a job. Maybe it's at a fastfood joint, but it's a start, and it means that if someone is determined enough, they can take themselves even farther, maybe even to The French Laundry.

SAME's menu changes daily, but it always seems to offer 2 pizzas, 2 salads and 2 soups/stews. Their meals are mainly organic, and they are only open for lunch. And it is certainly going to be a place we go to anytime we're in Denver.

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