I have reviewed movies, television shows, and books before. But how about a restaurant?
Today, a group of Presbyterian ministers asked my wife and me to lunch at Cafe Reconcile. It is in uptown New Orleans on 1631 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard (formerly Dryads) in a former business district that catered to African Americans in the post-World War II years. The area since the 1970s and was increasingly on the downturn but recently has begun to make a slow rebound.
Cafe Reconcile intentionally set up shop there, which would be more than many other businesses would do. But beyond this, and this is from their mission statement:
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.
This would warrant visiting them just for an average meal. But the meal was more than average, it was delicious. And we enjoyed the company too.
I would recommend going at lunch time and going with a group. You will need to park on the street (we found a space a block away). But it is well worth it and it is for a most worthy cause.