Montreal restaurant serves up free meals to the hungry

This is the sort of thing that gives me hope. From the CBC: Montreal restaurant serves up free meals to the hungry.

It’s barely noticeable to passersby, but a piece of paper taped to the door of Marché Ferdous, a small Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Montreal, has caught the attention of some Montrealers.

The sign, written in both English and French, reads, “People with no money welcome to eat for free.”

That goodwill gesture has won the restaurant, located at the corner of Ste-Catherine Street West and Mackay Street, a lot of praise online.

The restaurant’s co-owner, Yahya Hashemi, said they’ve been giving free meals to the hungry for about five months now. He added that they consider it as a business expense. [continue]

Year of upheaval for restaurants that ended tipping

Have you heard, over the last few years, of restaurants that have ended tipping altogether? I keep coming across articles about these, like this one in the New York Times:

Instead of expecting customers to tip the people who wait on them, tip-free restaurants pay all employees wages that reflect their skill and seniority. The customer pays a fixed amount, stated in writing (in menu prices), as in virtually every other kind of consumer business, from Nordstrom to Netflix to The New York Times. [continue]

Maybe one of these days a restaurant in my area will try this, but I’m not holding my breath.

‘Robin Hood’ cafe in Madrid is charging rich customers to give to the poor

From The Independent: ‘Robin Hood’ cafe in Madrid is charging rich customers to give to the poor.

A cafe in Spain is charging customers by day, and using the proceeds to serve meals to homeless people free of charge at night.

The Robin Hood restaurant opened on a side street in central Madrid on Tuesday, operating a simple but unique business model.

At breakfast and lunchtime the initiative runs as an ordinary Spanish bar, selling coffee, croquetas, and cigarettes, before reopening in the evening as a restaurant, serving a sophisticated sit-down supper to people who cannot afford to pay. [continue]

The Guardian has a story on this place, too: Charge the ‘rich’ to feed the poor: Madrid’s Robin Hood homeless cafe.

What a fantastic idea.

Insects on the menu for Vij’s restaurant

From Now Public: Insects on the menu for Vij’s restaurant.

The world is in a frenzy to help protect the environment and lead ‘green lifestyles’. Meeru Dhalwala, the chef and co-owner with husband Vikram Vij, is adopting this go-green attitude for their Vancouver based restaurant- in the form of BUGS.

That’s right! They have decided to introduce insects to their menu as green cuisine. Dhalwala has argued that insects are environmentally positive, and can provide a much healthier protein than that found in meat. The next step is seeing if consumers have the stomachs to tackle the yuck factor. [continue]

I’m not interested in eating insects, but I’m willing to try anything on the menu at Vij’s. The place is amazing, and we dined there regularly when we lived in Vancouver. Now we (well, my husband, really) cook from the Vij’s cookbook, which is also outstanding.

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