In many ways we saved the best for last with the final video shoot of the Southwest Tour, visiting SAME Café in Denver, and leaving inspired and with full bellies. SAME is an acronym for "So All May Eat," and it refers to the pay-what-you-can system of the restaurant.
SAME Café drew our interest because organic food is often criticized for pricing out lower-income people who can't afford to shop at boutique groceries like Whole Foods. SAME Café owners Brad and Libby Birky provide a place where everyone can enjoy a great meal made of high quality (and mostly organic) ingredients -- regardless of whether they can afford it.
It works like this: After eating a meal, you either put a few dollars in the donation box on the counter, or you can exchange some volunteer work for a meal. For the video shoot, Dorothée put on an apron and some rubber gloves, and worked with volunteers in the kitchen for about two hours, chopping vegetables, cleaning lettuce, and preparing salads. Because of the pay structure, the clientele at SAME is as diverse as you'll ever find in a sit-down restaurant; college students, homeless people, and families all eat the same food.
Brad and Libby are truly some of the most amazing people we've met on this tour, and I hope more restaurants like SAME Café start sprouting up all over the country.