photo courtesy of thesqueeze.net
What kind of Jersey girl am I? I had no idea Jon Bon Jovi had started this volunteer-run community restaurant called Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, NJ. He's been getting a lot of press for it recently because of all the Hurricane Sandy victims he's served, but apparently it's been around for over a year! The concept of the restaurant is simple, but not common: there are no prices on the menu, but donations are accepted. Anyone who can't pay money for their meal can volunteer in exchange for it. Diners are seated on a first, come first serve basis, and often at a table with other members of the community. (And, despite having only 30 seats, they've been serving upwards of 800 meals a day!)
This ain't your typical soup kitchen: meals comes in three or more courses and use local, seasonal, and (when possible) organic ingredients. They have already welcomed Tom Colicchio and Mario Batali as guest chefs, and I suspect more are on the way. I love the fact that JBJ started this initiative and, as a result, has been able to help out so many hurricane victims in the past several weeks (delivering meals to those in need as well as serving diners in-house.) Because, sometimes, livin' on a prayer just isn't gonna cut it.