Table Grace Cafe is new to Omaha, and the experience is definitely new to me. At first glance, the downtown restaurant seems to be the same as any other, but walking through the door reveals the place to be much different. For starters, there’s no cash register, and the menu is hand-written on some butcher paper.
It turns out that Table Grace is a non-profit donation supported restaurant. It’s a model that has proliferated in other cities, and supposedly Table Grace is the first in Omaha. The model is simple: people that can afford the food donate what they will, and others that can’t, are able to eat or even do chores in the restaurant as a way to pay.
It happens that the food is delicious. They always serve pizza, salad, and soup. Most recently I had the Italian sausage pizza and the Moussaka soup, with tomato, eggplant, and beef. The pizza crust was excellent and had that great wood-fired taste to it (I don’t know if the pizza was really wood-fired). The soup was also well-seasoned and had great ingredients.
I love their mission. Food, and especialy good food, should be available to everyone. As someone who can get great food on a frequent basis, I’m glad that an organization exists that can help others do the same. I’m also glad that it’s something that I can support by doing nothing more than going for lunch, something which I do just about every day.
In any case, if you don’t go for their mission, go for their food.