Tulsa Diners 'Pay What They Can' For Gourmet Meal
TULSA, Oklahoma - A restaurant appeared overnight in midtown Tulsa. The 51st and Yale YMCA transformed into a pop-up café.
The restaurant showed up with black tablecloths, and a gourmet menu, but the biggest surprise came when diners got the check.
The menu sounded like it could be from a fine-dining restaurant: roast pepper chicken, zucchini carpaccio, ratatouille and polenta.
It was a gourmet meal that didn’t leave diners with sticker-shock.
"Our table model is designed to allow anyone to eat, regardless of their ability to pay, and that's done on a pay what you can basis," said Tulsa’s Table Founder, Christy Moore.
Moore said people could enjoy their meal, then donate what they could - whether it’s cash, or by volunteering their time.
The food was locally-grown, and most of the produce came straight from Oklahoma gardens.
"People who even have an excess of maybe squash or cucumbers in their garden, and they're like, ‘I don't know what I'm going to do with all of this. Can you guys take it,’" said Volunteer Chef, Cat Cox.
She and other volunteers helped cook and serve. They also gave diners a chance to interact with the chef, and learn more about the food.
Diner, Connie Seibold said, "The food is very tasty, very well-seasoned, there's a variety. There's nothing here that you would feel guilty about eating,"
Along with the variety on the plate, organizers hope Tulsa's Table expands diner's palates, both to new foods and new friends.
"That's one of our goals is bringing people together in these local neighborhoods who might have otherwise never meet,” said Moore.
Tulsa's Table plans to continue hosting its pop up café once a month through the fall.