Wednesday, November 23, 2005

One World Cafe

After the ViaWest tour. I decided to jump to the other spectrum of live in America and dined at the One World Cafe. This is a new age concept that features organic cooking.

This cafe does so many things right. The restaurant has a different menu each day based on what's in the fridge and what just came off the farm. To reduce food waste, they serve buffet style. I wanted just a little snack; so I had a half plate with samples of the store's cuisine.

One interesting feature of the restaurant is that you, the diner, set the price. You look at the quality and quantity of the food you ate and pay what you believe to be a fair price for the food. This is a great twist on the buffet. The problem with most buffets is that people take way too much food. The restaurant either ends up dropping the quality of the food or raising the price to fit the appetites of the biggest and fattest in our society. A fixed price buffet results in food waste.

I have attended some buffets that weigh one's plate. Weighing the plate reduces food waste...but then people tend to skip the veggies and over load the meat to get the better of the buffet.

I had a conversation with some new agers in my hood about the cafe. They loved the cafe because the owner was not trapped by the oppressive capitalistic system. They saw the food as free ... being generous new agers, they would give a donation at the end of the meal to further the cause.

Personally, I think the store is a delightful exercise in free market economics. With each meal we go through an internal negotiation to determine the price we will pay for the meal. I do wish the store provided more guidance on price. I had only a half plate. I erred on the cheap side.

It will be interesting to see how the restaurant fares in the most republican of all states. The One World Cafe essentially is giving the food away and asking for a big tip. I mentioned politics as Democrats tend to chintz on the price but love to leave big tips. Republicans tend to like to pay fair prices but chintz on the tip.

My view is that the fair value of the food is about $15 to $20 per plate. Being a buffet, I don't think the restaurant warrants a full 20% gratuity. Of course, if it makes you feel good. Think of the food as free ... followed by a $20 donation to the cause (tip).

Of course, you could just leave a sign that says "Thank you Lord for thinking of me, I am doing fine." Unfortunately, my hair is short; so I couldn't get away with that trick.

Anyhoo, for a brief moment I had transcended my oppressive corporal existance and transcended to the One World Cafe. I am now back to my bourgeoisie ways.

PS, I couldn't find a web site for them.

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