After finding huge success in pop-up fundraising dinners, chef Chad Houser finally opened the much-anticipated brick-and-mortar location of his revolutionary charitable venture early this year. Café Momentum is the nonprofit Downtown restaurant that works as a training ground for juvenile offenders via paid internships where they learn both life skills and an intensive education in all areas of restaurant operation from waiting tables to cooking. And speaking of food, the menu is filled with impressive, expertly executed dishes such as octopus tiradito (pictured above), smoked fried chicken and short-rib pot pie (pictured at top), not the cuisine you might expect from teens in the kitchen. There is so much joy and hope on the faces of these young men as they buzz around, you’re sure to get an overwhelming sense that you’re part of something much greater than a fantastic meal. And you are.

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