On my current visit to the nation's capital, I experienced this beautiful event that combines all the great things about sharing food in a restaurant without being required to pay. That's right. The tab reads..."Lunch for___ served this evening by________. Your Bill Total: "$0.00" I ate a really delicious lunch of basmati rice with grilled eggplant, cumin potatoes, cheese cubes and spinach, tomato dal, a basket of naan and raita. Everything was spiced well, and the people who cook at Polo India Club volunteer for this event also. I have tried to volunteer for Karma Kitchen but they were already loaded with volunteers-but it is something that makes you reflect on the obsessive fetishization of food and restaurants that is sometimes taken to ridiculous lengths. But I do not want to diminish what these great people are doing here-it is truly a gift.
The bill also reads, "In the spirit of generosity, someone who came before you made a gift of this meal. We hope you will continue the circle of giving in your own way! If you wish to pay-it-forward to a future guest, you may leave an anonymous contribution in this envelope."That's it. Sundays, 12-3, at Polo Indian-1736 Connecticut Ave NW. For more info go to http://www.karmakitchendc.wordpress.com/
And I capped off the meal with hot chai and sweet, cardamom-scented rice pudding. Really beautiful, sweet people, and a great addition to DC.