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Karma Kitchen DC, at Polo India Club

Miami Danny

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This is a 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 good lunch two weeks ago 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 (and the owner) at Polo are volunteers for this event also. 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 Karma Kitchen

And I capped off the meal with hot chai and sweet, cardamom-scented rice pudding.

I volunteered here yesterday and it was a great experience. We served 72 people, the most yet, in spite of the wet weather. It reminded me of the old days when I had my own place, and sometimes I would wait on tables, bus them, do the dishes, work the bar, clean the bathrooms, and of course, still find the time to shmooze the hell out of everyone. I didn't have to do any dishes or clean the bathrooms, but it was a real pleasure serving people and giving them the "$0.00" check. As they say, it is not a 'free meal', but a gift. The nuance is astonishingly freeing, and it makes you want to give more. Not to sound too mushy, but it was one of the best experiences I've ever had in a restaurant.

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Served 45 people today-the big hit was the sweet milk/noodle pudding made with vermicelli we served for dessert. Karma Kitchen is ongoing so please come by on Sunday.

Please accept lunch as our gift. Delicious Indian veg fare. 12-3pm. Free gifts for kids, too!

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