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County Barbeque Offers Free Sandwich to Furloughed Workers

County Barbeque Offers Free Sandwich to Furloughed Workers

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DMK's newest concept is feeding government employees out of work and their 'chicken' Congressmen

County Barbeque makes some of Chicago's best ribs.

The government shutdown has been a hot topic for weeks now, and the effects aren’t just being felt in Washington, D.C. Nobody needs a break more than the furloughed employees, and in Chicago they can at least get one for lunch.

County Barbeque, the newest concept from DMK Restaurants, is reaching out to government employees this week with a free meal. Until Friday, Oct. 11, all furloughed employees can get a complimentary pulled pork sandwich by showing their government ID. The sandwich features Carolina-style mustard BBQ sauce and slaw, providing a well-deserved bite to those out of work.

Not one to discriminate, County Barbeque is even offering members of Congress a freebie. For any congressman or woman willing to flash an ID, the restaurant has a special "Congress Chicken" sandwich, an apt nod to the attitudes of the national legislature, provided they can brave eating lunch with those they put out of work.

While we all hope the shutdown gets resolved sooner rather than later, at least our furloughed friends and neighbors won’t go hungry! Stop into County Barbeque and enjoy the meal!

Culinaria San Antonio offers free meals, assistance to hospitality workers struggling amid coronavirus pandemic

SAN ANTONIO – The restaurant and hospitality industries have been some of the hardest hit during the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of people are out of work or have seen drastic wage setbacks.

Culinaria, a local non-profit organization committed to promoting San Antonio as a premier food and wine destination, wants to help those people affected most by the pandemic.

“This is definitely an unprecedented time for us all and our hope is to support furloughed industry workers that have helped put this city on the map as a culinary destination,” said Suzanne Taranto-Etheredge, president and CEO of Culinaria.

Culinaria has started assistance programs to address short and long-term needs for workers, restaurants and bars in the San Antonio area.

The first program is called HospitALLity House. It focuses on short-term needs by ensuring those in the hospitality industry receive a hot meal.

Service is provided Monday through Saturday at Alamo BBQ from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Several other restaurants have stepped in to help with meals at their locations.

Food and monetary donations from local businesses and individuals have helped keep the program, which has already fed more than 12,000 in its first two weeks of operation, going.

Culinaria Family Meal Kits are also networked through chefs for distribution to furloughed workers.

Hospitality businesses that have employees in need can send an email to [email protected] to be included in the kit distribution.

For long-term needs, Culinaria created an emergency relief fund and will issue funds to hospitality workers. Individuals and businesses are encouraged to donate to the fund through PayPal or Venmo on their website at

Culinaria posted an application process on its website for those interested.

Individuals who are interested in finding locations that are offering the hot meals to hospitality industry workers can follow Culinaria’s social media channels daily for locations and times.

Some of the support includes contributions from:

Chef Jason Dady, Silver Eagle, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Sysco, Alamo BBQ, Bakery Lorraine, Chef John Brand and Hotel Emma, Gaucho Gourmet, Cheesecake Factory, Panifico Bake Shop, Hush San Antonio, San Pellegrino and Texana Brands.

Culinaria is also offering “Restaurant Weeks To-Go,” to promote restaurants that have remained opened for to-go, curbside and delivery services.

Sandwiches with a purpose, and worth the drive, in Northern California's Yolo County

When I first moved to the Bay Area, about a decade ago, there were only three things that I knew people went to Yolo County for: the Cache Creek Casino Resort, the Yocha Dehe golf course and fly fishing. Since I&rsquove never seen much of the appeal in any of these attractions (other than the cinematic potential of fishing lines sailing through the air), I didn&rsquot give the area much thought. But then a few weeks ago, a friend told me about something much more appealing: The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation is serving some really excellent sandwiches out of an olive mill deep in Yolo&rsquos agricultural heartland.

Alongside their better known casino operation, the tribe &mdash an independent, self-governed nation with about 100 members &mdash has been building a sustainable agriculture company, Séka Hills, over the course of the past two decades. While the brand is best known for their prized olive oils, which are used in celebrated restaurants like Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, Séka Hills also has vegetable farms, nut trees, a cattle operation and wine vineyards. Many of these ingredients are showcased through a simple yet remarkable lunch menu at the company&rsquos olive mill.

Driving an hour or two for a good sandwich is not particularly unusual for me. I&rsquove planned entire trans-Pacific trips as an excuse to have a particular bowl of noodles or a proper Hong Kong breakfast. And after months cooped up in our tiny Oakland cottage, my family was ready for an excuse to leave the city. So a few weekends ago, my husband, daughter and I drove out to Yolo for lunch.

Though it&rsquos only 50 miles north of the bay, Yolo County feels even more remote than many of the area&rsquos surrounding agricultural communities. Maybe it&rsquos that the roads aren&rsquot filled with people moving from one big metropolitan area to another, or the stillness of the small farms you pass. Perhaps it&rsquos just that the towns, with their cute roadside restaurants and fruit stands, seemed even quieter than usual during the waning days of lockdown. Whatever it was, by the time we made our way through the 3,200-person town of Esparto, the drive along narrow roads lined with leafy valley oak and orchards felt far removed from the city.

The Séka Hills mill sits in a field of olive trees, across the highway from the towering Cache Creek Casino Resort. Our destination, the deli counter, was a small spot tucked into the back corner of the mill&rsquos tasting room, next to a cold case full of drinks and a sign listing the cuts of Séka Hills beef that customers could buy to take home. In normal times, I might have ordered at the counter and sat inside, but, not yet comfortable with indoor dining, we opted to sit outside and order from a server. The menu was short &mdash just three salads and less than a dozen sandwiches &mdash but according to the woman who seated us, almost all of the ingredients came from the Séka Hills farm or ranch, another local food producer or a nearby Native community.

Séka Hills is the brand name for the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation&rsquos food company and refers to the blue ridge hills surrounding the Capay Valley (séka means blue in Patwin, the tribe&rsquos native language). The Yocha Dehe are part of the Patwin or Southern Wintun people who are native to what is now Solano County and parts of the surrounding counties. Members of the community have lived in the Capay Valley for approximately 15,000 years. The area&rsquos natural abundance and waterways provided a variety of native foods, ranging from acorns and wild grasses to game and salmon. In the early 1900s, after the community had already been decimated by diseases brought by California&rsquos early white settlers and the state&rsquos campaign of genocide against the Native population, the Patwin were moved to an arid piece of land in Rumsey, California, at the northern end of the Capay Valley. In 1940, the tribe successfully petitioned to relocate to a small parcel of land in a more fertile area, where they were able to cultivate some food and, in 1985, establish the bingo parlor that eventually grew into the Cache Creek Casino Resort.

&ldquoIt started with the expansion of the casino and the development of the grapevines,&rdquo Séka Hills&rsquo business manager, Alison Robinson, told me. &ldquoThen they started to purchase back a lot of their homeland here in the valley.&rdquo The Yocha Dehe now own 22,000 acres, which includes the casino property, sacred land, tribal housing and a variety of agricultural operations.

From the start, the tribe&rsquos agricultural businesses were built with an eye toward environmental sustainability. &ldquoWe are committed to this land,&rdquo says Tribal Secretary James Kinter, &ldquoand our impact on the land is an important element in all of our agricultural decisions.&rdquo

The original architect of many of these plans was Tribal Chairman Marshal McKay, who died in December. In an interview with KCET last year, McKay explained that the crops Séka Hills grows were picked specifically to help conserve the local environment. The tribe found that olives, in particular, were well-suited to the Capay Valley&rsquos soils and climate and had the benefit of being relatively drought-resistant and not requiring heavy pesticides. &ldquoOur people have always been farmers, cultivating the natural plants and foliage that are around us,&rdquo said McKay. &ldquoThrough sustainable farming practices, the land will give us strength to be able to move forward in those areas, to continue to protect the land.&rdquo

McKay was also acutely aware of the irony in the tribe growing olives &mdash a crop brought to California by the Spanish. &ldquoThe idea of utilizing a non-native plant, such as an olive, is quite intriguing. It&rsquos a sign of resistance and resilience to all the oppression the tribe has been put through over the decades and millennia,&rdquo he told KCET.

Séka Hills&rsquo other agricultural operations &mdash the farm and cattle ranch &mdash are also managed with conservation in mind. Nearly 1,000 head of cattle are grazed using the principles of regenerative agriculture, rotated throughout 13,000 acres of fields so that they encourage the growth of native grasses, which sequester carbon in their root systems, and help mitigate fire risk by maintaining the grasslands. The operation also helps sustain wildlife habitat for dozens of native species. During the driest months, the cattle are moved to a less drought-prone area of the state to leave feed for wildlife, and only 24 steers a year are harvested for meat, which is sold to a small number of customers.

The 3,000-acre farm is also built on the principles of sustainability. &ldquoWhat&rsquos different about our operations is that the tribe&rsquos connection to the land is unlike anything I&rsquove seen,&rdquo says Jim Etters, the director of land management for the tribe. &ldquoThey take sustainability and environmentalism into every decision they make.&rdquo This includes raising a number of organic crops, like asparagus and butternut squash, and watering some fields with a high-efficiency underground drip system.

The mill itself is a fully functional olive oil processing center, and the cavernous tasting room &mdash filled with shelves of Séka Hills olive oils, vinegars and wines, as well as other local food products, cookbooks and cooking tools &mdash is designed to showcase that work. Two of the walls are made of enormous windows that let you admire the mill&rsquos centrifuges and storage containers, a third has a long counter where you can taste the various olive oils made here each fall, during the monthlong pressing season.

While their businesses are primarily agricultural, the tribe clearly had city people like me in mind when designing their Capay Valley olive mill. The mill itself looks like an old barn that has been overhauled by an interior designer with a really good feel for what California&rsquos well-heeled food- and wine-focused tourists like. (When I commented on the design, one employee told me it was &ldquobuilt to look like it has always been here,&rdquo but I think of this look &mdash the gray wood floors, carefully finished cement walls and stone-tiled counters &mdash as the current version of laidback tasting room chic.) The outside seating area &mdash wooden chairs and benches topped with thick, off-white cushions bleached by the sun &mdash felt more like a comfortable backyard than some kind of exclusive retreat, and the views of the miles of gray-green trees surrounding us dominated the experience.

While we waited for our lunch, we explored the olive groves across from the patio. It was a sunny day but breezy, and the wind kept the valley&rsquos heat at bay. The olive trees were covered in tiny buds just about to blossom, and as we walked through the rows, my 7-year-old made a game of looking for lizards. Instead, we found a plover hen and her little chick scuttling along the ground.

Back at the table, I found myself surprisingly excited by a different form of nature spotting: watching groups of humans enjoy their lunches and wine tastings. After months of shelter-in-place orders, I had forgotten the joy of discretely listening in on discussions about the minutia of other people&rsquos lives. And after a year of isolation, these glimpses into other people&rsquos relationships and daily concerns &mdash the family dramas, work woes and tiny disappointments &mdash felt as exciting as a new book or streaming show.

When our sandwiches arrived, they were loaded with vegetables from the tribe&rsquos farms and seasoned with a healthy pour of the Séka Hills olive oils and flavored vinegars. They were also really, really good. The brisket sandwich, made on crunchy focaccia with beef from the tribe&rsquos cattle ranch, turned out to be primarily a caprese-like mix of milky mozzarella, mild tomatoes and crisp lettuce, with a touch of sweetness from a drizzle of fig vinegar and just enough thinly sliced beef to give the whole mix a richer, earthier flavor. The ratio of vegetables and cheese to meat was delicious but it also, I realized, was an approach that prioritized low-emission ingredients and demonstrated that, when used well, the beef doesn&rsquot have to be the centerpiece of the meal.

The seasonal sandwich didn&rsquot use any meat at all. Instead, it got its heft from roasted butternut squash and its protein from a combination of goat cheese and herbed cream cheese. Paired with sun-dried tomatoes &mdash an ingredient I usually think of as a remnant of the 1980s, but worked really well here &mdash the combination was a hearty and flavorful ode to the season&rsquos produce.

While my husband and I split the sandwiches, my kid claimed most of the green salad with tomatoes and pickled vegetables for herself after tasting the dressing made with sweet-sour elderberry balsamic vinegar. As a trade, she eventually agreed to let us share her small bowl of pasta salad with chunks of squash, artichoke hearts, leeks and pesto.

Altogether, our lunch was far more flavorful and complex than you&rsquod get from most delis or, frankly, even most good sandwich shops. But the menu isn&rsquot designed just to entice tourists coming to the mill to taste wine and olive oil. The mill also provides a convenient lunch spot for locals in this remote area, and during the week, members of the tribe and employees working at the casino swing by to pick up sandwiches for lunch. The food at the mill is a reflection of what&rsquos served at tribal meetings and events at the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation&rsquos offices a few miles away.

The man responsible for the olive mill&rsquos menu is Casey Willard, a chef who grew up in a nearby agricultural area, then studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He has been working for the tribe since 2013 and, in addition to events, oversees lunches for the tribe&rsquos school. (The casino has a separate food program.) As part of his mandate from tribal leadership, Willard incorporates as many local ingredients as possible into all of his cooking. &ldquoThe Yocha Dehe believe that their culture is what&rsquos going to sustain them, and the food goes right along with that,&rdquo says Willard.

&ldquoIt&rsquos all part of the same idea, the culture and the food.&rdquo

When cooking for the tribe, Willard uses everything that Séka Hills produces on their farm and cattle ranch and sources almost everything else from other local farms like Riverdog, Fully Belly and Manas Ranch. &ldquoWe&rsquore big about the footprint,&rdquo he explains. &ldquoEven when it comes to the meats and charcuterie. We don&rsquot want meat coming down from Oregon, from a specialty shop. We want to stay as local as we can get.&rdquo Willard also uses native ingredients that the tribe has used for centuries, including elderberries (and elderberry blossoms, which he compares to squash blossoms) and acorn flour.

While some of those harder-to-come-by ingredients don&rsquot show up on the deli&rsquos regular menu, everything is as local as possible. &ldquoFor the olive mill, we first wanted to see what produce we could get that was local, what produce we grow. That&rsquos where we started,&rdquo Willard explains. &ldquoIt&rsquos showcasing what we&rsquore producing. Whatever we produce at Séka Hills is incorporated into that deli menu in some way.&rdquo

The tribe, and Willard, make an exception to this rule when sourcing ingredients from other native tribes. For centuries, the Yocha Dehe sourced fish, seaweed, and other ingredients from other nearby tribes, using trade networks that ran all across Northern California to supplement their diet with foods they couldn&rsquot cultivate or find in their region. Today, these networks are a bit larger. The fish for the salmon sandwich, for instance,comes from the Nisqually Indian Tribe and is flown down from Washington State. &ldquoIf there&rsquos another tribe that does a product that we can use that benefits both us and them, we try to incorporate that,&rdquo explains Willard.

After lunch, not feeling ready to leave our mini vacation in the peaceful fields, we took a tour of the olive mill to learn more about this history. The tour took us through every step of the olive pressing process &mdash from destemming and crushing to racking and bottling &mdash and turned us all into wide-eyed kids with videos of massive harvesters shaking the olives off the trees until the fruit dropped into big troughs below. My husband (who practically memorized the illustrated children&rsquos book "How Things Work" as a kid and spends a lot of time watching factory videos on YouTube) was particularly thrilled with the chance to take a close-up look at the mill&rsquos intricate machinery and towering 15,000-gallon storage tanks. When my daughter asked how people reached the top of the tanks, our guide was happy to stop for a closer look at the thin, steep ladders attached to their sides and regaled us with stories of workers clipped into safety lines and the huge cranes the company had to bring in every time they installed a new tank.

With a better understanding of how the olive oil is made, and a little more time to squeeze out of our day, we decided to end our trip with a guided olive oil tasting. I had been envisioning some kind of arrangement with bread to dip into plates of oil, but the actual setup was a series of tiny plastic tasting cups, all lined up on a tray. The staff walked us through the technically correct way of warming and swirling the olive oil in the teeny cups, and I started to feel like I was playing at being on a food judging panel or a member of the olive oil certification board.

Séka Hills makes four varietal-specific, estate-grown olive oils that customers can taste, along with a blend. (They also produce oils meant specifically for food service, which they sell in large jugs in the tasting room.) While the oils all looked roughly the same on the table &mdash golden and glowing in the afternoon light &mdash taking a real sip of the oil and letting it coat your mouth (as instructed) showed how different each olive cultivar was. The taggiasca was mild and grassy, while the picual tasted distinctly like the smell of tomato leaves, and the frantoio was nutty and peppery. The arbequina, the oil Séka Hills makes the most of because the trees can be grown in high-density groves, was buttery and peppery. After tasting all of them, I mentioned to our server that I assumed these oils were meant to be used on salads or drizzled onto vegetables, but she insisted that most were regular cooking oils. But the idea that I might have been dumping big glugs of such a flavorful and nuanced food into the bottom of my pans for years, only to heat it up to the point where it lost its distinctiveness, still somehow felt like sacrilege. I resolved to pay more attention to the nuances of this ingredient I use multiple times a day.

Just as fascinating was what I learned during the tasting about the mill&rsquos impact on the surrounding community. The staff explained that while the tribe&rsquos decision to build the olive mill was primarily to give them control over the quality of the oils and avoid having to send their olives to facilities two hours away (olives start to degrade as soon as they&rsquore picked), they also wanted to give other local growers a closer place to press their oil. Today, a number of local farmers bring their olives to the mill during harvest season so that they too have more control over the flavors and quality of their oils.

Séka Hills also provides a market for local goods by selling products from other growers. And the company&rsquos operations provide much needed jobs for Capay Valley residents. &ldquoI grew up here, in Esparto, so I&rsquove seen the transformation,&rdquo Robinson told me. &ldquoThey give so much back to the community.&rdquo (The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation&rsquos website notes that &ldquoonce deeply impoverished, Yocha Dehe is committed to sharing the benefits of its economic success with others, supporting local governments, its surrounding community, and Native and non-Native people in need.&rdquo)

As I drove back down Highway 16 after our tour, I saw signs of Séka Hills&rsquo impact all along the way. There were the hives for their honeybees, over in a nearby field. There was one of the neighboring farms Willard sources vegetables from. And there was the Ravine on 16, a restaurant I had learned is owned by tribal secretary Kinter and has become a gathering place for the town of Esparto.

I realized, belatedly &mdash especially for someone who thinks about food systems for a living &mdash that when I drove out to Yolo County to try a &ldquohidden&rdquo and &ldquosurprising&rdquo sandwich spot, I had been missing the forest for the trees. Like the nuanced and wonderful flavors in the company&rsquos olive oils, the lunch at Séka Hills was not an anomaly. The quality of the food produced in the Capay Valley has defined the area for thousands of years. I just didn&rsquot see it until a community with a deep understanding of this valley pointed that out to me.

Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room is at located at 19326 County Road 78, Brooks, CA 95606.

Georgia Freedman is a freelance journalist and editor and the author of Cooking South of the Clouds: Recipes and Stories from China&rsquos Yunnan Province.

These Atlanta spots are offering freebies to government employees impacted by the shutdown

Are you a furloughed government employee? These Atlanta spots want to help ease the pain.

Mojo Pizza in Oakhurst is offering a free large cheese or pepperoni pizza to furloughed government employees with a valid ID.

657 East Lake Drive, Decatur. 404-373-1999,

Souper Jenny locations are offering free lunch to federal workers with valid IDs.

Locations in Buckhead, West Midtown, Brookhaven and Decatur.

Brezza Cucina in Ponce City Market is offering furloughed federal employees with valid ID a free margherita pizza.

675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-724-9700,

The Wild Slice in Roswell is offering free personal 10" one topping pizzas with drinks for furloughed government employees with valid IDs and members of their immediate families.

580 E. Crossville Road, Roswell. 770-640-0023,

•Furloughed government employees with valid ID can get free drip coffee or hot tea until the shutdown ends at Joe's East Atlanta Coffee.

Sun in My Belly in Kirkwood is offering free meals to all furloughed government employees with proof of ID daily from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

2161 College Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-370-1088,

Sweet Hut locations are offering 50 percent off of all drinks Mondays-Fridays for furloughed government employees with valid IDs.

Locations in Midtown, Doraville, Duluth, Lenox and Marietta.

•Until the federal government reopens, Independent Grounds Cafe in Kennesaw will have free coffee for all furloughed federal employees with valid ID.

3900 Legacy Pkwy Blvd., Kennesaw. 678-695-7132,

Atlantic Station is offering furloughed government workers an ACard with discounts, special offers and benefits at restaurants and retailors on the property. Eligible guests with a valid ID should visit the Concierge Desk to receive their ACard. Discounts include:

Allora: 12 percent off food purchase.

Atlantic Grill: 10 percent off food purchase.

BGR - The Burger Joint: 10 percent off food purchase.

California Pizza Kitchen: 10 percent off food purchase (minimum $15 purchase required).

Chick-A-Biddy: 10 percent off total purchase.

Great American Cookie and Pretzel Maker: 10 percent off total purchase.

IT'SUGAR: 10 percent off entire purchase.

Kilwin's Chocolate & Ice Cream: 5 percent off all food items.

Land of a Thousand Hills: 10 percent off Food and Coffee purchase

Meehan's Public House: 10 percent off food purchase.

Salata: $1.00 off your salad purchase or wrap.

The Pig and the Pearl – 10 percent off total purchase (Not valid with any other offer)

Which Wich: 10 percent off any sandwich or catering order.

1371 Market St. NW, Atlanta.

Farm Burger is offering free meals to furloughed federal employees every Friday until the government shutdown ends. Employees with a valid ID will get a free chicken burger, fries and an iced tea on Furlough Fridays. Upon request, the chicken burger can be topped with lettuce, tomato, onions, housemade pickles and mayo. Additional ingredients are available at standard menu pricing. The Furlough Friday combo is offered all day while supplies last. Limit of one meal per eligible guest per day. Offer is valid in-store only.

Locations in Dunwoody, Grant Park, Decatur and Buckhead.

Romano's Macaroni Grill is offering a free meal to all furloughed government employees affected by the government shutdown. Through Wednesday, Jan. 23, or until the government shutdown ends, any government employee with valid government ID can receive one complimentary Mom's Ricotta Meatballs and Spaghetti entrée at any Macaroni Grill location nationwide.

Locations in Alpharetta, Buford and Marietta.

Publico Kitchen & Tap in Midtown is offering 50 percent off the food bill of furloughed government employees with a valid ID until the shutdown ends.

1104 Crescent Ave. NE, Atlanta. 678-745-5230,

Revolution Doughnuts is offering a free small coffee to furloughed employees with a valid federal ID during the shutdown.

908 W. College Ave., Decatur and 745 Edgewood Ave. NE, Atlanta.

Buteco is offering free coffee to employees impacted by the shutdown with a valid federal ID.

1039 Grant St. SE, Atlanta. 404-963-2929,

Saltyard is offering a complimentary item from the "Farm Share" section of its menu with a valid federal ID.


(NEXSTAR) – Tired of working remotely? How about working extremely remotely?

A growing number of regions across the U.S. are offering financial incentives for remote workers to pack up and relocate, with offers not only including cash, but also credits toward a new home, or even discounted shopping, dining or outdoor activities.

The idea itself is nothing new: Smaller cities and towns have long offered incentives to lure new residents. But the coronavirus pandemic — and the widespread work-from-home trend that came with it — has only persuaded more workers to consider taking advantage.

A 2020 survey of over 4,400 working professionals, conducted by Blind, indicated that 66% of those workers (mostly in tech, finance, media or e-commerce jobs) would be open to relocating if they knew they never had to return to the office. New Yorkers, specifically, showed the highest interest in leaving the state, while Californians living in the Bay Area showed the most interest in leaving their particular metropolitan area.

Employers seem to be amenable to the idea, too. A separate 2020 poll, conducted by Gartner, found that approximately half of the employers surveyed had planned to allow remote work on a full-time basis.

“For the first time ever, millions of workers are free to choose the place that is right for them,” said MakeMyMove co-founder Evan Hock in a press release for his website issued earlier this year. “People who can take their jobs with them are taking serious looks at a move.”

Hock, together with Bill Oesterle, the creator of Angie’s List, created their MakeMyMove website as a way to help remote workers find an incentive package — and potentially a completely new home — that works for their lifestyle.

Visitors to MakeMyMove can currently peruse dozens of offers for remote workers, from places such as Augusta, Maine, which is offering over $15,000 in tax credits for new residents Topeka, Kan., which offers $15,000 toward the purchase of a new home and $1,000 worth of Jimmy John’s sandwiches (for real) or Morgantown, W.V., where new residents are offered $12,000 in cash and up to $8,000 in “gifts and incentives,” including free outdoor activities.

“We built this marketplace so communities could compete for new residents, and we expect that competition to drive value to the worker,” Hock said at the time of MakeMyMove’s launch.

Many of these offers, however, come with stipulations for those who wish to relocate. Some require workers to maintain residency in their new town for a year before they can claim their incentives, while others require new residents to buy a home. Those ready to take advantage may also have to prove their availability to work remotely, or move within a certain time frame.

Still, a move might be worthwhile for the right candidate. Even before the pandemic, many of the towns trying to lure residents were boasting lower home prices, taxes and costs of living than their major metropolitan counterparts. Even some international locales were getting in on the act in 2019, specifically in Italy and Greece, both of which offered monthly payments to qualified candidates who relocated to help strengthen the local economy, according to WGHP and, respectively.

“These relocation packages for remote workers aren’t a tough sell to the communities that understand talent attraction is the engine for economic growth,” Hock said in January. “It’s just math.”

This delicious sushi spot in downtown–that despite their name, also serves OUT OF THIS WORLD Indonesian food–is raising funds to provide lunches to front-line healthcare workers. Each $10 donation you give will help provide a healthy lunch and drink for Atlanta’s doctors, nurses, first responders, and essential workers! You can also support Budi’s Suhi with one of their affordably priced family style meals. At just $60 for 4 people, you’ll get a heaping order of items like mie goreng, fried rice, spicy Bailanese fried chicken, gyoza, and sushi rolls. Learn more via their Instagram! And be sure to tip EXTRA!

To continue serving the Atlanta community with quality, delicious food, this Atlanta institution has recently opened a 24-hour drive-thru to feed all you hungry folks. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t stopped to give back. On the first day of their drive-thru opening, they gave hundreds of free meals away. And most recently, they delivered free, delicious food to WellStar Cobb Hospital. Support these restaurant legends with a drive-thru meal–at any time of day–if you can!

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Who can take from the van? Anyone. "No questions asked,&rdquo Esparza says.

In the two weeks since the coronavirus first whipped its wrecking ball into the Phoenix restaurant scene, kitchens have closed or pivoted to takeout models. Some of those still open have evolved into community kitchens, in whole or in part. These kitchens are giving free meals to the hungry, to medical professionals, to folks who don&rsquot fit into either group but just want to eat. In short, they&rsquore doing what they always do: feed people, only a little bit differently.

When restaurants pivot even just an iota or two to community models, business can suffer to ease the suffering of others. Esparza spends a few hundred dollars a day to stock the van. She receives donations. She has dug into her bank account. &ldquoI was going to retire in two years,&rdquo she says. &ldquoGuess what? You&rsquore going to have to put up with my annoying ass for a lot longer than I thought.&rdquo

Esparza has a history of shouldering her community. For instance, in early 2019, when the federal government shut down, she comped meals for furloughed workers. The tendency to help, she believes, is deeply rooted in her culture. &ldquoLast year, we fed federal workers,&rdquo she says. &ldquoWhy? Because we&rsquore Mexican. Because when the neighbor&rsquos house burns down, as much as we hate that fucking bitch, we bring a pot of beans over and we feed their kids.&rdquo

Most of the cooks she&rsquos bringing into the Barrio Cafe kitchen have Mexican roots. The roster of visiting chefs includes some big names, like an appearance from the Tacos Chiwas folks, plus plenty of homestyle cooks, like Esparza&rsquos sister, who&rsquos on the docket to make their mother&rsquos recipes. (For a full schedule, see Esparza&rsquos Instagram.)

On Monday, Chef Samantha Sanz from the now-temporarily closed Talavera came by with her Sous Chef Victor Davila and Executive Chef Chuck Kazmer. They bustled in the eerily deserted Barrio Cafe kitchen, portioning corn tortillas, spooning rice, simmering a steel vat of carne de jugo &mdash meat braised in its juices.

&ldquoWhen Silvana got involved with this, she reached out to me,&rdquo Sanz says. &ldquoIn a heartbeat, I was here.&rdquo


With donations of potatoes, of packaged barbecue sauce, of money to buy ingredients, Esparza&rsquos volunteers cook free meals for the community. Sanz and her crew made enough for roughly 50 families, a task that occupied them from 9 a.m. to shortly before the van opened. When the cooking was done, they loaded plastic containers of stew into the back, returned to the kitchen for cleaning, and needy community members started to come by to take home sustenance.

Other local restaurant operators have taken similar measures.

For one, Oren Hartman of NakedQ has been giving away a torrential stream of food for an independent restaurant owner: 700 pints of chicken soup one day, 1,000 barbecue sandwiches another &mdash more than he sold daily before the virus. Hartman is providing these meals for health care workers, first responders, hospitality workers, delivery drivers, and &ldquoanyone who has seriously reduced earnings.&rdquo

&ldquoI&rsquom in a position to help people,&rdquo he says. &ldquoI see this as an opportunity to give and to give some of my guys a lifeline.&rdquo Hartman is giving away barbecue spaghetti, sending sandwiches to hospitals. His Chandler restaurant has closed, but his Phoenix and Scottsdale locations remain open for takeout and for folks to grab free food. &ldquoAnyone who calls me from any organization, I&rsquom going to give them whatever they want,&rdquo he says.

He has a restaurant under construction in the west Valley. His sales are down double digits relative to past months. &ldquoEvery day I keep my restaurant open, I&rsquom losing money,&rdquo Hartman says, noting, too, that he&rsquos happy to be open.

In Tempe, Ethiopian restaurant Cafe Lalibela will be giving free meals to nurses, first responders, and health care workers all this week. Last Friday, it gave 300 free meals to customers regardless of their societal role. Outside of these giveaways, the eatery has shifted to takeout and trimmed prices by 25 percent.

When co-owner Anibal Abayneh handed free meals to people, he said many almost cried. &ldquoIt&rsquos not a time to make money,&rdquo he says. &ldquoIt&rsquos a time to support each other.&rdquo

Abayneh isn&rsquot losing sleep over the financial ramifications. &ldquoI don&rsquot worry nothing, because we have God here,&rdquo he says. &ldquoIf you can give, that will give you more.&rdquo

Many others are providing free meals to their communities. Kaleidoscope Juices recently offered free juices and smoothies to first responders. Tacos Chiwas has posted to social media that it&rsquoll cook for people out of food (if folks directly message ahead of time). Macayo&rsquos has been dropping off food at hospitals, police and fire departments, and other locations. On Tuesday, Arcadia Meat Market hosted the Corny Masa food truck to cook 150 plates of carnitas for foodservice workers without jobs or with new challenges. The butcher shop, too, might do other giveaways in the near future.

The long future, for many of these chefs, has snapped into focus.

Abayneh is thinking about cooking more regularly for the elderly. The chaos of COVID-19 has freed his mindset. &ldquoIt gives you so many ideas,&rdquo he says.


Esparza, too, is planning a new normal. On Monday morning, she rolled 100 breakfast burritos for UNICEF. &ldquoWe&rsquoll make 100 burritos every day and send them out,&rdquo she says, even after the coronavirus has passed.

&ldquoI will never be the same after this,&rdquo Esparza says. &ldquoThis changed the restaurant model. It changed me as a human being.&rdquo

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Furlough Kitchen

Furlough Kitchen just formed as a non-profit and started giving out meals to to hospitality workers that were furloughed on March 25. Using Front Burner’s catering commissary kitchen in East Dallas and CitySquare’s support network, the pop-up non-profit is uniting as a culinary team to provide hot meals for anyone affected by restaurant closures. To receive a meal, just drive thru their set-up at 4318 Eastside Avenue. To donate and give a meal, head to this link.

Bison Coffeehouse

Portland, Oregon

Portland’s first (and only) Native-owned coffeehouse, Bison serves beans from Native roasters across the United States. The coffeehouse is a longtime dream for Loretta Guzman, a member of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes of Fort Hall, Idaho, who visualized the idea for a community space representing her ancestry while battling stage four cancer. The café’s namesake icon, a massive bison, occupies one wall of the shop, a “symbol of resilience” to the Shoshone-Bannock tribe—and to Guzman, who made a full recovery. In addition to serving expertly prepared lattes and her signature biscuits, Guzman uses her space—filled with Native American art—to raise awareness (and funds) for dozens of causes, including wild bison preservation and the water crisis at Warm Springs Reservation.

County Barbeque Offers Free Sandwich to Furloughed Workers - Recipes

This week marks the ten-year anniversary of Been There, Eaten That. Writing this restaurant blog has often been anxiety-inducing, frustrating, even maddening, but ultimately it’s been rewarding. While I’m slowing down in more ways than one, I still care deeply about supporting restaurants and for better or worse, articulating my feelings online.

It’s a weird time to be a restaurant blogger. Everyone is struggling. The fact is that we don’t know which restaurants will make it to the other side. Since we are stuck in this alternate reality for who knows how long, it’s best to adjust expectations and learn to adapt.

I’m taking this opportunity to count my blessings. To commemorate a decade of blog posts, here are ten eleven things I’m grateful for at this moment in time, when carryout is pretty much my status quo.

    No reservations. Enjoying food from a favorite restaurant without thinking about reservations weeks or even months in advance is now a thing. Our takeout meals from Anju, Bad Saint, Bresca, Cane, The Dabney, and Maydan have been soul-satisfying and memorable. Some of my favorite pre-pandemic dishes can now be enjoyed in to-go containers. While this isn’t comparable to the full dining experience, there is still joy to be found in jerk wings from Cane, Korean chili-braised chicken thighs from Anju, grilled dorade from Maydan, and grilled steak and summer berry cobbler from The Dabney. Let’s hear it for spontaneity.

Neighborhood Provisions Weekend Date Night Oaxacan vegetable chileajo

Alta Strada and Nama Decadent Chocolate Cake

10. Pace yourself. If you have ever felt fatigue somewhere in the middle of a multi-course tasting menu, you can now take things into your own hands. Many restaurants are offering multi-course meals for takeout, and you can choose your own adventure. Rooster and Owl, Bresca, Centrolina, and Gravitas are just a few of the restaurants where you can order a set menu and stick a fork in it according to your own timetable.

Rooster & Owl 4-Course Dinner

11. Home is where the heart is. There was a time when I would joyfully hop on the metro on a weeknight to explore a DC restaurant. Now I barely leave the house during the week. When I do seek outside sustenance, I don’t stray too far. I’m grateful for Hollywood East, Kuya Ja, Bangkok Garden, Frankly Pizza, and Full On Craft for being in close range and keeping me sated. I hope to visit more often in the coming months.

Many of my friends and family have been following my posts since the beginning, and I appreciate their unwavering support and patience over the past decade. I’m also extremely grateful for the friends I’ve made along the way as a result of this blog. They join me in an insatiable desire to explore food and seek knowledge about what it is we are eating. I count my blessings every day and look forward to a future when we can share a meal together without a care in the world.

Albi, 1346 4th St SE, Washington, DC

Anju, 1805 18th St NW, Washington, DC

Bresca, 1906 14th St NW, Washington, DC

Call Your Mother (multiple locations) Bethesda 8804 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD

Centrolina, 974 Palmer Alley NW, Washington, DC

Cielo Rojo, 7056 Carroll Ave, Takoma Park, MD

The Dabney, 122 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC

Ellē, 3221 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC

Hatoba, 300 Tingey St SE #170, Washington, DC

Kuya Ja, 5268-H, Nicholson Ln, Kensington, MD

Maydan, 1346 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC

Muchas Gracias, 5029 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC

Sfoglina, 4445 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC

Timber Pizza, 809 Upshur St NW, Washington, DC (see website or call for Rockville and other mobile locations)

About Lori

Dining out is my passion, and often times the culmination of hours of research. This restaurant review blog reflects my journey as I try to keep up with my restaurant wish list for the DC area where I live, and in my travels. It’s a struggle at times, but with the help of family and friends, I manage.

Watch the video: κατσικακι στην γαστρα (August 2022).