BALTIMORE — Many local counties and cities do a Restaurant Week once or twice a year to encourage people to try new places and now the concept is coming to an outreach center in Baltimore.
For the first time, the Franciscan Center is hosting a Restaurant Week, inviting five restaurants to take over their kitchen for the week to feed the hundreds of people who come to the center for a warm meal.
Meal time is usually pretty busy at the center and it's been extra busy since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last seven months, they've served close to 300,000 meals both at the center and remotely.
Jeffrey Griffin, the executive director at the Franciscan Center, said the idea came to him as a way to give his kitchen staff and volunteers a bit of a break.
"It was kind of a collaboration of giving our staff off and have restaurants who have been such great partners, and use this not only as a way to get their name out amongst our clients and amongst the city, but give our clients a chance to experience a meal that many of them will not get a chance to," he said.
On Thursday, the staff from Bo Brooks in Canton took over the kitchen to make Chicken Imperial with roasted potatoes and arugula.
"There’s something about the center that gives you the kind of grace to sit back and quiet the noise and figure out how to be better and do better," said Tracey Newman, co-owner of Bo Brooks. "And its just a feeling that you get that feels like you’re home."
The next big food event for the Franciscan Center is Thanksgiving. They're planning to serve warm meals under a tent at the center, give out to-go meals, and deliver meals to homeless shelters and senior centers around the city.
If you would like to donate or volunteer to help with the Thanksgiving meal, click here for more information.