Father Gregory Boyle has been getting alot of press here in L.A. lately, with the recent publication of his memoir, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, and the good sales of Homeboy Industries chips and salsas now appearing in grocery stores. Homeboy Industries is a social service organization founded by Boyle that works with former gang members, helping them with tattoo removal and mostly by employing them.
This is a good excuse for me to finally blog about Homegirl Cafe, which has been a favorite of mine for the past few years. Homegirl Cafe, a division of Homeboy Industries, is a training program for girls who are at risk or who have formerly been involved with gangs, teaching them how to cook in and run a restaurant. They even have their own garden. But that’s a side benefit for me. I go to Homegirl because the food is terrific, and I like the atmosphere — brightly painted, original artwork, always bustling.
I’ve only been there for lunch, which features Latin-stye salads, sandwiches, and tacos. I was once there on a weekend and was pleased to see it just as bustling as on the weekday. My favorites are roasted corn (sweet, creamy, tangy, and spicy all at the same time), the fruit salad (mango, jicama, orange, and avocado with a hibiscus dressing), Ana’s salad (because it features the roasted corn, along with queso fresco, roasted poblano pepper strips, jicama, and avocado), and I recently tried the tofu salad (soft tofu mixed with mint, red onion, jalapeno, and lime) which has now been added to my list of favorites. Although the salads are my favorite, the sandwiches and tacos are good too. I can rarely resist the drink called Angela’s Green Potion, a limeade with spinach and mint. Very refreshing. The coffee is good too, made with cinnamon and orange peels.
I am lucky enough to have Homegirl Cafe reasonably close to my office. It’s one of my “go-to” places when I’m meeting friends for lunch. I get a delicious lunch that happens to also be healthy, and am supporting a good cause at the same time. Ideal!