A popular restaurant on the Bowery on New York's Lower East Side is letting customers choose how much they pay for dinner, specifically a vegan curry bowl.  Every Wednesday night from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Short Stories serves up 150 bowls at a suggested price of $16. But if you only can or want to pay $1 that's fine. If you want to pay more, they will put the surplus into a "curry" fund to help defray the cost of other diners' meals.

Also on the menu at Short Stories: A summer squash salad with nutritional yeast vinaigrette, cucumber, chives, and toasted sesame ($15), or a local tomato gazpacho with pickled onions and house herb focaccia ($12), or a carrot salad with sunflower seed butter, an orange blossom vinaigrette and fennel ($16). Is your mouth watering yet? Ours too.

But the hottest item of all at Short Stories is the hearty bowl of vegan curry, with a pay-what-you-want price tag. That’s because the restaurant decided to debut this nourishing curry as a  pay-what-you-want menu item to help those in the community who may be struggling during the widespread layoffs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Short Stories head chef Jeanne Jordan will make a delectable vegan curry bowl and serve up to 150 portions to hungry diners. While the suggested price is $16, as the restaurant notes via Instagram, “please pay what you wish. Pay zero. Or more if you want to buy someone else’s we’ll put that money into our curry savings account. Just eat.” In addition to cash and credit cards, the restaurant also accepts Venmo payments @shortstories.

With the restaurant industry struggling tremendously right now, we think this simple act of kindheartedness is well worth praising right now. And paying it forward—we hear your former East Village roommate loves curry.

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