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Cafe Momentum

1510 Pacific Ave.
Dallas, TX 75201
Critics' Pick
Best Of
Cafe Momentum

Stanton Stephens


  • 5:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday Closed Sunday-Wednesday
  • Beer and wine
  • Dinner
  • Reservations Recommended
When we first visited Cafe Momentum, we were concerned the restaurant gets graded on a curve. A nonprofit, the business employs juvenile offenders and pays them fair, living wages to help teach them life skills, leadership and, of course, how to work in a restaurant. How could a food writer be objective about the quality of the food served by such an outstanding cause? But here’s the thing: Cafe Momentum is a genuinely good restaurant, one with a pronounced Southern accent that manages to stand out from the glut of Southern kitchens around town.

Top pick: Menu items rotate along with the interns and the professionals who teach them, but look for market-fresh fish with seasonal sides, savory crawfish beignets or an excellent plate of shrimp and grits.

The downside: Because of the nature of the restaurant, the food and drink options are fairly limited. That’s not a bad thing; it eliminates decision fatigue, and the drinks don’t have much markup at all.

Fun fact: Because the staff is paid living wages, any tip left on the table will be considered a donation to the restaurant’s mission.

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