Amazon has a heart, and it’s Community Table from FareStart

Amazon, not always known for its charitable giving, donated space for a Seattle nonprofit to open a handful of places. It’s great for the community, but how does the food at Community Table taste?

FareStart is an enormously wonderful, James Beard Award-winning nonprofit that’s been providing restaurant-industry job training for Seattle’s homeless and underprivileged for decades. Amazon is an extremely profitable company you may have heard of that’s not always been known for helping its community — five years ago, a Seattle Times investigation called it “a virtual no-show in hometown philanthropic giving.” But something has enlarged Jeff Bezos’ heart. Among other local contributions, Amazon recently donated 25,000 square feet on its South Lake Union campus for five new restaurants for FareStart’s new Foodservice Apprenticeship Program. Well done, Jeff!

Now that the restaurants are open (and they’re open to the general public), the even greater news is that Community Table, the tripartite, lunch-only spot, is full of incredibly nice people making some really good food.

Don’t sleep: Amazon’s also matching the money you spend at all FareStart’s restaurants (or just straight-up donate) through Aug. 11, up to a million dollars (chump change for Jeff, but still great). Feel free to stop reading this and go eat at Community Table right now! It’s open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Find it by going through the lobby of Amazon’s Houdini North building at Fairview and Harrison (where FareStart’s tranquil new Rise cafe happens to be), or going up the steps on the other side of the block (just north of Maslow’s, FareStart’s gorgeous, airy new full-service restaurant and bar).

Community Table

Salads, barbecue and bowls

399 Fairview Ave. N. (in Amazon’s Houdini North building), Seattle; 206-588-4028; lunch only, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday;

The menu(s) and the largesse: The “Salad” counter at Community Table has seven well-thought-out options or your own creation, $7.50 for 32 ounces or $9 for 48. Forty-eight ounces is a lot of salad. The super-fresh Mediterranean couscous one was loaded with romaine, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, feta and more, and just the right side of overdressed with an herby-tart dressing. It was really, really good, and it was enough for lunch plus two side salads for dinner later.

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