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Gerald Herbert, Associated Press
In this Dec. 6, 2011 photo, New Orleans Saints tackle Zach Strief poses for a photo in the kitchen with Moses Young at Cafe Reconcile in New Orleans, Tuesday. When the 320-pound NFL lineman mentions that a restaurant in New Orleans changed his life, it would be easy to assume he's referring to Cafe Reconcile's popular white beans and shrimp special. In fact, it's about more about helping the "at-risk" 16- to 22-year olds whose lives have been transformed by a place that teaches them how make a living in the city's thriving restaurant and hotel industry.

NEW ORLEANS — Saints lineman Zach Strief has found an unusual New Orleans restaurant where he can satisfy both his cravings for Creole cooking and his hunger to give back.

CafÉ Reconcile.

While Strief enjoys the restaurant's white beans and shrimp, it's no ordinary lunch spot in the Big Easy — known for famous eateries and fine Creole cuisine. It's a noon-profit restaurant established to give troubled youth a chance to succeed in a uniquely New Orleans way.

Many of the 16- to 22-year olds preparing menu items at never finished school and some have arrest records. Strief says "there's not a great comprehension ... of how bad of a life some of these kids come from."

But the program is showing teenagers like 19-year-old former gang member Kentrell Morrow "success is obtainable."