You've read about them before: the $750 cupcake and $5,000 burger you can find in Las Vegas; the $10,000 martini on sale in West Hollywood. Some people must be ordering them and feeling like it was money well spent. Lots of others will file those dishes under the Ripped-off-at-a-Restaurant category.
On the other end of the spectrum is a new model that's gaining traction across the country and around the world: pay-what-you-want spots. You make the call on the price of the dish, and when you pay a little extra it helps feed people who are in need. Right on for the places below.
Panera Cares Cafés; St. Louis and other locations; @panerabread
The nationwide bakery chain has five stores around the country with a suggested donation amount instead of prices (in Dearborn, Michigan; Portland, Oregon; Chicago, Boston and St. Louis, if you want to get to one). The menu is the same as at all Panera's restaurants: lots of soups and sandwiches, like a roast turkey and avocado BLT, and broccoli-cheddar soup. Anyone who can't pay the suggested donation amount has the option of volunteering at the café in exchange for his or her sandwiches. paneracares.org/locations.