Hospitals’ cross to bear

People come to this certain hospital just for the food.

I saw an interesting article online the other day, from the Vail Daily newspaper in Colorado. It was about Remedies Café at Vail Valley Medical Center. Apparently, the food is pretty good at Remedies, so much so that people come to the hospital just to eat in the cafeteria.

The article was filled with comments from diners about the quality of the food, and especially the prices. The reporter said Remedies was becoming known—unofficially, of course—as “the best lunch deal in town.”

The news piece was also littered with references to the state of non-commercial foodservice, past and present, beginning with the lead: “Move over Jell-O and saltine crackers, it’s lunchtime at Remedies Café.”

One customer was quoted as saying, “I thought it would be a high school cafeteria type thing, but it’s very good food.” Later in the article, the reporter commented, “Another thing you won’t find at the café is the grumpy lunch lady—the servers are friendly and [foodservice manager] Wiens and his fellow cooks care about what they do.”

That’s the line that prompted this blog entry. Call it the last straw, of sorts, or the last item that causes a basket or pot to overflow. A lot of newspaper and magazine articles about non-commercial foodservice land on my desk or in my email, and recently I’ve been seeing one or two of these stories about hospital foodservice a week. (Actually, on Friday, I read three of them.)

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