This Isn't Your Grandmother's Hospital Food Anymore

LOS ANGELES , June 27, 2018 () – This past weekend, I had some of the best nachos I’ve eaten in recent memory. The chips were crisp, the cheese was nice and melty, the beef was flavorful, and all of the toppings—salsa, refried beans, sour cream, guacamole—were as fresh as can be.

I didn’t have these nachos in a nice Mexican restaurant and I didn’t have them in some hole in the wall made famous by one of those restaurant cable shows. I actually had these nachos in a place you wouldn’t expect:

The hospital.

Now let me clarify: I didn’t eat these nachos in a hospital room delivered to patients by a nurse. That food, quite frankly, is tasteless (even the pudding needs salt). But family reasons forced me to have lunch recently at the cafeteria at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, California. I wasn’t expecting much. A few rows of chips, a soda machine, maybe even some premade sandwiches in a vending machine. But the moment I walked in, I realized I was way off.

And I mean way off.

The first thing I noticed was the grill. The digitized menu boards included offerings such as cooked-to-order chicken quesadillas, hamburgers, hot dogs and grilled sandwiches. Next to the grill was the “world” menu featuring Orange Walnut and Salmon Salad, as well as “Chicken Salad Ole.” Then there was the “home” menu with such homestyle staples as BBQ Tri Trip, grilled asparagus, roasted corn and garlic mashed potatoes. And finally there was the deli section, where customers could choose from Roast Beef on a baguette with pepper mayo, along with made-to-order sandwiches featuring chicken breast, sliced ham, turkey and tuna.

Hospitals aren’t fun places. Most people only go when they’re sick or when they’re visiting someone who is sick. Me? I was the latter. But I’ll say this much: That cafeteria downstairs was a bright spot on a black page. It was a chance to decompress while enjoying some good food at the same time.

And if you ever find yourself in a hospital cafeteria, do yourself a favor: Try the nachos.

Nevin Barich is the Food and Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence, which can help YOU better address your own industry challenges. We invite you to come take a look at our service. Call us today at 310-553-0008 and we’ll schedule you for a 15-minute demo.

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