The weekend in San Francisco was going to be a deserved, long-awaited break and time to reflect and plan out the summer and fall. I had a few fun food goodies to finish, like my over-researched soup dumpling article and a series of posts on my recent experiences cooking Sichuan food. I was going to stay in a posh hotel just blocks away from the SF Pride parade, so I could watch a little bit and then wander off for eats at the Ferry Building.
Instead, I got hit by a car leaving the airport terminal. The weekend was spent in bed at an airport hotel because I couldn’t move, and I couldn’t concentrate on much because of the pain pills, not to mention all the arrangements that needed to be made for immediate surgery upon my return home.
And so you get a post on food at River Bend Hospital food, instead.
The good news is that our new, state-of-the-art hospital didn’t choose to go the way of many institutional facilities. I often have a chance to chat with nutritionists at food conferences, and I’ve heard some horror stories about places that contract out ALL their food to frozen packaged food manufacturers so they don’t need to bother with operational kitchen facilities.
Instead of that, we have this:
Which is not horrible, given all the possible horrors, but could be improved. Overall, the food was tremendously salty and nearly everything was sweet. I thought I had a pretty good sense of how sweet the American diet was, but the problem is astounding. Even at a hospital, even after repeatedly and bluntly and slowly saying I DON’T LIKE SWEET THINGS and asking if each and every item was sweet when ordering, I was still offered muffins, pastries, pudding, fruit bowls, soda, juice, etc., AND mistakenly served french toast, sugary fruit yogurt, and juice. You’ll notice even the turkey dinner has cranberry sauce. I stayed for one night. I would have been diabetic if I had stayed the week, no?
The only local food on the menu seemed to be Nancy’s plain yogurt, served in a bowl covered with Saran Wrap.
Even that has a sweetener in it!
I think we can do better than these small gestures for offerings.
There is some good news: the local chain Café Yumm has a presence at the hospital if you’re planning to visit and that type of food appeals. I also managed to score a simple pasta salad from Cornucopia and a plain Greek yogurt at one of the kiosks.
But I sure am glad to be home. I had a knee operation and it looks like I’ll be laid up and then in rehab for most of the summer. Stay tuned for what are sure to be some odd times. Never a dull moment here at Culinaria Eugenius!