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How is the hospital food where you live?

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I was just in the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, for a few days, and have been an inpatient there on 4 previous occasions. Their food is a mixed bag - some of the housemade items are not bad at all, although portion sizes are debatable. My first time, 5 years ago, when I ordered a side salad it was a tiny bowl with perhaps a half cup of lettuce and a slice each of cucumber and tomato. I could understand small servings of the less healthy items but you'd think they'd size in such a way as to promote the healthier foods. In the fresh fruit arena, the bananas and apples are very small and the apples are Red Delicious, that quintessential example of false advertising. Not only mealy, with a bitter peel and little flavor, but brown near the core.

I once mentioned to a nurse there that the chicken pot pie was quite good - she told me that when the hospital first opened, patient trays had quality tableware and bud vases with fresh flowers, which hasn't been the case in many years. This time, I was on a "heart-healthy" diet. The menu had a heart logo on certain foods so that's what I requested, although I was skeptical about the accuracy of those logos, which were attached, for example, to a grilled cheese sandwich and all of the bread choices, including white and a white dinner roll. Salty margarine yes, butter no. I found that the heart-healthy foods were far saltier than what I cook for myself. For my last meal there, I asked if the logo-less chicken pot pie was permitted and was told it was. When it arrived, instead of the nice crust I remembered from 5 years ago, the filling was topped with a slice of white toast. I don't know if that was a supposedly heart-healthy alternative topping or if they'd run out of the properly-prepared item....

I know that some hospital cafeterias are notable for particularly good versions of certain foods. A different one in my area is supposed to make a great Reuben. But now that I am back home, with my preferred non-white starches and unsalted butter, I am wondering if there are any hospitals that have particularly good or bad INPATIENT food reputations.

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  1. I have experience with a few Los Angeles area hospitals. They are all pretty much the same.

    Cedars Sinai has a pretty decent cafeteria with a variety of decently cooked hot items and good soup, but the inpatient food is solidly terrible. Chicken broth that tastes like it was made from powder, gummy oatmeal, ultra-pasteurized juice and jello that taste like they've been cooked to death and yet are still chock full of chemicals, bleh. I feel sad just thinking about it.

    Same for City of Hope in Duarte and Whittier Presbytarian. Not downright inedible, but certainly uninspired and reeking of Monsanto.

    Hope you're feeling better, greygarious. In my experience, just being home makes a world of difference. At least now you can cook heart healthy your own way.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pei

      My mom did a hospital stay many years ago at Cedars. The food may have sucked, but the chocolate chip cookies that came in an individual aluminum pans, warm and gooey, were awesome. I was probably 11 or 12 at the time, and I visited her every day. She always saved her cookie for me.

    2. Greygarious, you're lucky you've found the Lahey clinic! They ended my mom's search for what ailed her (a combination of allergies as well as low blood sugar). Her quality of life is far better now than before she visited. That was about 20 years ago!

      I don't know if this is too terribly on-topic, but here goes.

      When my father was diagnosed with cancer, after he'd been in hospital he transitioned to a nursing home. People in our area generally raved about this place, calling it the "prettiest" or "classiest" place in the area. Well, the quality of patient care was horrible. And so was the food. (I'd get "visitor trays" from the lunchroom rather than go out to get a sandwich or whatever.) I couldn't believe that we had to pay over and above what dad's insurance would pay to get him into this very lovely looking, but horrible (service-wise) place.

      After he became covered with bedsores and lost an appalling amount of weight, we consulted with a number of healthcare professionals about moving him to a place where he'd get better care. Now, the place wasn't a whole lot to look at, but the quality of care was superb! The first place he was at charged $5.00 for their awful guest trays. This new place encouraged family and friends to visit and would provide complimentary guest trays to whomever wished to eat with the patient. The food was all made from scratch, it seems, and was very, very good (for mild, "hospital" food). Dad actually gained weight there, and was very, very comfortable until the cancer took him.

      I'm in the food service industry. Hospital food-service operations all over the country are starting to serve very good quality food. It's in all of the industry magazines. Slowly but surely, the days when hospital entrees were flavorless rubber, and hospital veggies were sulphurous grey gack, are ending.

      1. I'm a volunteer at my local hospital and occasionally eat lunch there. If the food served to patients is as bad as the canteen, then it is a wonder any recover.

        1. I'm in the Boston area too. I've only been admitted to the hospital once, when I gave birth to my son, and the food at Mt. Auburn Hospital was great! I was so surprised. Not only that, but they let you call and order off a menu whenever you felt like eating, instead of having set meal times with the same meal for everyone! They had this delicious salad with spinach and strawberries, and really good cheesecake. He's 2 1/2 now but I still remember the food and will order that salad again when I have my next kid! (And hopefully not before.)

          4 Replies
          1. re: Pia

            For hospitals in Boston, I think the choices at MGH vary based on which cafeteria you're talking about. I also worked over in Longwood Medical Area for a while and my experience was that the Childrens cafeteria was the best of the bunch.

            1. re: jgg13

              This particular discussion is about inpatient food, which can be very different from what is available to staff and public in the cafeterias.

              1. re: greygarious

                Surprisingly (or not) when I did an internship at a local hospital the inpatient and cafeteria food looked eerily similar.

                1. re: greygarious

                  I comment with apologies that I have not as yet read the entire collection of replies. It is late this morning; and, I really need to run. To the hospital! I published a small piece last March comparing food quality and service at five different area hospitals. While there were some interesting variations, I would not recommend any of them for their food. And, that is to underscore your comment regarding "in-patient" (bed or room) service versus one or more in-house cafeterias/restaurants. The latter have made great strides in recent years; but, alas, I see little of this trickling up to patient rooms. Even when a meal or dish begins the journey with a promising start, the half hour to well over one hour (I have clocked suppers as taking more than two and one half hours to be delivered) from plating to patient leaves almost everything to be desired. Foods originally hot are cold. Cold foods are room temperature. And, some items have long lost any integrity. There is no excuse for this seeming indifference and ineptitude. Yet, that seems to be the standard here. I think that we are beginning to mimic much of Asia; where patients receive little or no attention, only haphazard medication or other treatment, and no food service unless they have a trusted family member of friend standing right there to demand service. In my extended stay last February, I went from 200 to 120 pounds; and, I emerged looking like a walking skeleton. I could have been a good stand-in for a Holocaust movie.

            2. I've had a heart condition my entire life, so I've had my fair share of in-patient hospital fare. I think food has been getting decidedly better in recent years. When I was first hospitalized for surgery about 20 years ago at the Texas Heart Institute, all I remember was losing about 20 lbs due to the flavorless food of the low-sodium diet they put me on. Luckily, my mom snuck in a huge container of salt (she said it was too cheap not to buy the big one!).

              Fast forward about 15 years to Meritcare in Fargo, ND. They did meal service on order, so the food was pretty good. Standard burgers, sandwiches, meatloaf, etc.

              But the best hospital food I've had was when I was last hospitalized about a year ago at UW Medical Center in Seattle. They also had food 'on order' and they had a wonderful selection of stir-fried asian dishes with jasmine rice. When my friends and family would come to visit me I would try to hide the hospital tray so they couldn't see that I'd completely licked the plates clean!

              1. I was just in the hospital for a week (about a month ago) just north of Toronto. Because of damage to my esophagus when I was admitted, I was on "clear fluids" (aka "juice and jello") for the first three days. (I also hadn't eaten for three days prior to coming to the hospital.) Then, they slowly introduced solid foods back into my diet.

                I have to tell you, after six days of virtually nothing, when they brought me oatmeal with a little packet of brown sugar, it tasted like heaven! Even the over-cooked roasted pork with a schmear of bland gravy and boiled turnips for dinner had me swooning.

                I'm sure that normally I'd turn my nose up at all of it, but I was so hungry, it all tasted great.

                1. UCLA (Los Angeles, CA) has a private chef on the 9th floor for exclusive use of those patients. The food was delicious; you could order what you wanted when you wanted it if OKed by your physician.

                  Monterey Peninsula Community Hospital was amazing - a wine list accompanied the dinner menu for patient selection. I was there for ten days and, except for major back surgery, enjoyed every delicious minute.

                  St. John's Hospital, Santa Monica CA, also had good food for special patient wings. I never tasted the "regular" food so cannot speak to its quality. 40 years ago I had a baby there and remember choosing between a cheese souffle and crab something-or-other. A friend of mine had a child at the Naval Hospital, San Diego at the same time. It was months before she would speak to me!

                  The Mayo Clinic, Phoenix AZ, has great cafeterias in both of the north Phoenix locations. For $1.95, I had a mushroom-asparagus omelet for breakfast two months ago while waiting for a friend to complete some testing. This hospital also has live music concerts in the atrium several days a week during lunchtime, so a cafeteria meal and concert make for a lovely change-of-pace in a hospital environment.

                  1. The hospital here where I live has some good food; when I worked there years ago, they had a tomato pudding that was really good and the fried chicken (served on Wednesdays) had the community eating lunch in the cafeteria every week.

                    The best hospital food I ever had was at Roosevelt General Hospital in Portales, New Mexico 22 years ago. I'd just had my daughter and the food & service was so good that instead of being released the next day, I stayed three days. They had enchiladas, fresh chips & salsa and salads... I remember thinking that I couldn't believe this was hospital food; I didn't want to go home.

                    1. I, unfortunately, had two stays of 4 days each in Mt. Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, MA this spring/summer. I'm vegan and gluten-free, so that makes it tough anywhere. The first time I also had a sore tongue, so it hurt to eat. Grape juice, apple sauce, potatoes, pureed squash, and (white :-P) rice with steamed veggies, and a fruit cup were my choices.

                      The second time my husband brought me food from home :-) . One time I asked him to just bring some almond mylk and I would get cereal from the menu. Turns out the hospital can't/won't even get gluten-free corn flakes or puffed rice.

                      1. Munson Hospital in Traverse City, Michigan has AWESOME food! Cooked to order and large portions! The omelet I had there put to shame most of the restaurants I have had breakfast at!!!!!!!!!!

                        1. Was in the hospital one night in a hospital in a northeast American city sometime n the last year. They didn't bring me lunch. For dinner, I was apparently on a liquid diet because I might have to have some test that I never had. The liquid diet was jello (essentially sugar water), and tea (with caffeine) and super salty chicken broth.. . For breakfast, I got white toast, tons of butter, grape jelly, coffee and orange juice.

                          Essentially the meals I got consisted of sugar, caffeine, white flour, salt, and bad fat.

                          The worst meal I have ever had in any setting in a very long time.

                          The fact that this is a health care facility is appalling.

                          Oh yeah. I was in the cardiac unit.

                          1. I spent a total of 17 days at OHSU this summer, and found the food mediocre and salty. They have a large menu to order from, but somehow, even restricted menus don't match up with dietary restrictions, at least for stomach surgery. I was finally placed on a diabetic menu for "dumping" but I could tell that many items had sugar alcohols, which I've never been able to handle.

                            Dinner service happened right at shift change, so if I requested something different, it was often just plain forgotten. I was so frustrated by the time I was released the second time, I could have screamed.

                            The only good thing was that when my SO stayed over a couple of nights, they'd offer him a plate of extra food that had come up to the ward. He was always happy with it.

                            1. My husband had bypass surgery in 2002 at Beaumont hospital in Royal Oak MI. He got the unsalted heart-healthy stuff when he was able to eat. It smelled so good...and tasted so bad to him that he threw up. Imagine throwing up with your ribs being held together with twistie ties...

                              1. As a child, I have to admit to a perverse glee when we got to go to the hospital because it meant a dramatically different alternative to the Asian diet we had at home. Most of my family worked at these hospitals at one point or another, so we spent much time in the Medical District, often ending with a trip to the canteen for tuna casserole or collard greens, dishes I found extremely exotic and had never encountered anywhere else. The Medical District was in the middle of a largely African-American population so I suppose the patients and kitchen staff ensured tasty soul food. I have to admit that even in adulthood I still find the taste of hospital food has an affect on me similar to madeleines on Proust.

                                1. I have absolutely horrible memories of eating hospital food as a kid. Every Sunday after church, my parents would take us to eat at the the hospital cafeteria. (either there or Country Buffett type of places, BLECH!!). (I still don't know why they took us there, we never visited anybody) The food was so terrible, I remember going hungry more times that not, simply because I would refuse to eat it.

                                  The last time I was in the hospital, all my childhood memories were reaffirmed! It's still bad. My husband is on our hospital's foundation board and the kitchen staff caters their luncheons, the food they get is better than what the patients eat, but I'd still rather go hungry.

                                  1. I was a patient at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network in PA and was on a clears diet during my stay, so the food I could have wasn't that great. However, I worked at that hospital for about 8 months and let me TELL YOU! The breakfast food was excellent! The dinners were good too, especially thier garlic mashed potatoes. But the sheer variety of food served was also a testament to them. The fish was even good. The food and dessert choices are so good, some ppl go to the hospital cafeteria for lunch...ppl that dont work or have relatives that are current patients at the hospital.

                                    1. A relative was in the hospital recently for surgery. We brought him dinner before the surgery from 2nd Ave Deli, which he glady ate. After the surgery, we weren't allowed to bring him anything until we got an OK from the doctor.

                                      He asked for soup or tea or something liquid for all his meals, since he was nauseous and couldn't really swallow from the tubes that were taken out of his throat. He was given toast for breakfast (couldn't eat it) and spaghetti with melted cheese on top. Soup never showed up...

                                      1. I've been hospitalized twice and since the first one was for a tonsillectomy, I can only attest to the ice cream, jello, and popsicles (was not amused by being served cranberry juice at breakfast). The second time I was in overnight for a blood transfusion, at a very small county hospital. Supper was an egg salad sandwich and chicken noodle soup. I thought it was good! But then I actually like egg salad. A little bland but still tasty. Breakfast, however, was those absolutely terrible frozen pancakes. I was sorely disappointed.

                                        1. OK, went back up to OHSU for a follow-up appointment on Monday and we waited so long that I got hungry. We stopped at the cafe on the way out and I picked the tarragon chicken salad panini to eat in the car on the way home. It was loaded with finely chopped red onions, which were not on the menu. That was the only thing I could taste, and I don't like onions. Normally, it'd ruin my meal completely, but I managed to eat half because I was so hungry. My SO finished off the sandwich and potato salad, but said neither was very good.

                                          1. I have no idea and hope I never have to find out.

                                            1. Both of my parents were professionals in Michigan hospitals, and there was a time, admittedly in the 1960's, when the food was excellent. Bread baked on-site, stews and soups, roasts and braises, pastries, pies and cakes, all made from scratch by professional cooks and bakers. Three years ago I ended up having a couple of bypasses and although the food was not inspiring, or inspired, I've had worse. And whoever said that butter was "bad fat" versus (ugh) margarine is misinformed. Remember transfats? That's margarine, writ large.

                                              1. Try the wonderful cuisine at Rose Medical Center in Denver. Each patient is given a menu with which to choose entrees and side dishes from a menu. Quite like a top restaurant dining experience. It made my whole hospital stay well worthwhile.

                                                1. Ugh, thanks for the memories! I was at the University of Pennsylvania hospital for a week at the end of 2007 and then had to do overnights every other week for 2 months. The care was excellent and the hospital has a great medical rep, but my god, the food was appalling.

                                                  I remember being surprised at how unhealthy the food choices were--you'd get a little paper slip menu with your options on it and select what you wanted. Of course, you had to select at the previous meal, so if you came in after lunch, your dinner was whatever tray was left over. If you were lucky and they actually had leftovers.

                                                  The breakfast was always a choice between scrambled eggs or pancakes with sausage links or undercooked bacon (every day!) or yogurt and cereal. I always went yogurt/cereal, so that was tolerable. There was usually a banana that I would save for later. Lunch and dinner were "hot" entrees with meat in sauce and overcooked, limp veggies on the side and a white roll. Sometimes there was soup. That was awful, too. Rather than salty, I'd say most meals were vastly underseasoned.

                                                  At one point I did actually get a leftover meal that was a piece of mystery meat covered in sauce--it could have been chicken or fish, I honestly couldn't tell. The food was so bad that I always had whichever friend was visiting stop somewhere and bring me a sandwich. When I was doing the planned overnights, I would bring snacks from home so I wouldn't have to eat too much of what they offered.

                                                  I don't remember a single item being good. If I had been forced to survive on their food, I would have starved. I remember thinking how out of step the food was with the hospital's reputation, and I did leave that comment in their comment box, probably to no effect.

                                                  1. i work in a hospital in south dakota. we have a Room service menu. and a wonderful cafe menu always changing. and 90% of our food is made from scratch.. its a wounderful trend..

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: niceguy

                                                      a "wounderful" trend? Freudian slip, or really bad pun?

                                                    2. I've been in 5 hospitals in the SF Bay area recently, so have lots of experience with the food. The worst was Stanford. It was so unhealthy (white bread, white sugar, lots of salt) that they sent a lovely older gentleman around to ask the patients what they thought of the food. My roommate expressed her disgust and then told him to talk to me. Quaveringly, he did so, and I just blasted the food. He said,"But everyone else says they love it." I said, "they love YOU and don't want to insult you." He laughed. Stanford is also dirty, extremely noisy at night and not a good experience. Please save me from students.
                                                      On the other hand, Comm. Hosp of Monterey Penin (CHOMP) is exactly the opposite. You get a menu everyday with such items as poached salmon on spinach, 3 types of omelets including veggie, and everything is healthy-except the scrumptious desserts. The hospital is spotlessly clean, large private rooms, staff who come when you ring and seem to care, and my bill was $50,000 less for the same procedure as Stanford (TKR). I've been there twice and believe me, good food and being able to sleep at night really contribute to quick healing. I almost didn't want to leave. And 8 weeks later, I'm healing much faster than I did with the "miracle surgeon" at Stanford. If you live in the area and need a wonderful orthopedist, feel free to email me.

                                                      1. I gave birth in August and was in the hospital for 5 nights. Long Island Jewish. When I was finally no longer on a clear liquid diet, I begged my husband and mother to bring me food. It was awful. We were given a menu to choose from every day for lunch and dinner, and not once did my roomie and I ever get what we ordered. Not that anything looked good anyway. Horrid.

                                                        1. Not too long ago I had a knee replacement in Grand Rapids MI. Since I was not around to order any meals for the day I got "pot luck". It turned out to be a plate of the greasiest pork something-or-other I had ever seen. I just asked for more morphine!! It never got any better and in 3 days I managed to lose 8 pounds.

                                                          1. My friend spent over three months in a hospital in San Diego not too long ago....she had prenatal complications. Fortunately both her twins were born full term and healthy (and two years later still are doing great!) so I guess the long stay was worth it. but the food...ackkk...she would email horror stories! (at least she had internet access and could use her laptop...its amazing to me how many hospitals these days have NO wireless or any sort of internet access...). A typical meal might be meat, potato, macaroni and cheese, bread, and a cookie. She rarely got green vegetables or fruit. Bacon and eggs and toast for breakfast, but again, no fruit. She finally complained to her doctor, and although he sympathized with her there was nothing he could do. This was a woman who was carrying twins!!! You would think they would make some effort to give her a healthy diet...Oh, and they had her on insulin for gestational diabetes...with that diet, is it any wonder/ Geez....

                                                            Finally her doctor gave her permission to have her husband bring her meals and veggies and fruits. She wasn't even allowed to have the brought-in food in her room until the doc ok'd it.

                                                            Ridiculous. If you are going to charge thousands of dollars a day for a room, the least you can do is give vegetables and fruits to a woman who is going through hell just to deliver healthy babies...

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: janetofreno

                                                              Not that I'm defending the hospital by any means, but I just had gestational diabetes, and I had to be very careful with fruit, and even with a diet allowing only 40g/carbs per day, I was still insulin dependent. I'm surprised she was even getting toast, and toast + fruit would have been disaster. All those other carbs are rather surprising, since a typical GD meal plan calls for no more than 30g/carbs per meal at most.

                                                            2. off-topic (not about hospital food quality) but a funny hospital food story. I was with someone who was visiting her blind husband in the hospital a few years ago. A hospital aide came in with the menu and read it aloud to him. When asked which vegetable he wanted he replied, "I'll take the carrots, they're good for my eyes".

                                                              1. I just came home from John C. Lincoln in Phoenix, AZ. The hospital food was good and we were given choices each day of what we would like to eat under the diet restrictions of the doctor. It was not gourmet by any means, but it was good and its presentation pleasant.

                                                                1. I live in Bangladesh. The culture here is completely different than the culture in the States. The hospital does not feed you, or really check up on you at all, unless you need medication. Instead, your family comes with you and takes care of you. I am lucky enough to have avoided any sort of hospital visit, but I have a friend who had emergency surgery and no one explained to her that someone needed to be with her to take care of her until the second day.

                                                                  We all know now to bring someone with us, preferably someone local who understands the system.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: lulubelle

                                                                    Pretty much the same situation in Spain where family undertakes much of the non-medical care for hospital patients (although the hospital does feed them).

                                                                  2. SO had surgery at the VA Hospital in Central Phoenix. Day after surgery breakfast was: canadian bacon, pancakes, juice, milk, coffee, tea. Lunch was a crab cake with red pepper sauce and wild rice with fresh fruit for dessert. By the time he left, four days later, breakfast had become a weird clot of scrambled eggs with warm milk and cold tea. Lunch had become a pile of mystery meat with brown gravy on plain rice. It seems that the better he got, the worse the food got.

                                                                    1. I've been a nurse for about 8 years and have worked in several different hospitals all over the country. It's no surprise that a major complaint I hear is that the food is awful. Please keep in mind that hospitals are not hotels. In a perfect world patients would receive gourmet food AND quality health care. Hospitals are on very limited budgets, that have not improved in today's economy, especially with the increasing number of uninsured patients. Most hospitals are focusing financial resources on keeping or acquiring nurses and doctors, not personal chefs. Slowly hospitals are attempting to make the transition to improve the food, but it will take time. And it will probably never be enough to satisfy everyone's palate.

                                                                      1. I thought of this thread again after a recent hospital stay and surgery here in Las Vegas (Mt. View Hospital). Because of trouble scheduling the (minor) surgical procedure (I'm home now and doing fine...) I ended up hanging around for a day.feeling pretty much ok.....they didn't want to discharge me and have me come back that night. I was actually pleasantly surprised at the food...sure: it wasn't LOS or strip quality, but most of what I had tasted good. The thing I liked was that they called it "room service" (must be a Vegas thing)...delivered by tuxedo'd waiters no less. They had special diets in their computers (after surgery I was told I could only order from their clear liquid diet, which fortunately included popsicles and sorbet...)...but if your diet was unrestricted (as mine was prior to surgery) you could get whatever you wanted.....and order two deserts if that was your thing, a salad or soup to start, whatever. They had a "make your own sandwich section" and the pancakes at breakfast tasted homemade. There were several fresh fruit and vegetable options....and you could chose your side dishes (say, order pork loin, and then chose baked potatoe or one of several veggies or even mac and cheese to go with it). Also, there were a couple of ethnic choices (fajitas, and a chinese stir fry...). so at least the chances of you finding something you liked were pretty good...and since you could chose fruit didn't have to worry about being stuck with a banana.......

                                                                        Like I said, could have been a lot worse. And the condiments were good: half and half for the coffee, real butter, that kind of thing.....and it WAS like room service...you could call up and order when you wanted to eat.....within certain hours at least. And you could even pre-order a midnight snack....

                                                                        1. I'm a nurse and while the unit I work in provides an excellent service the food is quite ordinary. I encourage patients families to bring their own food in and store it in the patient fridge, or take them out if they're able to leave the ward. I don't see the need in making people suffer more than what they have to.

                                                                          1. ok, I just remembered the time we were travelling in France and my now-ex broke his leg and ended up spending a week in the hospital in Carcasonne. The food was very good, he said (but we had to drink his share of the wine at local restaurants). But the menu items were hand-written on a scrap of paper, and sometimes illegible so as to fail my grasp of French.

                                                                            One day he had some meat and couldn't identify it and the handwriting gave us no clue. We sat around trying to figure it out when his room-mate leaned over and said "Baa-aaa-aaa!!!!" We got it and laughed about that one for years!

                                                                            1. I volunteered as a "cuddler" at a children's hospital when I was i college - basically babysitting young children while their parents ran errands, met with doctors, or just took a break. My kids were usually on double portions so they could make up for illness-induced nutrition deficiencies. The food always looked good, but never age appropriate! For lunch one day they gave an 18-month old a pile of spaghetti with meat sauce, a fried chicken breast, green beans, and a roll...

                                                                              I now work for the medical school affiliated with the same hospital. I don't encounter inpatient food very much, but the cafeterias are hit or miss. There are 3 full service cafeterias. Two offer pizza - one is terrible chain delivery style, the other is reasonably good NY style.