I have viewed many a hospital meal over the years as I have accompanied my wife (many times) and other family members through a few somewhat longer stays. And I must admit that I was underwhelmed (to put it mildly) by the appearance and presentation of the food. The reviews from the patients who actually ate (or attempted to eat) the dishes were no less appealing.
So I found myself at Arise Medical Center on Bee Caves Road in Westlake last week undergoing a total right hip replacement. Nice hospital, very small and personal with spacious rooms.
But then as the pain meds started to wear off and I was able to peruse the dinner menu with some clarity, I became more than a bit interested. First off, no Jello, green or otherwise, anywhere on the menu. And it got more intriguing after that.
I settled on a Seared Spinach appetizer, and chose the Baked Atlantic Salmon with a baked Sweet Potato and sauteed broccoli for my entree.
My dinner arrived on time and was absolutely delicious. The temperatures were perfect (often an issue in hospitals) and the flavors were way past standard hospital fare. The texture of the salmon (which I was afraid might be a problem given the small kitchen) was most certainly spot on.
The Exec Chef Joe Piefer is only 29 but wise and talented beyond his years. No one really wants to go to a hospital (certainly me!) but a couple of days eating food like his (the Grilled Turkey and Cheese for lunch the next day was genuinely tasty) certainly took the stung out of any post surgical malaise. He’s got fans on the staff as well and many simply just join the patients and dine on Joe’s lunch.
OK. I admit this is a bit off our normal beat but the next time you are having some elective joint therapy and you can choose your facility, Arise and it’s talented chef might be a wise choice. Never underestimate the healing and restorative power of great food!