All News & Blogs
Mary Washington food court, reviewed
Mary Washington Hospital's salad bar offers bargain bites.
SUZANNE CARR ROSSI/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 5/10/2012
Let's face it, sooner or later we're all going to have to eat hospital food. Those intravenous fluids and soft solids are an inescapable fact of life. And that's just the cafeteria food. Think about the stuff the patients have to eat!
I know what you're thinking: The restaurant critic is now going to take potshots at the easiest of targets, a hospital cafeteria. What's he going to weigh in on next? Airline food? School lunches?
It's true. Hospital food has been the butt of many jokes. But things are changing. People are demanding healthier choices. And the medical establishment is listening. Today's hospital food is no longer your grandmother's fare--even if cafeteria prices don't seem entirely out of line with the rates the Greatest Generation used to pay.
Besides, Mary Washington Hospital is one of the few places in the area where you can still find a decent bagel. We're talking about Einstein Bros. Bagels, not far from the Starbucks, on the atrium level.
When my wife and I visited MWH for lunch recently, we bypassed the atrium (which required an act of will on my part) for the ground-floor eatery where Sodexo, an industry leader in providing dining solutions for institutional clients, does its level best to make things look inviting. For instance, we were greeted by a festive sign declaring April "Dig it! Month" and something called the "potato rellena" (a Mexican loaded "baker"?) the featured item.
Another master stroke is calling the operation--which features vendors such as Subway and Bullets Hamburgers--a food court. However, the ultimate stroke of genius is in carefully fostering the illusion that what you're about to eat is healthful, what with the inviting salad bar getting prominent placement at the center of the floor plan.
The fact is that most people we saw were headed straight for the Subway counter. And my wife is generally no exception. She's going to kill me for saying this, but every time we've had occasion to eat at the food court she has never once deviated from declaiming on the freshness of everything on the salad bar, before making an immediate beeline for a burger and fries.
What: Mary Washington Hospital food court Address: 1001 Sam Perry Blvd. Info: 540/741-1100. See menu and specials at mwhc.catertrax.com. Hours: Breakfast 7-10 a.m.; lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner 4-7 p.m.; midnight meal 1-3 a.m. Food vendors on site:
Subway, Bullets Hamburgers and More, Wrap N' Roll, Perky's PizzaThe Scoop: Family-friendly, good value, spacious dining area. Parking can be a challenge. Payment: Major credit cards accepted.