Thursday, August 2, 2012

Serve You?

So how many of you have cafeterias near you?  I'm not talking about the school cafeterias we ate at as kids.  I'm talking about the ones that cater to...shall we say mature adults?  You know, the Picadilly Cafeteria, the Rainbow Cafeteria, K & W or J & S.  They are usually close to a retirement home....I'm not being judgmental, just honest and it might be different where you live.

These places are supposed to offer fairly decent food at a reasonable price.  It always start with the salads on ice....
You know, the strawberries in syrup, carrots in who knows what, tons of iceberg lettuce that has no nutritional value whatsoever....And the lady behind the line...."Serve you?"

Why do all those women wear the same heinous color of pink lipstick?

So you pick your salad and then they ask what kind of dressing you want. If you aren't paying attention, you'll get a half gallon of it dumped on a third of a cup of much for trying to be healthy.

Next comes...."Meat ma'am?"  What is that liquid that the meat is in?  It's not the correct color to be water.  Or grease for that matter - it doesn't congeal like grease or fat.  Whatever it is, it doesn't look very appetizing, so you find yourself in the quandary of what looks the least offensive....hmmm.....broiled Talapia maybe?  Or, if you are feeling really brave, you get the mystery meat that is passed off as country style steak and are asked "gravy with?" I am shuddering at this point because that gravy does congeal or you can see the pools of grease floating on top...Ugh!

Then the desserts...steer clear of these - just saying. They always look a lot better than they taste.  I remember a custard pie with a card board/sandpaper crust.  One bite was plenty for my discerning palette....Ahem.

So after being exposed to the plethora of hearty goodness (choking a bit here) you sit down and actually eat this stuff.....What?!?!

What is all this leading up to you ask?  Why am I sharing this experience with you?  Because we ate at one of these fine establishments this week with family.  When I was asked where I'd like to eat, I specifically requested that we not eat at one of the local cafeterias.  So another one was recommended.  It rated a 95% on Urban Spoon.  Who knew that the octogenarian crowd was so active on the "Spoon?"

What did I learn from this experience? That it doesn't matter the name or the geography, the cafeteria is still the same.  The decor is still the same.  The servers are still the same - do they rotate through each one? And most importantly, the food is still the same. And so help me, I swear they all put laxatives in their food....

Needless to say, I will NOT be eating in a cafeteria any time soon...if at all.  And my body heaves a HUGE sigh of relief.


  1. The last cafeteria I ate in was at Ikea. Not my fave, even though the food isn't that bad.

  2. No cafeteria for me ever!
    I thought of you the other day as I went thru NC, maybe next time we can meet up.

  3. When we lived in Texas there were so many! In PA we have chinese buffets galore. And the calories rack up fast.

  4. One of my sisters loves to eat at "Country Buffet" -- to me it's always hordes of families elbowing each other out to get to the fried chicken before it's gone.. oink oink. I'm with you on this. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  5. We don't visit those places. Ever. For the exact same reasons mentioned above.

  6. oh, gosh---that was described it to a tee----and I bet you've never even been to my town!!!! let's's been probably 20 years since I ate at one of those I know why I haven't been back! they haven't changed a bit!

  7. OMG! I love cafeterias! Not all the time, mind you, but every now and then... some are definitely better than others. The kids and I found one near us that does real strawberry shortcake in the springtime. Yum!

    Cafeterias don't hit that locavore/organic/gastronomic ecstasy thing that is so big these days (which I love, too), but I would be sad if they went away. ; )

  8. Oh I hear you, we have similar here and people love them 'the food is so good' Oh my goodness, the food is disgusting, just like you have described, I won't go near them. I think people have lost the 'taste' for real food and find the processed muck nice. No wonder we have so much sickness, diabetes, behaviour problems etc. etc. Who knows what is in it.....shudders!!!
    xx Sandi