I don’t get to the hospital cafeteria as often as I should, given how close and convenient it is. Usually lunch for me is a Quaker raisin granola bar and a piece of fruit muched in front of my PC, like I’m doing right now. Once a week or so I get off campus, usually to eat too much of something not good for me. Yesterday I strolled over to Cafe on the Court at about 1 pm and was surprised to see a still-bustling crowd, eating and looking pretty happy. I made a trip for the sushi; I’d had it from there before and it’d been pretty good.
I’ve been eating sushi for about 20 years; I had it for the first time in Key West as a young man, a rite of discovery that sparked in me a still-present interest in many Asian things. Three or four years ago I started making sushi myself at home and have become pretty good. My spicy tuna handroll is wicked. There are two secrets to sushi: the fish has to be fresh (no surprise), and the rice has to be perfectly cooked and seasoned. Too often, supermarket sushi (the packaged stuff like we have in the cafeteria) falls short. Sushi was meant to be eaten as it’s made, and it’s difficult to make it in a way that “keeps,” that can be parked it in a cooler for a few hours without making some culinary compromises. In spite of this, the Cafe on the Court sushi holds its own. The selection is good, what I’ve had has been fresh, and the price is fair. All we need now is some miso soup and we’re good to go.
My point? Food is important in our lives. We come together as families, friends and co-workers around the dining table, celebrate holidays and build traditions on food, seek comfort from what we eat. While cafeterias and hospitals aren’t typically known for great food, I’m very pleased that here, any day I want, I’m a short walk from many good choices and something I’ll probably enjoy. And it might—or might not—be very pretty bait.