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By: Mpls.St.Paul | Posted: 05/20/2009
At 7 p.m., I decided to skip down (because that what new dads do, I guess) to the cafeteria. I decided, on my way down, to keep my expectations low because cafeteria food is not my favorite even though it has come a long way in the past few years. I had my mind set on a salad bar and maybe a tuna salad sandwich. I got to the escalators that bring patrons to the basement eatery, and they were turned off; I couldn't understand why. I walk down the escalators thinking that a hospital can't close it's cafeteria before 7 p.m. . . . right? Wrong! A polite little sign directed me to the McDonald's I had just passed (and not even noticed, as I was skipping after all) one level up. The sign also reassured me that McD's is open twenty-four hours a day . . . hooray!
By then, I was ravenous and furious, working on two hours of sleep and tons of coffee. Call me a snob, but I don't do McDonald's, even its so-called heart-healthy offerings. I have a nineteen-month streak sans that chain, which I don't even consider food, just like I don't consider Twizzlers food. I walked up the escalators and entered the place, it smelled like the fryer and people were buzzing around, it was packed.
I tucked behind a wall to look at the menu, trying to figure out what I could eat without feeling like I had eaten a fast food dinner. I settled on a chicken bacon ranch sandwich, the grilled variety, which you can order crispy (read: deep-fat fried), and a salad. The food, along with the whole experience, was undesirable. I should have acquiesced and had a Big Mac and fries and felt bad about myself. Instead, I got the chicken sandwich and was sorry for many reasons.
While I was waiting for my food, I noticed all these awards on the wall, some of which were commendations for being a high grossing McD's. What? How is this possible? How can a hospital contain a fast-food joint in the first place, and how can it do so well that it gets volume awards? How can a hospital named by Thomson Healthcare as a 100 Top Hospitals®
Stephanie March is Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s food and dining editor. See bio
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