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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hoag Hospital Cafeteria-Newport Beach

One Hoag Drive
Newport Beach CA 92663
Basement, Near West Elevators

Ok. Now I know that most of you are thinking, “Seriously? Griffin is going to review a cafeteria in a hospital?!?!?” I know it seems a little weird, but if you read a lot of Orange County restaurant reviews online, I’m sure you’ve seen brief snippets, ramblings, rumors or comments about the cafeteria in the basement of Hoag Hospital. I know I have. I’ve been meaning to check out this cafeteria for years, but kept forgetting. Recently, a co-worker of mine had to go in to Hoag for knee surgery. I decided to go visit him the day after his surgery. I was happy to go visit a friend in the hospital to lift their spirits, but I was also excited that I would finally get to try the Hoag cafeteria.

I went to the hospital around lunchtime. I went up to my co-worker’s hospital room and saw that they had just brought his lunch to the room. I told him that I’d let him eat in peace while I headed down to the cafeteria to grab something to eat. I got to the cafeteria between 12:15 PM and 12:30 PM. It was absolutely packed. Most of the people in the cafeteria were hospital employees, but there also seemed to be a lot of non-employees as well.

As you enter the cafeteria, there is a cooler on the right with things like pre-made sandwiches and sushi. When you venture further in, you will find things like a salad bar, a sandwich bar, a soup bar, pizza, a grill, a couple of daily special stations and a “nibbles” station. A lot of the food here, like the salads, sandwiches and “nibbles” are charged by weight. I think the cost was usually around $0.35 an ounce. The grill made items like cheeseburgers and tuna melts for really cheap prices (Around $3.00). They also offer regular fries, sweet potato fries and onion rings as a side dish. The daily specials were "Greek Chicken" and a "Baja Shrimp Wrap."

After looking around, I finally decided to get a cup of chili, a cheeseburger, sweet potato fries, a couple of sweet and sour chicken wings from the “nibbles” bar and a drink. This was a ton of food and I got it all for around $8.00. Not bad, eh?

The burger was pretty good. Not gourmet, but definitely better than a lot of burgers I’ve had before. The chicken wings were pretty good. Sweet, sour and cooked perfectly. The sweet potato fries were a little cold by the time I ate them, but they were still really good. My favorite part of the meal though was the chili. I wasn’t really expecting it to be that good, but it was. I’m not sure if it was canned chili or freshly made, but I couldn’t stop eating it. I would return to the cafeteria just for this chili. Overall it was a very enjoyable meal for a very reasonable price. I might have to stop by this cafeteria more often, whether someone I know is in the hospital or not.

Hoag Hospital Cafeteria on Urbanspoon


Captain said...

It never hurts to have a trusted opinion on the mundane places too. I'm glad to hear they do things right, as I've had some horrendous food from hospital cafeterias in my day.

There was one hospital in South Orange County that 100% comped your meal if you were fire or police dept and in uniform, but even that couldn't get me in there.

Chili is one of the items I use to judge a restaurant. If they can't do chili right, chances are they won't get much else right either.

Anonymous said...

I find this review amazing. In my experience, hospital food is just about the worst thing in the world, and the institutional smell makes me want to vomit.

But the food in that photo looks pretty good. Glad to see at least one hospital can get it right.

Diamond Dog said...

lots of foodservice at hospitals is outsourced by companies like Aramark, Marriott etc. I used to call on these places in regards to foodservice and they had chefs in there with very impressive resumes.

However I don't want to ever dine in a hospital unless I am dating some hot, pre natal nurse (that pulls down about 160k a year) and she is buying me dinner after her shift before she takes me home and ravishes my sexy body.

Anonymous said...

The Cooks leave shelled eggs under the counter without refrigeration for hours. If Salmonilla is present anywhere in that kitchen through cross contamination, Everyone is going to be sick... I thought hospitals were suppossed to use Pasturized Shell Eggs to avoid the same issue we had with peanutbutter. Why does the hospital take the risk !!!!!

Anonymous said...

I just noticed today; Due to a commnet about egg-safety. Shell eggs are now being stored above the counter on ice. In respects to reduce the risk of salmonilla. In the future I feel a shell pasturized egg should be utilized. It is only in the best health and safety interest of patients and visitors.

Thank You

hospice services said...

Food service is important in hospitals. Health is a top priority.

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