Comedians used to say that hospital food was designed to be so bad that patients would be motivated to get well and go home. Well, that prescription has changed big time. Many hospital food services now offer high-end menus with patients being able to pick and choose each day from a variety of well-made, tasty and health-appropriate meals. Often the idea carries over to the facility’s cafeteria where staff, visitors and even the general public can eat well for a reasonable price seven days a week.

With that in mind, my guest and I decided to pay a visit to the Texoma Medical Center Café for lunch. We got there about 12:45 p.m. and the cafe was busy, but not crowded. However, it should be noted that it can be extremely difficult to find a parking place in the hospital’s huge parking lot.

The café’s menu includes two daily entrees with several vegetables, a couple of soups and desserts, burgers and sandwiches, a salad bar and pizza. The restaurant also features an Action Station, which offers different specialty items each day, such as Brazilian steak chimichurri and rice bowl or baked potatoes, and a grill, which also has a different special daily. For those interested in giving it a try, the café’s weekly menu is posted on Mondays on the Texoma Medical Center website.

On the day we were there, the entrees were Memphis barbecue pork chops and chicken spaghetti. That caught me as I am a chicken spaghetti fan, so I had that with a side order of steamed mixed vegetables and some peach cobbler. A cup of cream of broccoli soup and a drink finished my order. My friend was impressed by a burger he saw sizzling on the grill and decided to try the café’s cheeseburger.

The café is partly self-serve, and the checkout easy to navigate and quick to get through. The food is served in Styrofoam clamshells to make it easy to carryout, but we went no farther than a glassed-in porch off the main dining room to dig into our meals. Texoma Medical Center also offers outdoor tables that can be used in nice weather.

The cream of broccoli soup was excellent and a good start on a blustery day. The chicken spaghetti was good as well, but not overwhelming. It was warm, cheesy and filling, with big chunks of chicken. The steamed veggies were steamed veggies. I cleaned my clamshell and turned to the peach cobbler. It was quite good and a sweet finish. Across the table, my friend finished off his cheeseburger and pronounced it a winner as well.

In fact, everything we tried in the Texoma Medical Center Café that day was a winner. Nothing was over the top impressive, but it all was dependably satisfying, and for the money it was a bargain to boot.

I expect I will be checking out the new menus each week to see whether anything interesting is coming up so I can head back.

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