Here’s something a little different today: a grinder from the cafeteria at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford.
They opened a line recently for made-to-order sandwiches. This was the first time I’d tried it. I asked for ham, salami, pepper jack cheese, pepperoni, peppers (fresh – they don’t have roasted), lettuce, tomato, mayo, oil (not sure if olive or something else) and balsamic vinegar. The bread was “Italian Herb and Cheese” and they toasted on request.
It was… hmm. It’s hard for me to compare it to any establishment, chain or otherwise; institutional cafeterias occupy their own continuum, I think. The three salty meats managed to somehow have not much flavor, the vegetables were fresh but otherwise unremarkable, the cheese was undetectable, and the whole thing was imbued with a certain hopelessness that seems unique to hospital cafeteria food. It wasn’t screamingly bad – like that revolting Italian combo I had at Sorrento’s in Manchester – more just sort of a vaguely depressing non-entity. Toasting didn’t do much for it.