An occasional journal of the Life of Reilly

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Eats in Loma Linda


We found ourselves between Upland and Hemet around dinnertime. After a visit with the Reilly parents and some miscellaneous shopping, we were on our way to the Brukner domicile for a few days of regrouping. Where to eat? Ooooh, we prefer vegetarian cuisine, and so do the Seventh-Day Adventists of Loma Linda. This community is famous for its medical center, but maybe not so much for the Loma Linda Market, which is a shame. We stopped in for a look.

The store has aisles of health-oriented foods, and since we belong more in the tofu crowd rather than the BBQ crowd, it was a real treat. The store bakes whole-grain breads and pastries, and carries some locally produced products, like Grandma Goodie’s Granola (taste tested, and a definite thumbs-up). There is a section with cans of non-meat products that supposedly have the texture and maybe the taste of meat. Although I am not usually fond of faux meat, we got a couple of cans of Terkettes to try on the road when we are hungry and variety is limited. The best thing, however, were the bins – self-serve, bag ‘em yourself bulk items of all the staples I use when I cook at home – flour, legumes, grains. And fresh-ground peanut butter at half the cost of what we paid in Orange County. Although we have limited space now for provisions and had to hold ourselves back, this will definitely be a regular stop on our way between Southern California and Mammoth next winter.

We asked the cashier for her recommendation for a place to eat vegetarian in town. After we wrinkled our noses at the suggestion of Home Town Buffet, she said some people eat at the cafeteria at the hospital. Run by the Seventh-Day Adventists, it conforms to their dietary guidelines. Good enough for us – after going up and down a few elevators and down some nondescript hallways, we found it.

We knew we were in luck when we saw the posted menu for the day – along with the entrees and vegetables of the day, there was a legume of the day – navy beans! Inside it was a typical cafeteria, with plastic trays, Styrofoam dishes, and plastic cutlery. A full salad and fruit bar where you pay by the ounce was in the middle, with a grill for veggie burgers and a server dishing out hot entrees, like vegetarian stroganoff and lasagna. One observation – although it was vegetarian, it was not necessarily low-fat – you could load up on french fries and Danish if you wanted. But we made some good selections -- the gardenburger served on a whole wheat bun was quite tasty. We munched alongside the nurses and doctors in scrubs and people visiting their loved ones in the hospital.

Now that we have had a taste of Grandma Goodies Granola, any excuse to stop and get more will be made!
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