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Café 8901 Offers Colorful Menus


By Kalila Fleming

WRNMMC PAO Staff Writer

Lightly-roasted cod, golden brown rice, crisp broccoli, and delicatessen-styled sandwiches are a few of the items offered in Café 8901 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on the lower level of Building 9.

“[Our] food operations feed about 4,000 people a day, Monday through Friday, providing an 18.5 hour meal service,” said Army Col. Melanie Craig, director of Nutrition Services at WRNMMC.
Café 8901 patrons include patients, military members, their families, federal employees and visitors, Craig continued. To accommodate the volume of customers, the dining facility has seven venues for patrons to choose from, she added.
“We offer the pizza bar, World Bistro, Fit and Flavorful, the Chef’s Table, the Grille, and our deli and salad bars,” she explained.
Executive Chef, Ted Stolk said the “Fit and Flavorful” venue offers luncheon meals that are 550 calories or less.”
“We’ve actually had service members who came to me, ate this meal for three months, and [reported] they’ve lost a lot of weight and feel a whole lot better,” Stolk said. “We are looking at fat and calorie content to provide low fat, healthy food options every day.”
Craig added food operations dietitians and chefs conduct menu meetings, reviewing satisfaction surveys from customers to see what they say about the menu, and making adjustments to try and incorporate [those suggestions] in future menus at Café 8901.
Also from those meetings, ideas for the traditional holidays, celebratory ethnic and other holiday menus are developed.
“We try to highlight those times that we celebrate as a country, for example Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those meals are very popular, and a little more upscale and different from our usual daily fare and operations that we normally prepare,” Craig said. She added accommodations are also made to meet the dietary needs of inpatients and meals served on the wards.
Army 2nd Lt. Anna Cardenas, a dietetic intern at WRNMMC, said, “Food is medicine…it can make or break your health [essentially being] the greatest form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
For more information regarding the menus in Café 8901, call 301-295-5360.