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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Cafeteria food

Though trendy, chain-owned restaurants do well in Indianapolis, for many Hoosiers the height of dining out starts in the old familiar way: by pushing a tray along metal rails. Past the sugar cream pie and pecan pie, they go. Past the salads, the Jell-O (often paired with lettuce), into entrée-land of fried chicken and baked fish, meatloaf. Onward they go toward the green beans, the beets, the macaroni and cheese, the cornbread.

There surely is no less hip a thing in the nation than the cafeteria. They are the Buicks of restaurants and have indeed seen considerable fallout. But the survivors -- there are a half dozen old-line cafeterias left in metropolitan Indianapolis -- soldier on, catering to a clientele that, though small, is fiercely loyal.


The article highlights how cafeterias are popular primarily with older crowds, which spells doom for them. I've seen this in several states.

In contrast to the "food" served at school and college cafeterias, I have no problem with the food offerings at a typical cafeteria restaurant. However, I don't eat there, because of the cost. A full meal will be about twice a fast food meal, and probably even more than the price for an all-you-can-eat buffet. Given a choice between a la carte and all you can eat, I'll always go for the latter.

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