Really really good. The Olympic Training center has a cafeteria that serves a huge selection of healthy foods. Itâ€™s open from 7am until 9pm, so pretty much any time I want to eat. Iâ€™ve actually decided the only way to do justice to the oasis of culinary goodness that is the training centerâ€™s Cafâ€™ is to describe it though a story.
The night I arrived at the OTC I was pretty hungry. I had been traveling for ten hours on nothing but diet sprite and a chef salad. It was 11pm, and the cafeteria was closed. At night there are ample supplies of cereal, instant oat meal and fruit, so I grabbed a bowl of raisin bran before heading to my room. By the time morning came around I was ravenous. I headed to the Cafâ€™ and grabbed a tray. I started at the entry end of the lineup and grabbed yogurt and fruit, passed the bagels and bread (they have all sorts of stuff to put on it) then poured a small bowl of oatmeal (they always have two kinds of hot cereal, usually steel cut oats and either grits or cream of wheat). Next I grabbed some pancakes with blueberry syrup, plus a couple slices of bacon. My plate was piled up pretty high by the time my eyes fell on the omelette station. I needed to clear space, and quick, so I sat down near a big screen TV and watched the Tour De France coverage.
The omelette station is awesome. Flower is the woman who works there most mornings, and she learned my name after one visit. Now I walk into the Cafâ€™ and she says, â€œhi Ben, how are you feeling?â€ (To which I have yet to respond with anything but, â€œtiredâ€.)
Also on the breakfast menu is a cereal bar (including All-Bran, a few of the Kashi brand cereals, and Low-Fat Granola, which are some of my favorites).
And all that is just the first meal of the day.
Lunch is usually the best meal served. Thereâ€™s almost always a theme â€“ either Asian or Mexican â€“ plus some standard American and European grub, and the food is always very different. Iâ€™ve had chicken Caesar wraps, sushi, tacos, enchiladas, roast pork, bbq ribs, hamburgers, steak, all kinds of grains, fresh veggies, grilled veggies, steamed veggies, and so on.
Dinner is like lunch, but from my experience not quite as good. Always different though.
The two highlights of the Cafâ€™, however, are the grill (slash omelette bar), and the dessert bar. The grill always has grilled cheese, hamburgers (or veggie or turkey or chicken), sweet potato fries (so good), plus a daily special like steak sub sandwich or beef wraps, or stir fry.
The dessert bar is killer. everything baked here is awesome, from the breakfast muffins to the chocolate cake and pie. Thereâ€™s also low-fat soft serve, yogurt, sorbet and ice cream. I try to limit my dessert intake, but sometimes itâ€™s hard to do. Tonight, for instance, there was coffee cake with blueberries that went really well with my glass of milk, and last night the low-fat chocolate cake and caramel swirl ice cream was begging to be tried.
The last thing Iâ€™ll mention is the nutrition labels. They have them on everything in the Cafâ€™. You can make count calories if you want, or make decisions between the beef burger and the turkey burger (the beef is actually lower in fat). Also, when you grab dessert, you know just what the damage is. They even have a sign next to the ice cream that says, â€œEvery athlete has a dream, every choice makes a difference.â€
Normally my parents will call me when Iâ€™m away from home and tell me about all the wonderful food theyâ€™ve had at home. Itâ€™s their way of making me a little anxious to come home (and sometimes it works), but on this trip, I could care less. My dad starts describing some salmon dish with veggies, or my mom talks about cookies she bakes and my mind starts wondering. I just donâ€™t care. Food is completely taken care of here. I donâ€™t have to give it a second thought.
(I would totally take pictures of my food and post it if I had a cable for my camera. But I donâ€™t. The picture of the eating area above is all I could find online)