Employee Dining Room Hacks
Creative food combinations can improve your employee dining room (EDR) experience, and lead to plate envy among your peers. In addition to the well-known hot bar, there is also the salad bar, sandwich bar, soup bar, beverage bar, sauce stand, a spot for dessert, and often a fruit of the day. Put on your Iron Chef hat and consider these areas an artist palette for your palate.
The salad bar is hacker’s paradise. With so many different items, the combinations are endless. Is the chili getting boring? Emeril it up with jalapenos and shredded cheese from the salad bar. While you’re at it, why not max out the Scoville rating and add a pleasant smokiness with Chipotle Tabasco from the sauce stand? Bam! Pork chop a little dry? Throw on some applesauce. Your grandmother would be proud. And keep an eye on the fruit of the day. Avocados go a long way to sprucing up chili, salads, and tacos. Chicken finger day? I once saw a yin-yang of ranch and buffalo sauce on some visionary’s tray. In the market for a saucy sandwich, but suffering mayonnaise malaise? Try some dressings from the salad bar. The Big Mac’s “secret sauce” is Thousand Island dressing. Possibly the worst kept secret in history. Then there’s that other sauce. You know, the crumbly kind. What’s it called? Oh right, bacon. Jim Gaffigan calls it the fairy dust of food. Go ahead, make magic happen.
Stuck in a beverage rut? Mix tea and raspberry lemonade for an EDR Arnold Palmer. Or kick some ice by mixing blue Powerade and Sprite. I don’t know what it is, but it’s provocative. That’s the point.
Sometimes you just have to be on your toes. Take a peek at the hot offerings, then consider how they might be upgraded. Beef stew on noodles… good. Beef stew on mashed potatoes… awesome. Other times, hacks can also happen by accident. Sometimes fortunate, sometimes not, these “haccidents” are creative supernovae. After dodging a sleepy patron, you realize your soup has invaded your chicken. Turns out veggie soup over grilled lemon chicken is delicious. On the other hand, milk spilled into sauerkraut… not so much. Either way, something new is learned, and food science makes progress.
Feeling the need to get away? Contrary to what the intimidating and morale-zapping “Termination” sign at the EDR exit might suggest, there are a few snacks that you can take with you, like fruit. It’s important to keep hydrated in Yellowstone, and beverages are always fair game. When in doubt, just ask the friendly EDR staff. You can also order a to-go meal for a hike or picnic. Everything tastes better when you’ve worked up an appetite hiking.
What are your favorite EDR hacks? Be sure to tell EDR staff what you like. Leave compliments or suggestions on comment cards, and you might just see your favorite tofu balls more often.
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