RetComLife #10 – Dining 🙁…

no, this isn’t my dining room

I can’t leave you with the idea that my RetComLife (retirement community life) is all positive for me. One of the areas that disappoints me is the dining room, including the menus and food preparation. That is what this post is all about.

I get a monthly $350 credit to the dining room as part of the rent of my apartment. Whatever I don’t use at the end of the month is forfeited. Being the penny pincher that I am, I initially thought I had to spend it all. I hated the idea of paying for something that I didn’t use. I have since changed my mind about that. I now eat about four meals per week in the dining room, and the rest I prepare for myself in my apartment or eat out. Of those four meals I do eat there, I usually enjoy maybe two of them. There are a few reasons why I am staying away from the dining room.

  • I love to cook. It’s in my blood. And, of course, I cook things I like and season them to my tastes.
  • The quality and particularly the preparation of the food here is presently erratic at best.
  • I haven’t yet found it comfortable to eat, and maybe more importantly, socialize among so many people. But that has nothing to do with this post, so I will drop it here.

Due to the pandemic and limited staff, many of the meals likely come from two gallon bags that are simply heated up and served. But, the “heated up” part seems to be sometimes missing, in that the food is frequently undercooked and no more than lukewarm when it gets to me. Sometimes the meals are superb, frequently they are not. I am hoping that once the staff get back to full employment and the supply chain is filled up, that these conditions will be ameliorated. But I’m not getting my hopes up just yet.

One thing that I’m pretty sure will remain the same is the seasoning. I find the food to be quite bland. It seems the only spice used is salt. This is likely because many of the older residents here probably prefer it that way, but it would be nice to have the option of properly “seasoned” food.

I haven’t given up on the meals served, and I am hoping that things improve in the coming weeks and months, or maybe with the replacement of the current chef?

When I moved here, I quickly gave up satellite TV. I am now on totally streaming, which is more of an à la carte type thing. That means that I no longer pay for all those expensive sporting events that I never watched. If I had my say, I would do likewise with my dining option. I would much rather pay for what I use rather than having it automatically added to my monthly rent. I think that just having to compete with other options would force some of the quality improvement needed.

4 thoughts on “RetComLife #10 – Dining 🙁…

  1. Both my husband and I prefer spicy foods. I’m also a 100% plant-based eater. I also am particular about the temperature of foods. I do not want cold vindaloo! There are lots of reasons to wonder whether I’d fit in into a similar community here in deep-red Texas, and the food served is one of them.


    1. Yeah, the food is the Achilles heel for me right now. But, there are numerous solutions to that that can easily solve this problem. A mass Grubhub type delivery system to retirement communities is one of them. Why should these communities have to do their own food services, when most are surrounded by business like Red Lobster and such who would love to take that task over?

      Sounds like a future post to me. 🥸


  2. Hello, I am a new reader of your website and am enjoying it. You mentioned walking trails in an earlier post in RetComLife. That would be something that would be at the top of my list but I have a dog. Back to food though, do you have a salad bar? Or is that closed because of covid? Do you order off a menu or is it cafeteria style? Can you take the food back to your apartment?


    1. Welcome to RJsCorner, Summer. I’m glad you are enjoying what you are finding here.

      Let me try to answer your questions. The walking path is also something that is high on my list. In my particular community, they allow dogs up to twenty pounds. I often see the owners on the trail here. Our trail is fully concrete sidewalks and easy to navigate, but have enough slopes to make the .66 mile loop a cardio-exercise.

      The food is primarily a sit down setting with menu in the dining room. But there are also the options of carry-out and delivery, and you can ask for a “doggie bag” to take what you don’t eat. Given the pandemic, there is currently no salad bar. I doubt that there will be one even when it is over. I have only been here for three months, so that is speculation on my part. The menu is made up of about a dozen things that have never changed in my three-months here. There is a daily “Chef’s Special” but I find it a caveat emptor (buyer beware) situation as the quality of the dish varies greatly from day-to-day.

      If you have any other questions on this, or any other post, just let me know.


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