Infirmary fare

Our reviewer says Remedee’s salad bar gives the impression the food was placed there not but 30 seconds ago.

Our reviewer says Remedee’s salad bar gives the impression the food was placed there not but 30 seconds ago.

Photo By David Robert

When one thinks of hospitals, quality cuisine isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. Thus, I was confused when a friend recommended that I check out Remedee’s, a restaurant in the Washoe Professional Center, a wing of Washoe Medical Center. Why would I want to eat in a hospital? Don’t they just serve Jell-O and other awful cafeteria dishes? And isn’t the hospital that wretched place that reminds me of being sick and getting in car accidents?

The hospital is indeed that wretched place that brings back memories of rear-end collisions for me, but on the first floor of the Professional Center, somebody’s made a real effort to disguise the hospital as a resort hotel. There’s a gift shop, a waterfall, plants and other accoutrements of a pleasant getaway. There are a lot of people walking around in medical garb, but that’s fine—just think of it as a different kind of Club Med.

There are two versions of Remedee’s: a sit-down restaurant/buffet and Remedee’s Panini Grill. Because I love food and have the insatiable appetite you would expect from a 400-pound man, I decided to lunch at both.

My mother, who works in the hospital (she’s the director of the Reno Cancer Foundation), suggested we try the grill first. I opted for the “Palermo” ($5.95), a grilled panini sandwich with smoked salmon, arugula, tomato and some mighty fine mascarpone on sourdough. I was impressed. Everything was fresh and left my tongue tingling.

Then we went into the sit-down, get-served variant of Remedee’s. I ordered the Thai chicken stir fry ($6.25), and Mom ordered cheese tortellini with ragu pomodoro sauce ($6.25) from the “Create Your Own Pasta” section. The Thai peanut sauce was far sweeter than it should have been, but the sauce on my mom’s tortellini was pretty tasty.

A trip to the salad bar was only $2 extra with an entrée and therefore difficult to resist. I have a love-hate relationship with salad bars. I love the idea of spooning whatever you want onto your plate and mixing it all together, but salad bars tend to start looking rancid rather quickly. The first great test for a salad bar is whether or not it can fool me into thinking the food was set out only 30 seconds ago. The salad bar at Remedee’s passed this crucial test with flying colors.

They also had delicious-looking desserts on the salad bar tray. I whispered conspiratorially to my mom, “Are those desserts included as part of the salad bar, do you think?” She shrugged. I gave a quick furtive glance around the room and reached for a luscious chocolate-covered strawberry that was beckoning me. An alarm sounded.

When the alarm stopped, a voice came over the intercom, “Code red. Washoe Professional Center. Third Floor. Water Flow.”

We exchanged perturbed glances. “So, do you think we should evacuate?” I asked.

“Well, let’s finish our food first.”

My dining experience was further marred by something really annoying: my water glass sat empty for nearly half an hour until I asked our server to refill it. A quick note to everyone in the food business across the Truckee Meadows: Water is the basis of all life, and without it your patrons will die and will not be able to return to your fine establishments.

There are surprising dining options within Washoe Medical Center, and my recommendation would be to try one of the terrific sandwiches from Remedee’s Panini Grill. Just be sure to stake out the locations of the water fountains, and ignore the strange sounds and announcements that come over the intercom.