The budget got kind of tight for a second in April. I was doing alright. I had a roof over my head and clean underwear every day. It's just that I had to cut some frivolities like bookstore trips and pastries. Also, I decided to go to work early so that I could attend Nougatine's family meal.
We have employee meals everyday for lunch and dinner. The times are 11-2 then 4-6 or something like that. All the workers in Trump Tower can partake. I had heard some bad reviews about the cafeteria which is why I hadn't explored the option earlier. Someone looking for the family meal cook would say something like, "Where's Sleepy Pete?" Someone would answer, "I don't know, probably cooking bad food somewhere." I would ask a chef, "Should I put these scallion scraps in a bigger container before I put them on the family meal shelf? I don't want them to get all slimy and gross." The chef would reply, "What's the point? Sleepy Pete is going to cut them with a dull knife and cook them until you can't recognize them."
I had my reservations about family meal, though, sometimes, Sleepy Pete fried some chicken or baked some meatballs in our kitchen, and I sampled the product. That was always a pretty good pre-service snack.
So it turns out, Family meal is terrible.
The primary offering is either chicken or ground beef in all there various forms. Most of the time, the protein is covered with tomato sauce. Other times, it has a gooey, cornstarch sauce that tastes mostly of salt and vaguely of cumin. Bits of green things can be found in these sauces- could be green pepper, could be scallion, could be sanitizer bucket. I've learned not to mess with the main course. Occasionally, I'll eat it when there's some noodles in there. Even then, I have to cover it with ladle full of Frank's hot sauce. That's a thing. They offer hot sauce by the ladle.
The side for the entree is usually something like white rice or white rice with corn or white rice with beans. All of these are manageable with a couple ladles of hot sauce.
They have burgers once or twice a week with iceberg lettuce and sliced raw onions as toppings. That's alright. They had tomatoes once. I like to use what they have at the salad bar for burger toppings: iceberg lettuce, chickpeas, roasted beets, corn, shredded carrots, and sliced radishes. I think they had peas once. There's six dressings: russian, italian, greek, and three ranchy-looking substances of different consistencies.
You could eat a sandwich if you want. They have jelly. I haven't found peanut butter, just empty jars. They have sliced ham and sliced turkey and sliced American cheese. That's the only cheese that I've seen in the cafeteria. (We're a very patriotic company.) The thing is, the sandwich game only works if you feel like rye bread. We only serve rye bread.
Usually, I have a ham on rye with beats, carrots, radishes, and the most viscous ranch offered. Once, I was hungry enough to eat three burgers: burger with carrots, burger with radishes, and burger with beets, each with a different ranch. I felt like I was on candid camera. The guy next to me was eating a cheese and garbanzo bean and jelly sandwich. He decided on the rye bread that day.