I really enjoyed Kim Severson's poignant piece on hospital food in today's NY Times, in part because I just spent the better part of two days at New York-Presbyterian Hospital (formerly Columbia Presbyterian) in upper Manhattan tending to my son, who had an emergency appendectomy. He's fine now, but it was a rough 48 hours. Within hours of the surgery, his appetite came back with a vengeance. I asked the doctor if I could go get him some great fried chicken at New Caporal, a mere ten blacks from the hospital. To my surprise, the doctor said I could get Will whatever he wanted, that by the time whatever he was going to eat made its way to his intestinal tract it would be the same. I was on my way to New Caporal when I spotted the Jou Jou Cafe kiosk in the lobby of the hospital. I was delighted to find sandwiches and salads that looked really good. I ordered a grilled Vermont Cheddar with chipotle on good bread, and a grilled mixed Italian cold cut sandwich (both sandwiches were made in one of those Italian sandwich presses). My son was thrilled when I returned to the room with the two sandwiches. His jello period had come to a premature end. So if you or a loved one find yourself at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, head for the Jou Jou Cafe kiosk. It closes at 3:30 every day, but the original Jou Jou Cafe serves the same food at 603 W. 168th Street, right around the corner from the hospital, and it's open until 4 a.m. every day. By the way, don't be tempted by a slice of pizza at Famiglia, on Broadway between 168th and 169th Sts. It's NY street pizza at its most generic. Note to Kim: The hospital lasagna didn't look too bad. The string beans looked very tired. What my son really feasted on was the wireless keyboard in the hospital room that he used to change channels, play video games, and watch movies on demand.
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