Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mobilization Cafe, Part 2



I got several comments back on the Mobilization Cafe. A co-worker who is also a Sopranos fan loved the idea that everyone calls it the (long O) Mob Cafe, but it looks like the Mob Cafe--like Tony, Silvio, Paulie, Bobby, et al would be sipping espresso and planning revenge hits.

Alas, there is no repose and no barista. In fact, the coffee is a good instant, but it's instant. And while the food is fairly good and there is lots of it, three meals per day more than 1,000 soldiers eat in just two hours.

At any given time there are more than 100 people in line. At a recent lunch I counted as follows: 50 people outside the door in line, 25 people between the door and the sign-in desk, 50 more between the desk and the serving line. It took 12 minutes to get to the sign-in desk, then 12 more minutes to get to the servers. Two minutes later I got the hot foot, dessert and went through the salad bar. Two more minutes to get drinks. Usually, I come to chow alone because of checking something on line or talking to someone. So while I am waiting, I look for someone who is 20 or 30 people ahead I can eat half of lunch with them. Typically, we eat in 10 to 15 minutes, so if you sit with someone who got their food 10 minutes before, they are done two minutes after you sit down. There are also a few of the older enlisted men who get to chow early and eat slow, so I can sit with them even if they have been eating for 15 minutes.

Today, the dinner choices were spaghetti with meat sauce, baked or fried chicken, and lasagna. Squash, baked or mashed potatoes and corn on the cob for vegetables. The fast foods tonight were corn dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches. A salad bar with fruit and about five dessert choices are available at every meal. The food really is pretty good. The plates and cups are styrofoam, the silverware is white plastic.

Family Black Sheep Flies a MEDEVAC Blackhawk

Brooklyn-born Amira Talifi, (not her real name) is a helicopter pilot I served with in the Army National Guard. She is one of seven ch...