No time for fancy restaurants, new stores or even great recipes. The extent of my cuisine in the last 4 weeks has been hospital food, almost green leftovers in the fridge and one nice meal out at Hazelwood Grill, which landed me on the bathroom floor for several hours regurgitating the "special" of the night--what's a little food poisoning in the grand scheme of things?? I decided that would not make for a great review (and possibly a law suit). So...back to the hospital.
Let's back up 11 years (April 6th, 1997 to be exact). After spending 30 some hours in labor and a c-section I was blessed with a beautiful (and large) baby girl AND slow moving intestines. Yeah, yeah I'm getting to the point. I was unable to eat until "my systems started moving". Well that was fine for me, but The Big Guy needs to eat (otherwise we might not be able to call him The Big Guy). He stumbled upon a cafe on the first floor of the hospital and forget the grilled cheese and burgers--he found the best chocolate malt in town. Imagine--in the hospital? OK three more kids and many other visits to the same hospital, including many trips downstairs for a chocolate malt--mostly eaten by The Big Guy, but I did manage a few bites when the doctors weren't looking.
Fast forward to March 2008. Back in the hospital, but no time or energy to think about malts...until Jim (who was not eating much) asks for ice cream! You could see the lightbulb going off in The BIg Guys head--he offers Jim a malt and since he's getting one for Jim...(sounds like a mouse story) why not get one for himself? So I hear this story and can't get the thought of the malt out of my mind. I am at home with five kids and I promise (ok, bribe) them with malts at the hospital if they will "just get ready and get in the car," I didn't need to mention to them that I was planning on getting one anyway.
Finally at the hospital, kids playing nicely in the family room (malts all but forgotten by me), one of the sugar deprived nieces reminds me of my "promise." Well that was all I needed. We traipsed off to the hospital cafe (a little detour as the hospital has remodeled and I couldn't find the cafe--who would have thought to look in the back of the gift shop?!?!) Everyone started ordering (with the remodel also came a new menu filled with many flavors of malts). I was trying to be strong and just eat a little of one of the kids'--I figured with five malts there would have to be some left over for me. However with all the flavors to choose from--NO ONE chose chocolate, what's up with that? So I caved and ordered my own.
I had so many things in my hands that I wasn't able to try my malt before we got back to the family room. When I sat down (mouth watering), opened my magazine and got ready to take a bite of my favorite, long awaited chocolate malt, my brother-in-law and mother-in-law came in and sat down. My mother-in-law (who had not eaten much for several days) asked if she could have a bite of my malt. "Of course" I said knowing there would be plenty--I was happy to share (REALLY...I was). Well you all know what is coming...she ate the whole thing and I mean every drop! The bright side was she really enjoyed it AND I knew I could get another one.
I didn't go back down that day (got wrapped up with the kids and the in-laws and the real reason for being at the hospital in the first place--being with Jim). So the next time I was at the hospital by myself (how'd that happen?) I swung by the cafe and ordered myself a chocolate malt (hey, by this time I really deserved it). Evidently the word had gotten out--THEY WERE OUT OF VANILLA ICE CREAM (that is what they use to make the chocolate malts) AND MALT SYRUP!!! (FOR THE NEXT THREE DAYS!!! I checked!) So I ordered The Big Guy a strawberry shake and figured it was a sign--perhaps the lady behind the counter is a spy for Weight Watchers.
So although I never got my chocolate malt--please do try to order one if you happen to be in the hospital. If you are just in the neighborhood, swing through the "drive thru"--you know, the turn around for dropping off and picking up "patients". By the time they figure out you are inside getting a malt you will be flying down highway 100 sucking down a little piece of heaven.
Methodist Hospital Cafe
Excelsior Blvd, St. Louis Park