Everything is seemingly more expensive these days, and amid the aftermath of the record inflation this past year, restaurant prices continue to soar, surpassing the rise in other food costs. In fact, according to recent research from PYMNTS, around 58% of U.S. consumers aren’t willing to pay full price to dine at their favorite establishments. It’s these same consumers that are actively seeking alternative ways to enjoy eating out without having to pay an arm and a leg.
One popular strategy, which you’ve likely heard of, is meal prepping. This strategy entails purchasing family-sized meals from restaurants and stretching them across multiple days to cut costs.
Another alternative approach is looking for food spots that offer reasonable prices. Strangely enough, one of those food spots is the hospital.
Adventurous food explorer Dre, known as @dreindallas on TikTok user, shared a now-viral video with an unexpected discovery — a surprisingly inexpensive meal spot within his local hospital.
Dre recently posted a video where he visited the cafeteria at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. While there, he shared his insider tip for how great of a place to eat it is. In the video, he mentions that he comes here all the time to grub out. His clever strategy entails the fact that “no one knows you’re not in the hospital.”
In an email to the Daily Dot, Dre shared his journey of discovering the unexpectedly delightful taste of hospital food after his stint in the ICU. Two years ago, he found himself in a challenging spot with a rare blood disorder called TTP. During his ICU stay, he experienced the hospital’s culinary offerings firsthand.
Recalling his 28-day stay, he talked about how grateful he was for the cafeteria staff, emphasizing how comforted the food made him feel.
“It’s as if I was enjoying home-cooked meals every day,” he said.
Not only did the hospital play a pivotal role in his medical care, but also in providing nourishing meals during hard times.
The comments section of Dre’s video was filled with others sharing their positive experiences with hospital food. One user fondly reminisced about visiting the cafe while their mother was pregnant, describing the food as “hot and bussing.”
Some else proudly claimed to be the lead cook at their local hospital’s cafe and bragged about how even the local police frequently visit to enjoy the food they make.
Numerous other TikTokers chimed in about the appeal of hospital cafeteria food. For some, it has become an enjoyable, budget-friendly dining choice. One person even said that they and their spouse often head to the hospital to enjoy the inexpensive offerings they have.
The consensus? Certain hospital cafeterias can be hidden gems in the food world, especially with how expensive it’s getting to eat out at your average restaurant. Thanks for the tip, Dre! Hopefully, the lines at UT Southwestern don’t get crazy!