natalie ramos articles
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
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Sat, 2013-05-11 15:40
Street foods and onsite menu items have a lot in common:eaten on the go but enjoyed to the fullest.
The world’s best street foods intersect with Friday lunch in a Virginia hospital's cafe.
A Mexican-South American fusion flatbread (left) and a classic Cubano sandwich are part of a
grab-and-go meets street foodpromotion at Fauquier Hospital.
Natalie Ramos didn’t wantyour run-of-the-mill international food promotion forthe caféat
Fauquier Hospital, a 97-bed facility in Warrenton, VA. She wanted to take a detour into the side
streets of Latin America, Asia, Mexicoand Greece.
The result is Street Fair Fridays, where Ramos, director of food and nutrition services, Unidine
Corp., says customers are regularly immersing themselves in variations on world foods like a
Japanese-style shrimp burger or chickentandoori sandwiches.
“Wechoose a different region of the world every month,” Ramos says. “Instead of the dishes
everyone knows,we offerfoods that fall more into the street foodcategory. The things you’d find if
you visited these countries. People are really interested in it. Youdon’t see this kind of food
everywherein the middle of Virginia.”
Health is obviously an important part of everyday menu planning in the café, and the worldstreet
foodselections workreally well to this end: grain salads, burgers made withshrimp or chicken and
vegetarian dishes keep things light.
Eachstation in the cafe—whilestill offering regular deli, salad and hot line items—is set up with
one ‘street fair’ item so customers can get a taste of say, carvedpork at one, and enchiladas at
another. Check out some of the menu items offered on Street Fair Fridays:
Latin themed entrees include carvedLechon Asado. Lechon (succulentroast pork) is found in many
countries, including the Philippines,Cuba,Puerto Rico andthe DominicanRepublic.Another
station serves chicken enchiladas. Also: a zucchini squash medley and cilantro-garlic roasted
One dish served on the Latin-themed Fridays is a flatbread that takes an unexpected turn: the
Grilled Chicken Breast withChimichurri, Pepper-JackCheese and Picode Gallo (at right). The
Pepper-Jackand Picode Gallo are clearly in Mexicanif not TexMexterritory, while the
Chimichurri is straight fromSouthAmerica.It’s the go-to sauce in Argentina, Nicaragua and
Uruguay. Made like a pesto withparsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano and white or red wine vinegar, the
flavorsare in-your-face(in a good way)
Spice-fragranced dishes fromIndia include shrimp skewered on kebobs and served with grilled
naan (bread) and ‘pocketsnack’ style Indian lamb samosas withcurried lentils. Chicken tandoori
sandwiches are another good mobile option, as is a bowl of mixed vegetable curry with cilantro-
cumin Basmati rice.
Many Indian dishes are meatless, making this a good country to visit if your customers tend to be
flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan.
Anyone who’s seen the TravelChannel or the Cooking Channel lately knowsthat Asiais one of the
best places on earth to get street food.The region is well represented on Street Fair Fridays. Check
out these Asian-fusion creations that customers can choose from:
VietnameseShrimp Summer Rolls with Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce
Japanese-styleShrimp Burger witha Warm Asian Slaw
Laos-styleChicken Salad served withGinger Rice Noodles and Grilled Flat Bread
The Greekentrees highlight the country’s classic ‘lemon-olives-oliveoil’ flavor profilewhile
keeping the grab and go fun going: Lamb Kebobs with MediterraneanRice;Middle Eastern
Chicken (again, fusion plays a part in creating the items) with Bulgur Wheat; and Spicy Chicken
Burgers with Tabouli Salad.
Thu, 2013-06-27 11:13
Grain salads can incorporate—and elevate—any healthful mix-ins or house-made dressings you’d
like to show off.
The Fresh Herb and Barley Salad at Fauquier Hospital is a celebration of colorfulveggies, bright
green herbs and a healthful grain.
The Fresh Herb and Barley Salad (above) is one of the grain salads we feature on our Bistro’s salad
bar. Every day we typically have three healthy salads made withcombinations of grains, fresh herbs
and veggies fromthe hospital’s Healing Garden and our house-made salad dressings.
“Tabbouleh (the classic Middle Eastern cold grain salad) is easy to
prepare: bulgur wheat tossed withparsley, mint leaves, tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice and oil.
Customers like the fresh flavors and the dressings, especially the warm bacon vinaigrette. Another
salad is Spicy Lentil Salad, withBasmati rice, veggies, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom and star
“Westarted gettinginvolvedwithMeatless Mondayandbeganofferingmorevegan/vegetariangrain
“Weuse farro, wheatberries, bulgur, rice and quinoa. A campus
favoriteis Chef Rodney’s Quinoa Salad withGolden Raisins and Petite Vegetables. He showcased
this dish on localTV.
—RodneyStockett,Chef and DrewNiemann,GeneralManager,DiningServices,CabriniCollege,
“Westuff an Anaheim pepper with a quinoa salad. It’s served coldand has a Mexican flavorprofile.
“The salad has fresh tomatoes, red onions, cilantro,chives and Cotija cheese.
“The flavorsare super fresh, and the stuffed pepper makes it a little different way to serve a cold
“Weusually use a mix of red, whiteand black quinoa, just to get a great colorcombination.”
—Nick Sortore,Chefde Cuisine,Parker AdventistHospital,Parker,CO