The café at PKIMC: Cheapest lunch in town

The few morsels left in the café’s cooler suggest that the members of the Epic team don’t care much for cornbread or carrots. I found a nice chicken salad at the café; my husband had a sandwich. (Suzanne Bobo photo)

Employees at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center recently hosted an enthusiastic team of some 20 epic visitors.

Actually, that should read: Epic visitors.

The team was in town to help staff switch to a new method for hospital record keeping, a digital system called Epic.

I may be the only non-PKIMC employee in town who was told my life would be changed by Epic. I suppose this has something to do with the fact that I’m a charter member of the hospital’s MVP Gold Member club.

I’m not bragging, just saying, that I know the first name of each of the nurses working there, and which ones have dogs with anxiety issues.

I’ve worn grooves into the cushions of the chairs outside the radiology department.

I can tell who’s pulling ER duty by a casual glance at the parking lot.

And because my finger is on the pulse of the medical center, I felt the impact of Epic before the training team even left the island.

That’s because I like to eat in the hospital’s café, and my husband and I stopped there for lunch one day while the Epic team was still in town.

And, you know, those people can eat! The cooler that usually holds a multitude of fresh salads looked like Egypt after the locusts.

You might wonder: Why would a Gold Member patient choose to dine at the hospital café?

The answer is: why wouldn’t I?

PKIMC’s café is open seven days a week from 7:15 a.m. until 5:45 p.m. It’s conveniently located, and it has cheap coffee, free Wi-Fi, and tables large enough that I can spread out my work and not crowd anyone else.

The café offers a regular menu plus specials for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On the day my husband and I ate there, the lunch special included a generously proportioned Philly steak sandwich (with heaps of grilled onion and a thick layer of melted cheese), a pasta salad and a side of vegetables.

I didn’t choose the special. I found instead (at the very bottom of the cooler where no Epic expert would stoop) a green salad with grilled chicken. My husband ordered a sliced turkey sandwich, made to order. We both ordered beverages.

We were served within minutes of our arrival by friendly and helpful staff, who seemed to be happy we were there.

We sat on comfortable chairs in a large, pleasant room that offered a great view of the Woody Island Channel.

We enjoyed meals made with juicy meat and fresh vegetables (very lightly salted; this was a hospital, after all).

We ate against a backdrop of scintillating conversation that reminded me vaguely of an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

We enjoyed all this for $5 apiece.

Where else in Kodiak is this possible?

PKIMC’s café is located on the first floor of the hospital at 1915 East Rezanof Drive, nearest the entrance to the hospital’s long-term care center.

It’s a great place to stop for a snack or a meal if you’re out walking along Rezanof Drive or through Kodiak’s East neighborhood — or even if you’re just driving by the hospital to run errands or commute to work.

I can’t say that the food is epic, but it’s good; the service is great, and the price is definitely right.

Suzanne Bobo is the author with Brittany Tregarthen of The Road Going: A Mother, A Daughter, An Extraordinary Journey, available at online bookstores.

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