Residents and Staff Nazareth House, San Rafael, CA USA

The menu at Nazareth House San Rafael is as varied as it is delicious, thanks to the chef and culinary staff who cater to the wants and whims of a dining room full of fans.  Residents have come to expect the unexpected and like it a lot. Old favorites are mixed with first-time entrees. Bravo.

Chef Raul Miranda offers diners a long list of mix and match ingredients, encouraging seniors to create a designer omelette.  You call it -- bacon and broccoli or ham and havarti.  Chef Raul gets ovations for his sizzling creations.  

Corn breads, rolls,  pies and cakes share massive ovens in the kitchen’s on-site bakery.  Huge kettles of vegetable and chicken noodle soups simmer on large burners.  Baskets full of freshly picked fruits and vegetables are scrubbed in deep metal sinks.

The aromas stir in the early morning and run through early afternoon. Mouthwatering.

The kitchen and serving staffs are proud of the healthy meals prepared daily. They mix and blend tasty treats ripe with vitamins and minerals, following guidelines set by a dietitian. They strive to meet individual needs with delicious substitutions, ready and able to make special meals for residents with specific dietary restrictions. 

The menu is on a five-week rotation to ensure variety. Diners are encouraged to offer a favorite family recipe for review by kitchen staff.  Some have been folded into the kitchen’s five-week menu rotation schedule.

Turkey, mashed potatoes and herb stuffing gets a round of applause, as does macaroni and cheese, meatloaf and baked sole dotted with crispy tater tots. Soups are an early evening favorite, followed by a rich dessert.  Coffee, tea and conversation are sweet endings to a meal well served.

The aroma is a sensory noon-time dinner bell, inviting residents to a dining room that has the look and feel of an elegant restaurant. Sisters and chefs wander from table to table, encouraging reviews and suggestions.

No detail is overlooked, from china plates and tablecloths to table settings fit for company. Presentation is a big part of the dining experience and residents often invite visiting family members to stay for a bite.