Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Eating at the EP

After having eaten in the EC canteens for 5 months last year, now it was time to explore the EP ones. I had been there once when I was there for a meeting, but now, eating there everyday for lunch, I can give a better input on what can you expect from their cuisine.

Every week you can see on the intranet which is the weekly menu. The menu always has a theme (for example, as you can see below, this week is the Fairtrade week), so there will be some dishes available related to that theme. You have several dishes to choose from and they are all displayed at the entrance so you can see them before ordering (at least that´s how it works in the Altiero Spinelli building canteen, which is the one I use). All of them, except for the pasta (which is around 4€) cost 5€. The EP trainees have a 0,50€ discount on that price (upon presentation of their badge), but the MEP trainees have no discount.

(this week´s menu - click on the image to enlarge)

You also always have two kinds of soup, starters, a salad bar, grilled options, sandwiches and desserts (there´s always the "dessert of the day", which is cheaper than the rest). This was my lunch today:

Lentil soup, chicken tajine with olives, candied lemon and wheat semolina and stuffed pancake with raspberry

I usually bring from home some fruit, cookies and yogurt, that I keep in my office and eat in the middle of the morning/afternoon, so for lunch I have only the main dish. Considering that I don´t have the trainees´ discount and, even if I had, it was not that much, I would say the trainees´option to have the plat du jour at the EC canteens is more economic (even though I have read that from now on such discount is not applicable anymore, as the EC "forgot" to include such rule in the contract negotiated with the newly contracted company to provide the canteen service). But I also think that this EP canteen has more variety to choose from than the EC ones and you can end up eating a better option. In general, both canteens have food quite different from the Portuguese (healthy!) standards I am used to (opinion shared by other Portuguese people working here!), as everything is always covered with sauce, have lots of spices and salt, and tastes a bit "processed". But you can always arrange something that satisfies you and fills your empty tummy during lunch time!

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