So, How Is the Food, Really?
Residents Share How It Is at One of the Top Retirement Communities in North Carolina
One of the most exciting aspects of moving to one of the retirement communities in North Carolina, such as Springmoor, is being freed from the hassles of cooking, cleaning and meal prepping. Whether you’re a total foodie or just appreciate the comfort of a homestyle meal, dining at a community like Springmoor caters to just what you like: a range of cuisine for every taste, prepared by culinary experts who use the freshest and most flavorful ingredients. The goal for every meal—every day—is to provide a delicious, nutritious and delightful experience.
So, how is the food, really? It’s easy to look at a sample menu and maybe see a photo or two, but what is the food actually like every day at the retirement communities in North Carolina? To find out, we spoke to a handful of community members who live here at Springmoor, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Raleigh, and their answers provided a hearty helping of insider info.
Dale and Camilla Matzinger, who have lived at Springmoor since 2012, have been enjoying the food here even before they moved here! They tasted Springmoor’s restaurant-quality meals while visiting friends initially and came away impressed.
“Before we lived here, many of our friends from church lived here,” Camilla shared. “One time, we got invited by one couple from Sunday school to come here for lunch. Dale and I ordered off the menu, we each had something different, and both meals were excellent. I was really surprised.”
Fred Watkins moved to Springmoor nearly three years ago and he figured that by now he might be growing tired of the food here. However, he and his wife have been pleasantly surprised with how that hasn’t happened at all. Actually, it’s the opposite.
“You can always find something you like,” Fred said. “For every meal there’s options with meat [beef, chicken, fish] and meals that are vegetarian. There’s also all kinds of good and fresh things on the salad bar like tuna salad and chicken salad, plus there’s always baked potatoes and sweet potatoes.”
Choices, choices, choices
When we spoke to Dale, Camilla and Fred, they all said the same thing about the bountiful dining options and food choices at Springmoor: “If you can’t find something here you like, you must not like anything!”
Between Springmoor’s North and South villages, each has its own traditional dining room and casual bistro. The dining rooms and bistros are open for lunch and dinner, which provide flexibility and choice. You aren’t tied to fixed seating times or assigned tables. Just like with the independent and dynamic lifestyle at Springmoor as a whole, you can do as you please, when you please.
“If you don’t feel like eating in the dining room, or if you want a lighter, quicker meal, there’s always the bistro,” Fred explained.
Camilla agreed, saying, “Sometimes, when we just want a sandwich or a delicious soup, we’ll go to the bistro instead of the main dining room.”
And when it comes down to the specific meal choices, Dale summed it up: “At the dining room, there are three assorted entrées available for every meal. But if you want a different entrée than what is on the menu, you can always choose from the salmon, chicken, vegetable and pizza options that are available anytime. There’s always something good!”
Special meals and special experiences
For Dale and Camilla, they’ve eaten some of their favorite—and most memorable— meals during Springmoor’s many special events that occur throughout the year.
“We just recently had an Oktoberfest special event here with music from a German folk band, and special food, of course,” Camilla said. “The food was delicious; I’d never seen so many kinds!”
She also mentioned Springmoor’s semiannual galas, which feature special menus and special service. At the galas, Springmoor’s leadership team serves the meal!
Adding to the special dining experiences available by reservation at Springmoor is a “Dine with the Chef” option that allows a group of 10 people to eat with Springmoor’s head chef, Dennis Daly, and see firsthand how he prepares some of the community’s favorite dishes.
Beyond the bigger occasions, Springmoor also offers regularly occurring special menus that are a favorite throughout the community.
“Just the other night we had a special steak night,” Dale said. “That was very good. You could get it cooked just the way you like. One of my other favorites is the shrimp night; the sautéed shrimp is my favorite dish here.”
For Fred, his favorites come from the special “prime meal” menu that Springmoor offers. He likes that prime meals are regularly available, so if you feel like ordering filet mignon or lobster tail, all you have to do is order in advance. The prime meals also include special desserts, making them a great option for when you’re celebrating special occasions with family or friends.
Cooking up convenience
Aside from the delicious meals, one of the best things about the dining options at Springmoor is how convenient they are. While you certainly can cook for yourself in your own residence, most members of this community choose to enjoy the on-site restaurants daily. It saves all the time associated with shopping, prepping, cooking and cleaning—giving you more time to enjoy Springmoor’s amenities or to simply relax at home.
“I don’t do a whole lot of cooking,” Camilla explained, “So we usually make something for ourselves for breakfast, but then go to the dining room or bistro for our meals.”
Similarly, Fred and his wife visit Springmoor’s restaurants for virtually all of their meals. Often, they will go to the dining room for lunch and grab a bite at the bistro for dinner or vice versa. And with Springmoor’s ample meal plans, they always get their fill.
An added benefit of visiting Springmoor’s dining venues is the great opportunity to share a meal with new and longtime friends, just like how the Matzingers became introduced to Springmoor in the first place.
Plus, the Springmoor dining staff members operate with the members of the community in mind. They constantly seek feedback to make the dining experience as enjoyable as possible so that dining at Springmoor isn’t just convenient, but always delicious, too.
“They work very hard to please us,” Camilla said. “I’ve been on the food committee here for four years and I see how the dining staff values our feedback. There are comment cards in the dining room, and we can share how we liked certain meals. I’ve seen them adjust the menu many times to respond to our preferences.”
With such a variety of foods available to try and enjoy, Dale jokingly lamented having so many dining options at Springmoor: “If you’re not careful, you can actually gain a lot of weight!” he chuckled.
To get a taste of the delightful dining experience at Springmoor, we invite you to join us for one of our signature “Meet the Chef” events. Hosted by Chef Dennis, you’ll be treated to a variety of delicious seasonal dishes that highlight the talents of our culinary experts. Simply click here or call 919-651-4844 today to get in touch about our next event.