Department Store Lunching

I have fond memories of my grandmother Kinney taking us to the local department store, either Woodward & Lothrop (“Woodie’s”) or Hecht’s, when we went to visit. (Sadly, Hecht’s was bought by the May Co. and Woodie’s closed in 1995.) She usually bought us girls an outfit, and then took us to lunch in the cafe. My standard at the time was a grilled cheese sandwich and I’m sure I had a milkshake or root beer with it. I felt very special, indeed.

Fast forward a few decades, and for the most part, eating at lunch at a department store these days isn’t all that special. The salad bar at Meier and Frank, now closed, was fun because of the old furnishings but that food was just adequate. Nordstrom is close to my office but it takes a long while to get one’s food and it’s a bit pricey. Maybe being a kid full of wonder (and not having to pay my own way) has changed my perspective a bit. As a young woman, I worked at the Lord & Taylor cafe, which further tarnished my memory of the department store lunch. I did get to meet Scatman Crothers one day, which was fun.

© 2012 Todd Mecklem

Ah, but then there’s Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Just walking into the 1893 historic building is a treat. If you look up, there’s a beautiful Belle Epoque glass and domed ceiling. There are a number of restaurants but I like the self-serve cafe the best.

The food court is pretty amazing, as are the views of the Eiffel Tower and the rest of Paris. Todd and I had lunch there one day, and I was very happy with my prosciutto and cantaloupe plate. The cantaloupe was ripe and sweet, the perfect contrast to the prosciutto. Oh, and they have beer, wine, and good, strong cappuccino. It’s the perfect spot to relax, grab a bite to eat, watch the people, and gaze out over Paris rooftops.


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