The Bistro On Baraga

MARQUETTE — Carol Holman is excited about the Bistro on Baraga, the retail outlet for the food services department at the new UP Health System-Marquette hospital.

“Of course, our focus is still on taking care of the patients, following the dietary guidelines for them and providing tasteful, healthy food for them,” said Holman, director of food services at UPHS-Marquette and a registered dietitian.

“And we’re very excited about the Bistro on Baraga, which is an opportunity for people to come to enjoy what we have there and to be in the Bistro’s peaceful, welcoming environment. This is not just geared toward staff and patients’ families. We are having people come in from the outside to enjoy a meal, maybe on their lunch break. The food and the atmosphere are outstanding.”

The first day of operation, the Bistro saw a 50 percent increase in sales over the former cafe in the old UPHS building. That’s leveled off to about a 35 percent increase in sales, and that may rise as the community discovers the many new offerings at the Bistro on Baraga.

“We, for instance, now offer rotisserie chicken,” Holman said. “And we at times have rotisserie ribs. We still have our standard favorites, like salmon. About 85 or 90 percent of what we offer is from scratch, including our delicious soups and wonderful desserts.”

A variety of choices are available throughout the day at the Bistro, which is open from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.

“For breakfast, there are a variety of choices as well as featured specials like, for example, croissant sandwiches,” Holman said. “At 11 a.m., lunch begins. Monday through Friday we offer a chef’s table. For instance, Thursday we have a chop house with steak and fish prepared to order.”

For those looking for food to go, there are a lot of options including gluten-free items and vegetarian offerings.

“And we’ve added an ice cream machine which features ice cream from Jilbert’s Dairy which has a wonderful consistency,” Holman said. “There are grab-and-go items available as well.”

The Bistro on Baraga is making changes to become more environmentally conscious, she said.

“We’re transitioning from Styrofoam to fibrous materials,” Holman said. “And we offer a place where people can put their plasticware for recycling. We recycle cardboard and have recycled the oils we use for quite some time. We’re taking steps to continue to reduce waste.”

The kitchen pulverizes leftovers to cut back on the amount of waste that has to be disposed of, she said.

The transitioning is made possible, she said, because of the Food and Nutrition staff.

“Our employees are outstanding. They want to give a great experience to others. They are passionate about what they do and are focused on providing the best service possible,” Holman said.

“Food is medicinal and it’s a social event. Both can be accomplished at the Bistro on Baraga.”

Holman encourages the community to give the new restaurant a try.

“Anyone who remembers the old facility remembers it was in a pretty dark area of the building,” she said. “The Bistro on Baraga with its beautiful windows and with outside seating available, has a real calming effect. People are going to like that.”

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