Are Your Grandparents Being Served?

James Wong is a man of routine. Every morning, the 63-year-old resident of San Francisco’s Sunset District meets his friends for some tai-chi exercise. Then they decide where to eat lunch. It’s usually at one of three senior centers in the southwest corner of the city. There they can get a hot meal, perhaps even freshly cooked, for $2.

Recently Wong and his crew have added a new element to their routine: dinner at S & E Café or Prince Cooking, two Hong Kong–style cafes in the Outer Sunset. These restaurants that are part of an innovative new program that allows seniors to choose from a special menu of healthy Chinese American favorites and dine with friends and family whenever they want.

“We go there, have a good time, gossip a little bit,” he said. His favorite menu item is fish with curry sauce over pasta. “It’s a good value for us, considering you usually pay $10 to $12 for a dish. Now it’s $3.50 for a dish, a drink, and a little dessert.” He’s a fan, and he knows what a well-run dining program should look like: he previously worked as a restaurant manager at a Mariott hotel in San Mateo.

– Hyphen Magazine

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