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Kytja Weir reports that Metro board members have been eating quite well at meetings. Sure, there aren’t any $16 muffins, but the 12-member board’s hot lunches average about $20 per person, and include some tasty sounding menu items that fuel the tough decision-making.

Metro’s board of directors grappled one day in March with how to fill a $72 million gap in the budget: Cut back bus and train service or ask local governments to pony up more taxpayer-funded subsidies?

Then they lunched on what a caterer dubbed Plato’s Pairing: typically Athenian chicken roulade stuffed with spinach and feta paired with a mushroom wine sauce, plus red snapper in dill cream sauce over a bed of pearl couscous. Also on the menu was jasmine-scented rice, asparagus with lemon, bread, Caesar salad and assorted cookies, according to an invoice.

A Post story from 2006 described the evolution of the board’s lunch: Cheap Chinese food on fine china (which was later deemed ‘inappropriate’ and switched out for paper plates), then cold sandwiches, and then lamb and salmon after board members requested hot lunches. After the Post story ran, Weir reports, the board returned to sandwiches for a few months, but now they’re back to spending upward of $13,000 on fish with cream sauces and mixed greens.

I put in a call to Cristina Frezzo, a customer service rep at W. Millar Catering, the company that used to feed the Metro board before the Post report, and she says that while pricing varies in order to “create variety” in meals, $20 is fairly standard for a hot lunch.

Still, it sounds like a lot—-especially in comparison to the single occasion when the board ate Potbelly sandwiches at an average of $7 per person. Last I heard, Potbelly is well known for its toasty sandwiches. Perhaps a compromise is in order?

Photo by Trustella via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License