By Damien Jaques Senior Contributing Editor Published May 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Last week’s debut of the Outpost Market Cafe at the Aurora Sinai Medical Center is great news and I hope the start of a trend. The cafe, located in the Aurora Sinai main lobby, is being operated by Outpost Natural Foods, the co-op that owns supermarkets in Bay View, the East Side and in Wauwatosa.

 At only 225-square feet, the eatery is small, but it is giving hospital visitors, staff and the surrounding neighborhood the opportunity to grab Outpost’s made-from-scratch soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and baked goods. Hallelujah!

 I have long been amused and appalled at the dining options offered to families and friends of hospital patients. During the final three decades of his life, my father was under cardiac care that required occasional hospitalizations at several different facilities. I would be in his room when he was encouraged to eat intelligently and follow a heart-healthy diet, and then I would go in search of my lunch in the building.

 Time and again, my options were not only unappetizing. They were a bad joke of high-calorie fried and processed foods, precisely what my dad was supposed to avoid. I would usually leave the hospital for a fast food joint that almost always gave me better choices.

 Congratulations Outpost and Aurora Sinai. May your healthy partnership prosper and grow.








Damien Jaques Senior Contributing Editor

Damien has been around so long, he was at Summerfest the night George Carlin was arrested for speaking the seven dirty words you can't say on TV. He was also at the Uptown Theatre the night Bruce Springsteen's first Milwaukee concert was interrupted for three hours by a bomb scare. Damien was reviewing the concert for the Milwaukee Journal. He wrote for the Journal and Journal Sentinel for 37 years, the last 29 as theater critic.

During those years, Damien served two terms on the board of the American Theatre Critics Association, a term on the board of the association's foundation, and he studied the Latinization of American culture in a University of Southern California fellowship program. Damien also hosted his own arts radio program, "Milwaukee Presents with Damien Jaques," on WHAD for eight years.

Travel, books and, not surprisingly, theater top the list of Damien's interests. A news junkie, he is particularly plugged into politics and international affairs, but he also closely follows the Brewers, Packers and Marquette baskeball. Damien lives downtown, within easy walking distance of most of the theaters he attends.