Dishing about the dishes

Windsor Run neighbors share insight into the community’s numerous dining options

Created date

May 28th, 2019
(From left) Janet Mercer, Kay Koos, Sherry Herion, Executive Chef Patrick Yeager, Maureen Hlavacek, Barbara Malady, and Kathryne Sanders.

Windsor Run neighbors share what they enjoy most about dining at the Matthews, N.C., community. (Left) Janet Mercer, Kay Koos, Sherry Herion, Executive Chef Patrick Yeager, Maureen Hlavacek, Barbara Malady, and Kathryne Sanders.

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri remarked, “Cooking is all about people. Food is the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people get together to eat.”

For the community members at Windsor Run, an Erickson Living community in Matthews, N.C., dining at one of the three on-site restaurants is an unbeatable culinary treat in lively, social settings.

“The food is wonderful,” says Sherry Herion, a member of the resident dining committee. “We are very fortunate to be blessed by the talents of our amazing chefs. They work hard to meet the wide variety of tastes in our community and do so in a caring and cooperative way. They often come out and talk with diners. Feedback is important to them.”

Every day those who live at Windsor Run enjoy 25 different menu options as well as a number of chef specials offered at three distinct dining venues: The Grove, featuring a menu of pasta, beef, poultry, and seafood selections; The Woodside Café with its short-order favorites like juicy burgers, fresh salads, and deli-style wraps; and Tavern 1879, a casual bar and bistro.

Something for everyone

Executive Chef Patrick Yeager works diligently, leading his team of culinary experts in meeting the needs of the diverse community. 

“It’s our mission to provide our community members with the freshest ingredients and seasonal menus that reflect their tastes and preferences,” he says. 

In addition to daily chef specials, Yeager updates the menus in all three restaurants monthly and completely refreshes the menu to reflect the season each quarter. These decisions are made based on input from Windsor Run’s resident-run dining committee, feedback from community members, and availability of ingredients. 

“I’m always available to talk with residents and encourage them to either fill out a comment card or send me an email,” he says. “I want them to be excited about the food choices.”

Overwhelming support

Community members appreciate the efforts made on their behalf.

“My husband and I are vegetarians, and shortly after our move we talked with Chef Patrick about our desire to enjoy creative options that met our needs,” says Maureen Hlavacek. “He was very responsive. It turns out that there are many other vegetarians here at Windsor Run. I’m happy to report that we enjoy a daily vegetarian menu that includes three to four options. Everything is very good.”

Kay Koos also appreciates the diversity of the menu and the responsiveness of Yeager and his culinary team.

“My husband has some dietary restrictions and is still very happy with the choices he enjoys every day,” says Kay. “He especially loves the pasta dishes. Our son and his wife, who are both vegetarians, often visit us for dinner and love the food. They especially like the stuffed portobello mushroom. Even our grandchildren enjoy eating at Windsor Run. Their favorites are the salads at the café and the flatbreads and burgers in the tavern.” 

Barbara Malady admits she is an adventurous eater and appreciates the many opportunities to try something new.

“If it doesn’t crawl off my plate, then I’m game to try,” she says. “I love trying food I’ve never had before. For instance, I’m not a vegetarian, but I’ve tried many of the dishes and they are yummy. I especially like the beet salad. I’m very pleased with the food here at Windsor Run.”

“I’m the exact opposite,” says Sherry. “I think of myself as a very plain eater. I tend to stick to my favorites, and I’m glad to see favorite dishes on the menu. I especially enjoy the coconut shrimp.”

Janet Mercer admits that one of her favorite aspects of Windsor Run dining are the chef’s daily specials. 

“It’s fun to try something new that Chef Patrick created just for us,” she says. “And typically, if he receives a good response from a special, we will see it on a future menu.”

Attention to detail

In addition to creating dishes that meet the tastes of the community, Yeager and his team provide nutritional information for each and every item they serve.

“We only serve items after we have prepared a recipe,” he says. “That is the only way we can ensure that we provide residents with the nutritional values of each menu option.” 

These nutritional facts are readily available to all community members on Net Nutrition and the My Erickson app. Recipes are also available to residents, to try on their own, by request.

“The cooperation and care of the chefs is very evident,” says Sherry. “They can usually be seen coming out and talking with diners. They are very receptive to comments and feedback.”

Celebrating with food

Responding to the request for special dining opportunities, apart from the daily meals, Yeager and his team prepare a variety of holiday and themed meals throughout the year. 

Last winter the dining services committee approached him about a formal holiday party.

“The best part about the holiday party was giving the chefs the opportunity to show off their best dishes,” says Sherry. “We had a wonderful menu consisting of numerous food stations serving lamb chops, crab cakes, smoked salmon, latkes, etc. It was fabulous.”

“We were happy to put together something that was different from what we offered on a daily basis,” says Yeager. “Based on the holiday party’s huge success, we’ve looked to keep the momentum going, hosting special meals for Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, and Easter.”

Currently, the dining services team is planning some fun, summer dining celebrations including a Fourth of July barbeque. 

“We have a nice grill out on the patio that I know Chef Patrick is looking forward to putting to good use,” says community member Kathryne Sanders. “We know that whatever he has in store for us that it will be the result of careful planning. The Windsor Run community is lucky to enjoy a varied menu of delicious meals each day.”