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rharmelink: Is this in new facilities or ones that have been around for years.

The one (the only one) we visited that had buffet style service was El Castillo in Santa Fe. It has been there for a number of years. The food was good and there was lots of it. Especially desserts, which impressed the Countess.

I am also aware of a Retirement only community in Torrance. I visited some years ago to install some shades in their "community room" which was set up for cards and other games when I was there. At that time they had buffet style meals. I visited them more recently and they have gone to waitered meal service. Could actually be an upgrade?

The one we plan to use has been in place for a long time. They are in cahoots with the Presbyterian Church and an association called "Front Porch" I have not looked into Front Porch much. Maybe I should. All the others I mentioned are new.

There is a fair amount of "bait and switch" at the new facilities. Our next door neighbor moved to a new facility because she was starting to have problems with the food here. They had at least three chefs -- one for bread, one for desserts, one or two for everything else. She loved the food. Fresh bread at every meal. 6 months later they were down to one chef. Food was awful. She moved out.

I wonder what recourse is available in a case like this? The new ones we have seen (and visited) seem well financed. And expensive. I would expect them to stay as they are. The one in Pleasanton has two dining rooms.

We know of several in Santa Barbara that have been there for a long time. Sammarkand is beautiful and has a great dining room. Casa Dorlinda is very much the high priced spread - dress for dinner. I don't expect either of these to change much. One Fool plans to retire there. I won't mention his name - respect his privacy, doncha know.

For all that, some of them seem to be "for profit", so I don't know how much influence the residents may have. But you have given me food for thought. Is it restaurant style food or cafeteria style, I don't know.

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