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A new $2 million restaurant recently opened on Grider Street. It just happens to be in a hospital.

Steve Hotz, campus system director for Morrison food service, oversees the new Great Lakes Cafe, on the second floor at Erie County Medical Center, which marked its grand opening last week. The redesigned hospital cafeteria is far more open and inviting, with a host of healthy, made-to-order meal options.

Hotz, who grew up outside Cleveland, feels right at home in the new space, and credits his wife, Johnna, a physician’s assistant and registered dietitian, for his eating acumen.

How has your wife succeeded in keeping you on the straight and narrow, dietwise?

She looks to cook with all modifications. When she bakes anything, she uses applesauce instead of oil. It’s a great substitute you cannot detect tastewise. She looks for lean poultry and meats. She’s a salad entrée eater, so I have defaulted over time to do the same.

What would a typical Friday or Saturday date night dinner be for you?

Just a big bowl of salad: four bags of mixed greens from Wegmans, garbanzo beans, green olives, red peppers, cucumbers. We would also get a flatbread Wegmans frozen pizza, a vegetable pizza. Mostly salad and a little bit of flatbread pizza. If we have pizza nowadays, it’s from the frozen section of either Wegmans or Walmart. You get a decent portion of the carbs that way without killing yourself.

– Scott Scanlon

On the Web: Read more about the Great Lakes Cafe at blogs.buffalonews.com/refresh