News: Soldiers serve up memorable meals at Mountain Eagle Café
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – The Mountain Eagle Café dining facility is one of seven dining facilities on Bagram Air Field and is one of the few managed and operated by an all-service member staff. The soldiers assigned to Headquarters Support Company, Task Force Mountain Eagle, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, cook and serve meals to hundreds of service members and civilians and from all over the base, with an average daily headcount of 3,000.
“I’ve been the rations non-commissioned officer in charge since we’ve arrived in country, and I take pride in making sure that the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade dining facility receives top quality products while deployed,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Charity Edwards of Gainesville, Fla.
In spite of limited resources, the soldiers involved in cooking and preparing the meals take great pride in the quality of product they provide.
The facility not only serves a variety of food, it modifies its menu constantly to improve the quality and creativity of the dishes served.
Specialty meals include Mexican Monday, Asian Tuesday, Italian Wednesday and surprise meals on Thursdays. Each Friday, Mountain Eagle Café provides a surf and turf meal with steaks, grilled the traditional way on an outside grill, and seafood. Popularity for this meal has grown so much that the preparation sometimes starts as early as Wednesday.
The Mountain Eagle Café also presents a chicken wing bar with 6 to 8 different styles of sauces on Saturdays. Sundays, customers can enjoy brunch early in the day and a soul food dinner with homemade cobbler and corn bread in the evening.
“The soul food dinners are amongst the best I’ve ever tasted, so I decided to take out time to assist these outstanding soliders with preparation of the dinner meal,” said U.S. Army Capt. Carl Jackson of Fayette, Miss., HSC, TF Mountain Eagle, executive officer. “I enjoyed the time, professionalism and dedication they [have] shown from start to finish, and I look forward to doing it again in the near future.”
The Mountain Eagle Café dining facility also serves lunch and midnight chow to its customers on the east side of Bagram Air Field. Due to split operations and varying shift work, soldiers on the east side are unable to get back and forth to chow, so the soldiers of The Mountain Eagle Café take chow to them. The average headcount from the east side is 150 per meal.
The Mountain Eagle Café dining facility remains one of the most versatile dining facilities on Bagram Air Field. The soldiers in the Mountain Eagle Café prepare and make food trays, fruit trays and pastries for various special events. These events and activities are a creative and diverse way for the soldiers to use their training to make something fun and enjoyable.
“I enjoy their offering of a healthy variety of food groups, and I look forward to the meals daily,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph Wilder of Atlanta, a military intelligence non-commissioned officer with HSC, TF Mountain Eagle.
The Mountain Eagle Café may be a small facility, but surprisingly its headcount has at times reached very large numbers.
“Our daily headcount has reached as high as 1,900 for one single meal,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Reed of Marked Tree, Ark., and DFAC non-commissioned officer in charge. “It is because of its popularity and high quality meals that bring in such an impressive amount of people. The good reputation that this facility has had in the past has only been outshined by the amount of hard work that the soldiers have put into it since the beginning of the deployment, making the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade's Mountain Eagle Café the preferred dining facility on Bagram Air Base.”