Reporter Samples Food at San Francisco County Jail

San Francisco is known for world-class food, but what's on the menu inside the County Jail?

SFGate reporter Beth Spotswood was granted a rare look at a typical inmate meal plan at one of the local lockups (number five, located outside the county in San Bruno). There, breakfast is served at 4 a.m., lunch at 9 a.m., and dinner at 4 p.m. — all with spoons only, no forks or knives.

She discovered that meals are planned six weeks in advance by Aramark and that the meals are all different on that time cycle. A dietician is said to design the meals, but there are still occasional sweet treats, like the chocolate donuts served one recent morning. Chicken on the bone and something called "fish squares" seem to get the best feedback at dinner, she learned.

Outside of the provided meals, inmates can purchase snacks of the vending machine variety through the commissary.

Spotswood didn't indulge in the full tasting menu, but she told NBC Bay Area that she sampled some peanut butter, which is typically served with two pieces of wheat bread and three grape jelly packets, and found it "surprisingly delicious."

"It was smooth, not crunchy, and the perfect blend of processed yet natural," she said.

Yelp reviews of the facility's PB&J sandwiches haven't been quite as complimentary, though: One guest who stayed briefly referred to the peanut butter as "generic," with the tendency to "stick in your colon."

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