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Although theres a limited menu and a staggered start for food service on local ferries, the initial offerings are drawing early raves.
Six-year-old Ben Germano and his brother Jack, 2, are thrilled to see the galley open and serving food on the MV Kittitas, one of two Washington State Ferries on the Clinton-Mukilteo route.
The two boys, along with parents, Julie and Dan Germano, joined 10 other passengers and crew to try out the new fare Monday afternoon.
Crispy fries, fresh sushi, Ivars signature clam chowder, sandwiches, muffins and candy were just some of the choices available.
More choices barbecue beef and chicken sandwiches, fresh salads will be added to the menu as the staff works out the glitches with the galley equipment.
But the Germano boys were happy with their choice, no matter how nutritious. They favored Skittles and soda. Mom chose a muffin.
We are happy the galley is open again. We really missed it, especially the fresh popcorn, said Julie Germano.
The Coupeville family was headed east to Montana on the familys vacation.
With all the food available here, we wont have to stop for dinner, joked Dan Germano.
CDX Corporation of Mukilteo is the vendor operating galleys aboard the MV Kittitas and the MV Cathlamet.
Daily commuter Rex Archibald said food service wont impact him.
I dont eat breakfast, or drink coffee, Archibald said.
Christine Cho, manager for CDX, was delighted by the number of passengers who were served during the two days the galley has been open.
She was kept busy frying large, crispy fries and helping out at the cash register.
Several people have just walked up to me and hugged me. One lady even kissed me on the cheek, Cho said.
Several crew members who lined up to buy large sodas said galley service is a nice bonus. But more importantly, they were glad to see fellow members of the Inland Boatmans Union back to work.
All six full-time galley staff worked for the previous concessionaire, Sodexho.
Food service is expected to begin on the Cathlamet sometime in the next week or so.
Wine and beer will be available soon on both vessels.
Hungry passengers on many vessels will find galleys open on many Washington State Ferries.
Food service on Washington State Ferries has been shut down since the end of 2003, when the contract expired with Sodexho USA, the previous vendor.
The ferry system rejected a final proposal from Sodexho in January this year for a new contract. Sodexho, a Maryland-based company, provided food service on state ferries for 30 years.