The Best Cooks in Galena

By Lenny C. Lepola -

Galena United Methodist Church, home of the famed Best Cooks in Galena, never fails to feed a host of folks on Election Day – Primary or General; and last Tuesday’s historic General Election was no different.

Chief noodle-cooker Melinda Simmons said the best lunch crowd in several years showed up at the GUMC Dining Hall, and diners said the menu’s homemade food surpassed everyone’s expectations.

“Chicken and noodles started at 4 p.m., but we had to turn people away who wanted to buy them as early as 3:15,” Simmons said. “I had to laugh, though, because at the stroke of 4 the line started.”

Simmons said she started cooking noodles at 2 p.m. in order to get ready for the rush, and was still cooking at 6:45.

“We ran out of all our soups and probably had just enough roast beef left over for two sandwiches by the end of the evening,” Simmons said. “We had girls from Girl Scout Troop 2596 help bus tables in the evening – they did a great job; and the evening dishwashing crew did a stellar job keeping up with the noodle pots and all the plates and flatware.”

Simmons said by the end of the evening there were a few lone pieces of pie and cake, and small amounts of green beans and slaw left.

“Lines remained constant throughout the evening, but I can’t tell you how long the lines were because I never got away from the noodle pots, except when I thought my face would explode from the heat and had to go outside for a few minutes,” Simmons said. “The crowd this year was large, but we were able to keep up. Only once did people have to wait about 10 minutes because the noodles weren’t quite done. Fortunately, there was a slight lull in the line at that point so we just entertained them with antics in the kitchen and witty repartee.”

If you missed Galena UMC’s traditional Election Day lunch and dinner, don’t worry; there are election days ahead in 2017; and the Best Cooks in Galena will be there to serve homemade meals. The prices are reasonable, the proceeds go to church efforts, and it’s always a friendly non-partisan affair.

For additional information about Galena UMC go to

By Lenny C. Lepola

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.