Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 27: Does soup count as a meal?

Today I went out to eat with a few coworkers. They asked me to choose the restaurant, since I needed a Kosher locale. I always feel a lot of pressure in this situation, because I am spending other people’s money and forcing them to eat certain foods (and NOT eat certain foods). So I try and choose a nice enough restaurant with modest enough prices to keep everyone happy on both counts. Today, I opted for Mendys. The Seinfeld angle (NOT the soup Nazi) gives this place a bit more stature than your typical no-name Kosher restaurant. In that honor, I ordered a soup and half-a-sandwich. I chose the chicken noodle soup (no matzah ball) and pastrami on rye. The soup wasn’t bad, but I wish I had requested no carrots. Why does everyone put so many carrots in chicken soup? I much prefer zucchini, parsnip and other veges. My pastrami sandwich was really good – the pastrami was soft and delicious. I also had a half sour pickle to finish off the meal. Overall, I thought it was pretty good, but what really matters is what my non-Kosher lunch eaters thought . . .

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 26: Picnic Lunch

We had a celebratory meeting at around lunchtime today in honor of my coworker Marisa being awesome. Afterwards, I went down to the basement with my coworker Jen to look for sandwiches in Penn Station. Upon checking out the Yummy selection, I had two choices – Caesar chicken wrap, or something called a Picnic chicken wrap (is that a real thing?). After a major fumble where I clumsily dropped the wraps and they slid back into the display case, I opted for the new and unknown – the Picnic chicken. The wrap consisted of little chicken pieces in a lemony sauce with onions and seasoning, with cabbage lettuce in a tomato paste flour tortilla wrap. After the first bite, I noticed right away that the chicken was very wet. And not in the good, moist, ‘this chicken is not dry’ kinda way. The wrap itself was not wet, but the chicken was almost soggy. And the flavor was mostly bland. The bites with onion were a bit tastier. Overall, I was not a fan of this wrap, but at least it was filling so I was not still hungry afterwards.

Day 25: Some More Summer Fun in the Sun

Another beach day with Deb, Lisa and Tam brought us back to the beach house for lunch at about 1:30, pretty hungry. We cut up some watermelon for the group and made bagel sandwiches. I had a cinnamon raisin bagel with chunk light tuna, no mayo. I noticed that I was the only one who did not toast my bagel before eating it. I prefer my bagels soft and not crispy – is this uncommon? My friends thought that tuna fish and cinnamon raisin was an odd combination in general, but I like the mix of flavors. After we ate our bagels, we took some fruit pops out to the beach for dessert. I had a kiwi-watermelon flavored pop, which I thought was pretty good, but Tamara thought tasted like medicine. She preferred the orange cream and lemon flavors.

Day 24: Summer Fun in the Sun

I spent this past weekend at my friend Deborah’s beach house on Long Island. On Saturday, we (me, Deb, Lisa, Tzip, Becca, Dee, Tam) came inside in between beach lounging to eat some lunch. It was basically a make your own sandwich / salad kind of affair. I opted for turkey pastrami on a whole wheat roll, with ketchup, BBQ potato chips, and some of the nacho chips leftover from the previous night’s dinner from Carlos and Gabby’s. (Named after the characters from Desperate Housewives? We’re not sure.) Later in the day, when Neil the lifeguard kicked us off the beach due to lightning storms over the ocean, we retreated to the porch for a late dessert of watermelon, mixed berries, and pineapple juice.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 23: A Tribute

Emily L. and several others readers requested that I blog about Michael Jackson today. However, as I told them, I only blog about lunch. I considered eating black and white cookies for lunch today in MJ's honor, but decided against that plan. The truth is, I don't really understand why people care so much about MJ's death, and I feel bad for Farrah Fawcett and even worse for all of the regular, daily lunch eating people who died yesterday without getting any midnight vigils outside the Virgin Records in Time Square. So this post is dedicated to anyone whose death yesterday was NOT covered on tmz.com. I was sitting on a conference call at 12:30 today when hunger pains struck. This was a tough situation, because I needed to call Circa to place my order of whole wheat pasta with vodka sauce, because for some reason, this make-your-own-pasta sauce option is not on the circa website. I decided to put the conference call on mute, and call Circa from my cell phone while listening to the call with my other ear, crossing my fingers that no one would ask me any questions while I was on both phones. Luckily, the ordering process went smoothly. When my pasta came (after the delivery guy went to the wrong building), it was a little less saucy then I prefer for this dish, and the noodles were very limp and overcooked. The portion was nice sized though, so when I was done I was pretty full. Full, but not satisfied.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 22: Readers' Choice, Take One

Today I let my readers decide what I would be eating for lunch. There was a clear preference (over 50% of the votes) for the “Chicken soup and a burger from KD” option. Second place went to Tasti Delite, with Yummy Sandwiches and Circa Soup tying for least favored option. Thanks to those who voted! I went on to seamlessweb.com to order the KD lunch and discovered that the Dougies BBQ in midtown has closed! All of my saved favorite orders from there are grayed out and pathetic looking on my screen. Sadness. They made really good sweet potato chips. Anyway, I always order my burger exactly the way I want it (yes pickles, no tomatoes, ketchup on the side) but I usually order my soup without any special instructions. I decided to get more specific this time, so I asked for lots of chicken and noodles and wrote that I do not like carrots. The delivery from KD arrived in about 20 minutes which was really impressive (good job KD!). I was eager to see how they had prepared my soup, and shockingly, there were NO carrots, a nice amount of noodles, and seemingly an entire chicken in the container. The big chicken chunks were hard to eat with a plastic spoon, but I appreciated that they had listened to my preferences. Despite this, the soup itself was kind of bland. I dumped in some of the accompanying Chow Mein noodles which added some much needed saltiness to the soup, and then found it fairly decent tasting. It was also really filling due to all the extra chicken inside. I then turned to my burger (yes pickles, no tomatoes, ketchup on the side), put the ketchup on the burger (2 packets, on top), ate and enjoyed. Now I am stuffed. Good choice, readers.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 21: Even MORE famous lunch!

Today I went to Tasti Delite for lunch with my friend Emily. I tasted three flavors and rejected Tasti Musketeers (something with chocolate in it but vanilla based) and Chocolate Pudding (a lighter chocolate, with Caramel – thanks to Isabelle at the Tasti counter for explaining that to me!) before settling on Dutch Chocolate (a darker, richer chocolate). I am a big fan of the Dutch Chocolate flavor. Emily and I sat and ate our lunches outside in Herald Square, where they recently closed off traffic to create a pedestrian space. We were enjoying a lovely conversation until it started to rain and we each ran back to our respective offices. While waiting in the lobby, I spotted Dina from the Real Housewives of New Jersey (with her friend Paige, from the first episode)! We took the same elevator upstairs and discussed how some people don’t understand that the show is a warped perception of reality. Apparently she has gotten a lot of nasty not-fan mail! For more information on my lunch time celebrity sighting, email me at RebeccaLunch@gmail.com. Feel free to leave your own (lunchtime) celeb sighting stories in the comments!

Readers, check back tomorrow for a special Reader’s Choice Edition: What SHOULD Rebecca eat for lunch today?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 20: Famous Lunches

Today I ate lunch with a bunch of coworkers (JNel, AJ, Pat, K-Fed, Yianni) in the office cafeteria. Since I needed a Kosher food option, I went to Primo Cappucino to look at the Yummy Sandwich selection. The first Primo location’s options were only OK, but at the second one I found a chicken Caesar salad wrap, with croutons and Caesar dressing. I bought it and went back up to my office to join my friends. The wrap was really good, with a solid proportion of chicken to croutons to dressing. I would definitely buy it again. My coworkers and I spent most of lunch discussing how the plastic in our water bottles is going to create messed up babies, and how many hours you would need to be stranded on an island before you ate another person (or, for some, non-Kosher food). We also talked about this class at Parsons called Internet Famous, where students are graded on how large of an internet presence they build up over the semester. Find out how internet famous you are here: http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Celebrity_Meter .

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 19: Hungry Eyes

I like to eat lunch as late as possible in the day, because I usually eat a late dinner and I don’t want to get too hungry in between meals. My rule is that I can’t eat lunch before noon, and I usually try to eat closer to 1 PM or later. Today, I found myself counting the minutes until twelve. I woke up very early this morning (4 AM!) in order to catch a flight back to NY in time for work, so I have been awake for about an extra 4 hours today, which I would guess greatly impacted my hunger level. I scarfed down a tuna fish sandwich (Bumblebee albacore tuna packet and Zaidies whole wheat challah roll) at twelve noon on the dot. It tasted alright, but I was still hungry afterwards, making for a very hungry afternoon. (Note: Word Spellcheck is saying that ‘scarfed’ is not a word. Urbandictionary says otherwise. I hold by urbandictionary - http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=scarf ).

Day 18: Canadia

Sunday was an informal lunch day. I was on the road en route to Ottawa for most of the morning. By lunchtime we had reached the city but we were still driving around, somewhat lost but enjoying the sites. (For those of you who are Canada ignorant like I am, Ottawa is actually a beautiful city.) We were on a tight schedule, since we needed to prepare for the wedding we were attending that afternoon, so we didn’t stop for lunch. Instead I munched on a roll, my mom’s homemade blondies, and Mediterranean flavored terra chips. I really like terra chips, especially the sweet potato ones. My sister yelled at me for picking all of those out of the bag. Lunch was good but I didn’t fill up because I knew I had a delicious wedding smorgasbord later in the day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 17: Pot-Luck Birthday

Today I attended a pot-luck Birthday lunch celebration for my friend Daniella. It was hosted by a friend of hers, Lauren, in her apartment on the Upper West Side. I ate pretzel crusted chicken, meatballs and cous-cous with mushrooms, popcorn cauliflower, and rice with craisins and mushrooms. My contribution was the rice. People usually seem to like it but I think I added too many craisins - it was not my best effort. The rest of the food was delicious. I am generally a big fan of meatballs so I particularly enjoyed those. The pretzel crusted chicken was also a nice addition. The crushed pretzels create a really interesting texture and crunch that is fun to eat. For dessert I had chocolate rugelach (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rugelach), which taste particularly delicious when wearing a pointy birthday hat.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Please note that I am going out of town this weekend, and may not be able to post again until Monday. My apologies to my daily readers.

Day 16: Keyfood

Since I am out of the office on another Summer Friday (gotta love 'em!), I wandered over to my local grocery store to see what I should eat for lunch. I was really not in a cooking mood so I was looking for something low key and simple. This led me right to the freezer section, where I picked up a box of pizza bagels. A perfect Friday-at-home lunch. Unlike most people, I do not make these in the oven; I prefer to microwave them. I zap them one at a time so that I am always eating a fresh hot steaming cheesy pizza bagel. I ate some today, and stuck some in the freezer for a treat at another time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 15: Yummy Discovery

Another rainy day had me looking for a no travel option for lunch. I decided to check out the sandwiches in my “basement” aka Penn Station. There are usually a random assortment of kosher tuna /egg salad type “Roux” brand sandwiches in the Primo Cappucino stores. When I looked today I could not find ANY Roux sandwiches! A woman working in the store asked me if I needed help and I told her that I was looking for a kosher sandwich. She directed me to their brand new kosher offering – Yummy Sandwiches! This is exciting because of the nostalgia factor (we ate these in college) but also because Yummy Sandwiches are in fact, yummy. There were not too many options so I decided to try the Black Pepper Crusted Turkey Sandwich with Lemon Caper Aioli. This was a pretty big decision for me, because I am very wary of trying new foods, especially ones with names that I don’t understand. I had a lot of trouble getting the container open but once I got past that, the sandwich was very good. I don’t really love pepper crusted turkey; I can do without the spicy kick at the end of each piece. I also removed the roasted pepper from the sandwich. But overall, the sandwich tasted fresh, the turkey was not dry, and whatever aioli is added a nice flavor.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 14: Can you please show me ID for that order?

I had plans to eat lunch today with my coworker, Clare. She wanted to check out Rosa's because they have a lot of avocado items on the menu and she is a big avocado fan. We went right in the middle of the lunch rush and the place was packed. I ordered the Penne ala Vodka (I figured it was OK to carbo load since I had a volleyball game after work). The sauce was light but tasted good. It was a thinner sauce that Circa's vodka sauce. It also came with half a loaf of bread which was light and fluffy. I left the meal very full and satisfied.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 13: Soup in a breadbasket without the breadbasket

Every morning at work, I check Circa's website to see the soups of the day. A hot soup and a warm roll can be a perfect lunch, especially since my office feels like winter. My favorite soups have not been on Circa's menu for a while, but I keep checking waiting for them to appear. Today, I went for a not favorite but still good soup, the French Onion. Circa's french onion soup does not go all out with mozzarella cheese and croutons like you might find at fancier luncheries (they might be available upon request), but I crumbled up the accompanying roll into little pieces and mixed that into the soup. Today's soup was a little spicier than normal, so I had to drink a lot of water with it, but the strong flavor was very tasty.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 12: Leftovers

Some people think leftovers is a dirty word, but when leftovers means half of a Chickies sandwich, it can be the culinary highlight of my week. Today for lunch I finished a previously purchased Ian BeatBox chicken sandwich, drenched in both sweet honey BBQ sauce and Kumbaslow sauce, complete with pickles on a whole wheat roll. This sandwich was not freshly made, and some might complain that the sauce makes the bread a little soggy. However, since the bread is rather thick, I enjoy eating it soaked with sauce, and there is still enough crispness to hold the sandwich together. While eating at my desk, my coworker, Sarah, looked over and told me that my sandwich looked delicious, and that she is inspired to now try Chickies the next time she is in Teaneck. Don't forget to hattip the blog, Sarah.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 11: Egg and Cheese on a Bagel

I joined a couple of friends for a quick brunch this morning before they headed off to the library. We went to Lake Como Pizza and all ordered eggs and cheese on a bagel with slight variations. I had mine on a whole wheat bagel, which ended up being a flatter bagel than most of the other bagel choices. I tend to like large fluffy bagels, but this one wasn't terrible. The cheese was not really evenly melted in throughout the eggs, which meant that there was a big glob of cheese oozing out one side of the sandwich. All in all, not the best egg and cheese I've ever had in general, or even ever had at Lake Como Pizza. But I love the low price, and we had the whole restaurant to ourselves, so all in all it was a pretty decent meal.

Day 10: Deliciousness in a Sandwich

Today’s lunch was the kind of lunch that inspires people to blog about lunches. There is one food that makes most other foods seem not worth eating. Of course, I am referring to the Chickies Sandwich. For lunch today I ate a Cap’n Munch Chicken sandwich (breaded in crushed pretzels and cereal) from my favorite Teaneck eatery, drenched in Kumbaslow sauce. I also had some rice with craisins and mushrooms but that is really irrelevant. Chickies chicken is always moist, and the sauces intermingle with the chicken flavor perfectly. My love for Chickies runs deep, and it has given me a new understanding of the classic episode of FRIENDS, in which Ross freaks out at his boss for eating his amazing MoistMaker Turkey sandwich. I never understood how Ross could care so much about a sandwich, until I ate Chickies. Now, I can more than relate. Check out Ross and his sandwich love (You Threw My Sandwich Away at 2:50) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziQrW-dOGWc.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 9: Summer Friday

Meal definitions get blurry when you are not on a normal routine. For example, today I am off from work and therefore I slept in until about 12:45. I did not eat anything until about 2 PM when I ate a Challah (traditional Jewish bread) roll. The question is, was this breakfast or lunch? I ate it later than I normally eat my lunch, but it was my first meal of the day. Since I am leaving my apartment now and have no idea when my next meal will be (other than the pot luck dinner party I am attending this evening, for which I need to go grocery shopping) I am going to call it lunch.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 8: Exciting Discoveries

Today I met my friend Emily for lunch. Usually we have our lunch dates at Circa (on 33rd and 5th), but we decided to try Rosa’s Kosher Pizza and Pasta, the pizza store in the Empire State Building that became Kosher a few months ago. The menu was pretty similar to Circa’s. I ordered some sort of beany vegetable soup. It was a bit bland at first but I added salt and that helped make it more flavorful. The soup came with half of a roll, which was kind of doughy in the middle and really delicious. Overall, I was satisfied with my lunch, but not amazed. I liked that the restaurant itself was less crowded than Circa usually is, and it seems that you are less likely to run into people you know (though I did see a couple of possible readers, and one reader’s sister with her husband. Shout out to my nutritionist reader who is currently looking for a job doing nutritional counseling, if anyone is interested). After leaving Rosa’s I noticed something incredibly exciting – a Tasti D-Lite in the Empire State Building! I happen to love Tasti, and there used to be 2 near my office but they both closed about two years ago. I happily ordered a small cup of Dutch Chocolate and told the woman working behind the counter that she was my new best friend.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 7: It's Been One Week

My lunch options were extremely limited today because I am working from my sister's apartment while it is being repainted. So as I sat here literally watching paint dry, I had to rummage around to find something to eat. In the end, I ate a few chow mein noodles and a challah roll. (I suppose that since I am in her apartment, it's only fitting that I would turn into a Carb-ivore like she is.) After I ate, I went to ask one of the painters a question, and I found him using the bathroom with the door open. I made a hasty retreat.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 6: Rain Delays

I decided to order in today, primarily because it is gross and rainy out. I realized this morning that I don't really have appropriate footwear to wear in the rain. I suppose I could buy those ugly plastic polka dotted rainboots, but they are so bulky. Let's say it's raining in the morning but the rain has stopped when it's time to leave work. Then I need to walk around looking dumb in rainboots, because they are too big to carry in my bag to take home. Anyway, I ordered a whole wheat pizza from Circa. This is a good lunch because the personal pie is quite big, so even if I don't eat the whole thing I know I will be full. It's also a good lunch on days when I don't know what on earth I am going to eat for dinner, since I can probably get away with a lighter dinner later in the evening. I also like Circa's pizza because I can specify light sauce, which is great since I hate very saucy pizza.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 5: Lunch at my Desk

Today was a lazy lunch day. No going out, no ordering in. I keep some small cans of tuna fish at my desk for days like today. They are flip tops, so I don't even need a can opener. I make an effort to eat the Chunk Light tuna to minimize my mercury intake (being a woman of child bearing age and all that). So today I ate mini open faced sandwiches of Chunk Light tuna on whole wheat crackers. If you read Friday's post, you know that I am not such a fan of the whole wheat crackers that I recently purchased. I found them to be hard and dry. However, the dryness of the cracker provided excellent contrast to the moistness of the tuna, and it was actually a pretty decent combination.

Image not accurate size.

What did YOU eat for lunch today? Leave questions or comments below!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day 4: Sunday in the Park with George

After spending a couple of hours running around in the hot sun at the park playing Frisbee and throwing around a baseball, I was starving. We considered making fruit smoothies but laziness got the best of us. I came back to my apartment and made a late lunch of mac and cheese. My mac and cheese recipe is simple - it's just noodles and cheese melted in the microwave. And in my opinion, it it always good. I will soon be eating some fruit to complete the meal.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Day 3: Shabbat Lunch

Today I had a casual "pajama style" lunch planned with a few friends. It was going to be a BYOD meal for me- bring your own deli sandwich. I told my friends not to wait for me to start, so that I could sleep in. I woke up at about 1:40 and then went to eat lunch. I suppose it was technically breakfast, but I enjoyed my turkey pastrami on whole wheat challah (Zaidies, which is my current favorite). I also had some delicious "Shabbos Salad", as Lisa calls it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Day 2: Free Donut Day

Today, as hopefully many of you know, is Free Donut Day. So after running out on an errand during my lunch break, I stopped over by the Krispy Kreme in Penn Station to get a free original glazed donut. There was a bit of a crowd but the melt in your mouth deliciousness was definitely worth the wait. After my donut, I ate two small packages of Whole Wheat crackers. I eat this brand of crackers often, because they come in little packs which are easy to take with me to work. My favorite flavor is onion, but I have had trouble finding those at the grocery store recently, so I have been eating primarily the sesame flavored ones. This time I decided to try the Whole Wheat flavor, but they were kind of hard and tasteless. I do not recommend. At the end of the work day, I was still kind of hungry and was semi-seriously considering getting another free donut for my trip home.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day 1: June 4th

Last night I took a nap from 6:45 - 8:45 and therefore did not eat dinner. I had some snacks but went to bed hungry. Therefore, I ate a large lunch today. I had some cream of broccoli soup from circa (not so good) and penne ala vodka (delicious). I snacked on the bread that came with the soup and am still satisfied.