Long ago when I worked in an office, lunch was the best part of the day.
The office, in downtown Washington D.C., was surrounded by great lunch spots. Greek deli could feed you for a week with leftovers from the small veggie plate. Le Cafe des Amis du Cafe featured secret Ethiopian lunch specials home-cooked by the owners each day. A joint down the street wrapped tandoori-grilled meat inside fresh naan every day for about $6.00. My coworkers were young, smart, and very social, and lunch was always a great break from the long workday.
One coworker packed her lunch every day, and ate it with a small group in a conference room. She was a great cook, and she lived with a Dutch boyfriend who believed in cheese, chocolate, and really good bread. Her lunches were the envy of everyone. They were three or four courses – a cup of homemade soup, with a small garden salad, and some fruit and nuts, and a piece of cheese or chocolate. A small sandwich on crusty bread, maybe with proscuitto and sliced figs, with a green salad and a leftover piece of spice cake. Each thing was lovingly packed and carefully unwrapped and consumed with relish. I haven’t spoken with her in a long time, but I’ll never forget Diane B.’s beautiful lunches. Makes me want to get a Mr. Bento and start packing beautiful lunches of my own.