Saturday, July 19, 2014

Best briefcase lunch

Do you ever have to make do with whatever food items you can cram into your briefcase, no space for more, no refrigeration, no time?  If you work in a place like east Harris County, you might find yourself in this undelectable position.  For while it is developing rapidly, right now it's a service wasteland, a food desert.  There's a Baytown Seafood on Sheldon Road.  There's a Subway in a gas station a short distance south of Baytown Seafood, but you can forget about getting in there - the place is constantly mobbed by the starving masses who have no other local food options.  So when my service contracts take me to this particular corner of Rome, I do like most other local working people do:  I brown-bag it.
But I do it in style.  Just because you're eating out of a briefcase doesn't mean you have to choose junk food.  
Here's my line-up:
  • St. Dalfour French Bistro Three Beans with Sweet Corn - Surprisingly good for a product that looks like it's packaged in a cat food tin.  Available at some Whole Foods stores some of the time (hard to get).  280 calories.  
  • Wild Garden Traditional Hummus - Also surprisingly good for a packaged food (congrats to the Jordanians who produce it).  I got hooked on these after finding them in United Airlines Tapas snack boxes, although I've been told that UA has since switched brands.  Available in 3-packs at HEB if you can find them; Amazon's unit price tends to be surprisingly high - 2x to 3x grocery retail.  67 calories.
  • Stacy's Pita Chips - Pita chips are relatively new to the market and most of them are so overloaded with salt that I literally cannot eat them.  This brand seems to be more balanced (I'd vastly prefer whole wheat, but beggars can't be choosers).  I don't know where to buy locally - I order single-serve bags by the case from Amazon.  200 calories.
  • KIND Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt bar - As near as I can tell, this is the lowest-sugar bar this manufacturer offers.  Available in most grocery stores although prices vary widely.  200 calories.
  • Perrier.  I find that Sam's Club has the best local prices.  Zero calories.
Obviously I'm not the lightest lunch eater at 750 calories for that little haul.  I actually prefer to eat my biggest meal at mid-day and have a smaller dinner, which is supposed to be the ideal strategy for weight management.

Anyway, I thought I'd post this as a counterweight to all the "excitement" about the dual Baskin Robbins - Dunkin Donuts that opened either today or yesterday in League City, depending on which published source you believe.
Photo of the new establishment screengrabbed from Facebook, where it had about 450 "Likes" as of Friday evening. 
Seriously?  Diabetes and obesity continuing to climb in America and people are excited by the prospect of more side-by-side glorified sugar outlets?  This is newsworthy both north and south of the Galveston County line?  Or it it all just clever marketing hype?  Pardon me for being my usual fit and healthy (knock wood) party-pooper self, but compared to eating mostly empty carbs, you'd feel a lot better after a 750-calorie feed of nuts, legumes, and grains such as what is shown above, even if they are a bit more processed than ideal.  But such is life when temporarily lived out of a briefcase.

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