Lunch options at our new office got old pretty quick. The Japanese place takes too long and the guy is mean. The Thai place is good, but the wait’s too long. Our cubiclemate makes fun of us when we go to KFC.

So: lunch from home. But there’s something depressing about last night’s leftovers, and something pathetic about waiting your turn at the office microwave and letting your smells mingle with those who came before you.

We decided that the perfect brown-bag lunch would be part store-bought, part easy-homemade, and it wouldn’t take long to assemble the night before. Just like childhood lunch-box spreads, it would have multiple pieces, including snack and cookies. But, sadly, no note from Mom.

main | Cold sesame noodle salad with tofu
side | Rice crackers, edamame
sweet | Ginger candies
beverage | Boxed sake

main | Cubanesque sandwich
salad | Jicama and orange salad
side | Plantain chips
sweet | Coconut macaroons
beverage | Peach nectar

Inner child
main | Almond butter and apricot jam on sourdough
side | Snack-size Brie, apple, and raisins
sweet | Trans-fat-free Oreo cookies
beverage | Pomegranate juice

main | Lentil salad with goat cheese crostini
side | Mixed olives
sweet | Fleur de sel caramels
beverage | Wine-in-a-can (Sofia mini)

Photographs by Maren Caruso

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