Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kosher lunch in 30 easy steps

I keep kosher and work in Manhattan, so getting lunch presents certain challenges. I do realize that the following post is a confession of a spoiled brat since people in other parts of the country/world/Manhattan have a much harder time finding kosher food or any food at all. But then again, it's my blog and my whining. Whoever wants to remind me about starving children in Africa is free to leave a comment, Mom .

So this is lunch, a-la SubWife, in 30 easy steps.

1. Promise yourself the day before that you will bring lunch from home. It's too expensive and too much trouble to buy.

2. Don't pack lunch the night before and run out of time in the morning. Alternatively, pack lunch and leave it in the fridge. Either option is acceptable since the result is the same.

3. The minute you get into the office, email you lunch buddy, who swore, bli neder, yesterday to finally start bringing lunch from home and find out whether she made good on her promise.

4. Tear up at getting her response. She didn't. Now you don't need to worry about making a minimum for delivery. IF you choose to get it delivered.

5. Start thinking about what it is that you want for lunch around 11. Narrow down your choices: meat or dairy? Make a little list of pros and cons of each, and arrive to conclusion that you want dairy because 1 - meat is too expensive, 2 - food is unimpressive, 3 - your lunch buddy will probably not be in the mood for meat any way, 4 - meat lunch is really, really expensive. Find the list of pros and cons from yesterday and realize that it is exactly the same as today's. And you ALWAYS go with dairy. Promise yourself to never consider meat again.

6. Email your lunch buddy again and casually ask if she gave lunch any thought, knowing perfectly well that she was hard at work on this since 11.

7. Convene at 11.30 for a quick meeting re: what to order for lunch and from where. Be a generous spirit and offer her to make a choice of place. She will try to make you choose, but don't fall for her niceness - it's a trap. For a few minutes try to make each other decide on the place since neither of you wants to be responsible for the disaster that will inevitably come.

8. Once one of you is worn out or tricked into making the decision, choose what you want - salad or something cheesy. Agonize over this decision for another 10-15 minutes, but make up your mind before 12. Whatever unappetizing thing you are getting, you would want to order it before lunch rush or you will get it for dinner.

9. Toy with the idea of actually going out to buy lunch instead of having it delivered.

10. Decide on delivery, just like you did 100 times before. Remind yourself that the added cost of delivery saves you from having to pass by 7 adult DVD stores and 3 strip bars.

11. Finally place an order and feel the weight of decision-making lifted off your shoulders. Take a coffee break because you have exhausted yourself making all these choices.

12. Call the food place back in half hour asking where your order is.

13. Call again in another half hour.

14. Get your order. Carefully examine it. Wonder whether it is your imagination or the salad is actually smaller than the last time. Find beets instead of tomatoes with croutons and grated cheese missing from it. Curse under your breath.

15. Call the place and complain. Graciously accept their apologies and refusal to make you whole or threaten to never do business with them again. Don't worry, no one will take your threat seriously any way; they know that your lunch options are limited.

16. Decide that tomatoes are too important a source of anti-oxidants to forgo and run out in search of a fruit stand. Find that due to bitter cold there are no fruit stands anywhere in sight. Start walking along 8th Ave in hopes of finding a grocery store.

17. Walk three blocks before you find a business, any business, that doesn't sell booze or human flesh, in digital or natural form. Enter the so-called grocery store only to find out that they don't sell tomatoes.

18. Keep walking.

19. Keep walking.

20. In the process of walking ask yourself why you paid extra for delivery since the point of delivery is to avoid walking in the bitter cold.

21. Finally find the store and buy the stupid tomato. Realize that by now you have spent on your lunch more than the average monthly income of an average African family.

22. On the way back to the office consider moving to Africa.

23. Call your significant other and inform that you and him are moving to Africa. Soon. Patiently explain that you are neither drunk nor joking.

24. Learn something new about your genetic makeup from your significant other. Find his findings amateurish and dismiss as a vicious rumor.

25. To preserve peace in the family, decide not to move to Africa. Besides, kosher food is hard to come by there too.

26. Cut the tomato with plastic knife.

27. Eat your salad.

28. Get hungry again in an hour because salad is not very filling.

29. Complain to your lunch buddy about how ridiculous it is to pay so much for bad service and blah food.

30. Swear, bli neder, to bring lunch from home tomorrow.


  1. Thanks for my daily laugh! Priceless :-)

  2. HAHAHAHA! Except for one thing: who waits till 11 to start thinking about lunch?! Heck, I'm practically EATING it at 10:30!

  3. La Poutin Cachere,

    You are welcome!


    LOL! That's one of the reason why I don't bother too much with bringing my own lunch. Half the time, it gets eaten before 11 or so, and then I have to order something any way.

  4. Where do you work?

    I used to work on 38th and 8th and there's a pizza place there that has a pretty decent sushi bar with kani salad and miso soup, also cheap.


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