European Dopers: Tell Me About Your Lunch

European dopers, I want to know all the boring details of your lunches, specifically midday meals or snacks taken during a workday. What I’m interested in is when, how and what you eat. Do you go out to a restaurant, to a company cafeteria, or do you pack a lunch and stay in? How long do you get for lunch? Do you eat cold or hot food, and if hot, is it cooked by someone else or do you heat it up? Finally, please say where you live.

Thanks in advance

I have a fridge and microwave at the gallery. I can - and do - make my own hot food. Sometimes I have lunch with clients or artists. There’s a cool Pakistani restaurant nearby where I love to take them. There’s also a trendy “lounge” bar for the more spoiled geezers. :wink:

I eat when I can. I’m not bound by a special time.

Today I ate at around 2. I made cheese-fondue with Maroccan bread. I drank butter-milk with it. It was delicious. :slight_smile:

I’m in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

My lunches are varied. Much depends on circumstance. Not as often as I should, I’ll make it to take with me - either a sandwich (probably a cooked meat I’ve prepared and stored), or occasionally a bean/salad/bread kind of thing. But like I say, that’s a rarity. Far more often, I’ll stop off at any decent sandwich shop en route, and get something that looks vaguely tasty and hopefully filling. Last resort, I go to a supermarket and buy a prepacked sandwich.
Depending on where I’m working, these will either be in the staff room (with other people eating similar), on the side of the road, or in the car at red lights.
(Oh, and if I do have time, then I will get something hot. I just never feel satisfied by any cold meal, at all. There’s a great hot dog stand in the middle of town, which is far more satisfying than the biggest double extra-anything sandwich you could offer.)

I consider myself an erstwhile EuroDope correspondent, at least for last August, so I’ll add my .02 Euros.

I’ve been working a contract for a company with US and European offices. The cafeteria in the Langen, Germany office is vastly better than here in Scottsdale. Here you get salads and sandwiches. Not bad but pretty boring about half the time we go offsite to lunch as there are tons of good restaurants nearby. Langen was very different. A full blown cafeteria with multiple hot entrees, stir fry, salad bar and all kinds of other goodies. I thought the prices were very reasonable, I don’t think I ever paid more than 7 Euros for lunch.

We have a workplace canteen. Hot food at a modest price. And there’s always the pub…

I 'm in an office downtown three days a week (additionally I do work at home). We usually go to the Italian restaurant just downstairs to get past or pizza (for 7-9 Euro including a drink). When the weather is really good (doesn’t happen too often) I will sometimes just grab some fish sandwich an sit on a bench at the river.

Tend to go either round the corner to the sandwich shop (Mega Bites), which isn’t cheap but its well tasty, or the cafe across the road if I want something hot, generally at 1pm with the two admin girls in my department.

We used to go to the pub across the road from Mega Bites, until they completely screwed up our order and messed us around a few weeks ago. It’s the most ineptly run place i’ve ever been to since the previous management retired. They might want to employ people that can actually speak english and understand the fact you want 2 sandwiches and 1 set of chips within the hour in future if they want to keep regular customers.

If i’ve made a chinese/italian/curry the night before however, i’ll take the remains of that in a box and microwave it in the staff canteen downstairs.

I tend to buy a sandwich from the convenience store next to the office. Usually a BLT or Chicken & Bacon. Sometimes I go over the street to Subway and get a 6" tuna with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeños, and olives with southwest chipotle sauce. I may accompany this with a packet of Walkers prawn cocktail flavoured crisps and if I’m feeling sweet-toothed, some Maltesers.

If I’m broke I’ll make my own sandwiches with left-overs from home, and if I’m doing low-carb, I put the same kind of ingredients into low-carb tortillas (of American origin, ordered online). E.g. I roasted a chicken on Sunday and stripped it yesterday, brought it into work and will have that in a tortilla later with mayo, salt & pepper.

Another ex-EuroDoper checking in.

When studying in Hamburg, the university canteen provided some rather nice hot meals. The menu was reasonably varied, and every now and then they’d serve international cuisine - eating their Indian food was quite amusing :slight_smile: They had a small salad bar too.

Then when I started working at Audi in Ingolstadt (just north of Munich), the cafeteria served excellent food, at a not-too-inexpensive price (they paid me well, so I can’t complain). The menu was very varied, with a large variety of hot and cold meals, salads, desert and beverages.

Lunch breaks were about an hour long, from noon to 1 p.m., and I looked forward to it at both places.

University in England was a whole other ballgame. The cafeteria served hot meals, and had a separate room for sandwiches and beverages, but damn, that place was expensive! After a few weeks, I started packing sandwiches from home for lunch.

I work in the local third level educational institute (we’re not a university, but we’re aiming that way).

Because we have a whole bunch of people on campus we have 5 separate eating locations, from made-to-order sandwiches to full 3 course meals (courtesy of the catering students).

What I eat on any given day is basically determined by:

Have I a prepared meal at home? If so, I’ll probably get a sandwich.
Have I visitors from another institution? If so, off for a three course meal (for 7 euros, yay!)

Otherwise I tend to get a main meal of the meat, potatoes and 2 veg variety. I live alone and cooking is something I reserve for weekends, with leftovers reaching 'til tuesday mostly.

Timing is my own choice, I tend to avoid 1-2 as that’s a very popular time, 12:30 or 2:30 are my preferred times. My contract says I get 1 hour for lunch and 2 15 minutes breaks, it’s normal to take 1/2 and hour lunch and maybe 1 break in the day.

As for other breaks, I would until recently have been going through about 2 litres of coke and assorted chocolate bars, now I restrict myself to 2 cups of tea at break times and some fruit.

As for location: Waterford, Ireland.

May I ask why you require this info?

My time is pretty flexible, I can extend my lunch hour if I want. I like to go at 12 or 12.30, but currently, I’ve got stuff scheduled 12 - 1 a couple of days a week. Generally, if I eat on campus I’ll take 1/2 an hour, if I go out, I’ll take 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

This time last year I was eating in pubs and restaurants a lot since my old offices were well positioned. If no one else was available, there were plenty of sandwich shops also, and we had the luxury of a kitchen with microwave so I was able to have soup or whatever.

Currently, our kitchen has neither fridge nor microwave, so anything heating up homemade stuff is not an option. I’m not fussed on sandwiches, but I’ll sometimes bring in a salad. I’m not terribly well organised, however, so if I remember to prepare one the night before, I’ll often for get to bring it. Or if I do I’ll eat it for breakfast.

Current choices:

A few places within 10-20 minutes walk (2 pubs, a tapas bar, a good Indian, an Italian (catering to traditional elderly suspicious British clientele) whose menu, and even their “specials” have not changed the 10 years or so I’ve been around, a bring-your own Kurdish cafe, and home.

I work at a University and on this campus we have a couple of bars (packed noisy and smoky at lunchtime) which do decent pizza, but the other stuff ain’t up to much. There’s a refectory with various outlets, none up to much, and tending to be unhealthy. If I end up eating here I generally get soup or a jaffle pie.

We used to have a silver service restuarant run by students, but that’s closed to save money. The students have now taken over catering for the staff refectory, which serves pretty much whatever they fancy as main course (2 or more options) plus jacket potatoes, sandwhiches, soup etc. It’s a new group doing it every week, so it tends to get better towards the end of the week.

That said, I think I’ll go there today. I’m pretty hungry.

I work in London for a U.S. company that lays out a good spread of snacks and beverages, but the office doesn’t have a full-fledged cafeteria, so lunch is up to me. I start the day early and my work is quite fast-paced and can get pretty hectic, so I usually grab a sandwich from Pret a Manger or some such place around 11 and eat that at my desk, then have a proper break later in the day when I can get out of the office and walk around for a while. I’ve gotten in the habit of getting lunch on Fridays at the Hard Wok Cafe, a tiny place that does takeaway-only Asian food. I probably should go for some of the fresh fruit the company puts out when I have an afternoon snack, but usually end up grabbing some crisps instead.

On an ordinary day - eg today, I’ll just get a sandwich from the sandwich shop nearbye - the usual suspects: Cheese; ham; chicken; BLT etc. There’s also a corking fish and chip shop but I am supposed to be losing weight (not much success - damn you chip shop! Damn you!)

However the job that i do sometimes requires me to take people out to lunch which can vary from a meal in a pub (my preference) to a spendy meal in a flash restaurant (depending on how much the other fellow’s business is worth to me). We’re not allowed to claim these meals back against tax (we used to be able to) so it’s out of my pocket and therefore not that common.

I’ve got a question too: How common is lunch-time drinking where you are? It’s still pretty rife here (especially amongst the younger chaps). I don’t do it personally (unless at a spendy lunch) but there’s nothing to stop me if I wanted to.

When I worked in the UK, or Hong Kong, I used to have at least a pint nearly every lunchtime (except when I was driving for a living), and especially on a Friday. In Ireland, however, depsite the country’s reputation, it almost never happens.

I mostly work at home, but today I was substituting at my son’s preschool, so I had to pack my lunch. There’s a fridge there, but no time to cook anything even if the tiny kitchen was equipped for it - the person on kitchen duty brews tea for the adults. So my lunch was two slices of wholegrain bread with brown Norskie goat’s cheese, a handful of raisins, some baby carrots, a cup of banana yogurt, and tea.

I believe most Norwegians still bring their lunch to work, and it’s usually fairly similar to what I mentioned.

If he’s anything like me, he’s hoping for responses from Dopers in Provence or Tuscany.

Food porn, in other words.

“…after the truite bleu, we helped ourselves to the rognons de dindon aux haricots blancs along with a sliver of the galette pommes de terre, then sat back and finished our St-Etienne over a succession of Gauloises…”

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Close, my friend. The American way of eating (fast, cheap, salty, greasy and meaty) has never worked for me, but I find it difficult to get out of that mindset and am always looking for alternatives. I was looking for other ways of doing it that might be compatible with American culture (short lunch breaks, difficult to find anything other than low-quality, unhealthy and mass-produced food). I have to say the responses so far have been a little discouraging in their Americanness - I’ve been under the impression that Europeans have a lower tolerance for unsatisfying and informal meals. Maybe I’ve just watched one too many PBS cooking shows.

Absolutely unheard of in Los Angeles. A guy in my office took a business trip to Turin and said they served wine in the company cafeteria. Unthinkable! After-work drinking, on the other hand…

Depends how much money I have. When I’m flush, I usually eat with my workmates in the canteen - a decent hot meal, with potatoes and veg on the side.

When I’m somewhat less flush or in a hurry, I grab a pre-made sandwich and chocolate flapjack from the building’s coffee shop.

When I’m much less flush I get a roll (Irish for “sub”) from a local convenience store.

When I’m fairly skint I have a pre-made sandwich and chocolate bar from the coffee shop.

When I’m really desperate I make a roll at home and bring it in.

Pretty boring, I know.

Italy - I’m a teacher in an international school.

Hot lunch in the faculty dining room: choice of rice or pasta, meat and/or fish, vegetable/s, fruit: there is a salad bar with cold cuts, cheese and tuna. Cake once a week, icecream once a week.

Sorry, I’ll rephrase that:

Today’s lunch was farfalle con pomodoro fresco, or risotto milanese; pesce spada or vitell;, fagiolini; insalata; prosciutto crudo; formaggio; frutta fresca and a bit of torta di ricotta.


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