View More Articles
Lunch Factor

By Rob BelloniDecember 16, 2004

Man I'm getting hungry.  Yeah it's cold out here...  Hey what did I bring for lunch again?  hmm, looking in the cooler, diggin through the drinks ... ah damn, not the soggy triangle sandwich from the Quickie Mart!

Don't you hate that? So let's talk lunch options of the non-soggy triangle shaped variety, or better yet - how about a lunch review section.

Sandwiches:  The sandwich is the traditional staple of the fisherman's lunch.  There are many options out there in the sandwich department.

The traditional sandwich you make at home.  I like to go with meat, cheese (cheddar), lettuce, mayo (easy), and mustard.  Bonus points if the meat is tri-tip or honeybaked ham.  Minus points if it has wet tomatoes or worse a wet pickle that soaked into the bread.  The home made sandwich can rate anywhere from a 5 to a 10.  I mean sometimes you're out for a few days and your sandwich devolves into a french roll with salami, that kind of gooey pre-sliced orange cheese, and heavy dose of French's mustard to make it palatable.  That's a 6 on a good day.  The 10 is when you made it that morning, kept it cool, and the tri-tip is thin sliced from the night before, man that is nice.

Then there's the store bought sandwich.  Straight up, the triangle sandwich has never rated higher than a 2 for me.  Usually it's a zero. Grey colored turkey and too much mayo really sucks.  A better option is the Great Italian.  The Great Italian sandwich can be a little hard to find and is often sold out.  It comes sealed in plastic wrap with 3 or 4 pepperochinis.  The pepperochini's are strategically placed on the sandwich so you can eat a few bites, roll back the plastic to get to the pepperochini then wrap it back up and save some for later.  If you are really hungry, the Great Italian can rate an 8 or 9 at times. Usually it's about a 7.

The other option would be the grocery store, Subway, or Togo's style sandwich.  This is a crap shoot.  The grocery store deli sandwich is likely to be too thick and start getting all over everything when you try to eat it.  Plus it's a pain to try to wrap it back up for later, you usually have to stuff half of a giant sandwich down in a few minutes which lessens the experience.  Grocery store usually rates a 6 for me.  Subway and other sandwich shops can make you something good, but there's the hassle aspect.  I mean you know how the guy making it always wants to spray a ton of salad dressing on it?  Or slap on 1/4" of mayo?  Damn I hate that.  Even though Cold Cut Trio can come through at times, I usually eschew the Subway action.

Sandwich Alternative:  Recently I've been exploring some sandwich alternatives.  Why?  Because I HATE MAKING SANDWICHES.  I hate having to get everything out of the fridge and mess with it for 15 minutes while I could be tying up more stinger hook rigs!  My number one sandwich alternative these days is straight up tri-tip.  Here's what you do.  Go to Costco and get the pack that has 2 tri-tips.  Hopefully it's $4.99 a pound so you can get two pretty good ones for about 16 or 17 bucks.  Then you grill them both up on Friday night.  The real secret of tri-tip cooking is indirect heat, so put the coals on one side and the tri-tip on the other and after a good sprinkling of Pappy's seasoning, leave it be for about an hour (maybe saute some mushrooms in white wine to go with the salsa that you slather on it - oh yeah but I digress).   When it's all done, you take the second tri-tip, you cut it up and put it in one of those nice little
re-useable tupperware containers.  5 or 7 slices of cold tri-tip makes a phenomenal lunch for the weekend.  A definite 9 or 10 experience.  Ok, so I don't really have any other sandwich alternatives, but I just wanted to share that one.

Crackers:  Ritz, Pringles, Wheat Thins, Saltines, they're all pretty solid.  I tend to stay away from fancy snack crackers like the kind you need cheese on top of to make up for the fact that they taste like cardboard.  I'm not going to rate the cracker section, just get what you like.  Small ziplocks are nice for bringing only the crackers you think you'll eat ... on the ride home in the truck because you finally got hungry enough!

Bars:  Bars are an interesting topic.  I've sampled the various energy bars and candy bars over the years.  My number one selection in this category is the King Sized Snicker bar.  Is it just me or does the king size taste better than the regular?  Maybe it's all in my head... If it's going to be a hot day, refrigerating the bar the night before is a good call, just don't do it in the winter time unless you have strong teeth.  In the more healthy category, power bars are often popular.  I wish they wouldn't put the vanilla crisp flavor in the 24 pack box though, yuk.  Peanut butter is nice and rates a 7 in my book. Lately I've been getting hooked on these bars called Zone Perfect bars.  They're small but they seem to give me a lot of energy. The peanut butter flavor is good and the chocolate is better.  They rate an 8, and a 9 if you are really hungry.  Odwalla bars should taste good because the drinks are good, but surprisingly they taste like
mashed up old hard oatmeal and only score a 2.  Yuk.

Drinks:  Ok what's the deal with Gatorade?  Is it just me or does Gatorade only taste good for the first 3 sips?  Somewhere half way through the bottle it starts to burn my throat and I don't feel any more satisfied thirst wise.  I give Gatorade a 5, with the occasional score of 8 when you are about to die and just need liquid to avoid keeling over in the boat.  Plus they discontinued the Passion fruit flavor which as IMO the best one.  Really I just drink a lot of water these days.  It's so cheap you know?  I find that the 1 liter Aqua Fina bottle fits my cooler nicely and can be re-used over and over. Water, I give an 8, not for taste of course but for the fact that it's free and gets the job done.  I try to avoid caffeine these days, does that make me a tree hugger?  I don't know...  Redbull just seems like poison to me.  Even one Pepsi makes me jittery which is never good for fishing.  Sobe makes some nice drinks that rate highly in my book, but if I want a sweet flavor I usually go with Lipton Ice Tea.  Lipton can rate a 10 if you hit it at the right moment.

Healthy Stuff?!  Hate to say it but healthy stuff is finding it's way into my bag more and more lately.  Carrot sticks and celery sticks are nice and crunchy and hold a certain eating entertainment value.  Set the bag on the side and grab one between casts.  Is beef jerky healthy?  I'm not really sure but it's alright for fishing.  Beef Jerky can rate as high as an 7 for me.  The gnawing factor is what keeps it from a higher score.  Pacific Coast makes some tasty stuff, just stay away from that weird juicy stuff you can get at finer roadside establishments.  Oh and Slim Jims, don't even get me started. The Macho Man Randy Savage conned me into buying one of those once and I haven't been the same since.  Slim Jims score a 1, and that's only because they are advertised by a professional wrestler.  Oh yeah .. this was supposed to be about health food.  I put string cheese in
my health food department.  I don't know how healthy it is really, but it comes from a cow so it can't be all that bad.  3 or 4 of those bad boys in the morning really gets me going.

Do you have some lunch tips you want to share?  Let's hear them here.

Copyright © Robert Belloni 1997-2012. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without express written consent.
Login /