Life is wonderful when you work from home. No morning commute,
and a fully equipped kitchen is just steps away. But this past week
was different. I put on my corporate graphic designer suit and
worked in a real downtown office where someone else played boss. I
was doing a favour for some old colleagues and filled in for
someone on a weeklong vacation. I didn't mind it too much... the
work was stress-free, there was socializing and fancy coffee breaks
with my other office mates. The only bummer was that twice I forgot
to pack my lunch.
In downtown Vancouver there
are a lot of options for a cheap lunch. You can
take your pick from a number of 99-cent pizza slices, cheap sushi,
or fast-food it at the mall food court. Umm, no thank you. So when
I asked a co-worker where she goes for lunch and Tim Horton's was
the reply, I knew we could do much, much better. I took her to my
favourite sandwich shop, just two blocks away from the office: SO.CIAL Custom Butcher shop (332 Water Street,
SO.CIAL is a beautiful room in a beautiful historic building, and
while it serves soups and a bevy of terrines, it's the sandwiches
that are creating all the lunchtime line-ups. Using locally-sourced
and organic meats, these sandwiches are piled high with
sliced-to-order deli-cuts, roasted vegetables and a yummy garlic
aioli - a brown paper bag of homemade potato chips are thrown in
for good measure. I had the "small" roast beef sandwich ($5.50)
which wasn't small at all; I've held babies that weighed less! It's
an all-meat extravaganza kind of sandwich and it might get messy,
so vegetarians should stay clear.
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Social at le Magasin
332 Water St.
My next lunch outing was a strictly solo
affair which is good because Nuba (322 West Hastings Street, Vancouver)
isn't the place to come with friends during the busy lunch rush.
It's a small room with a few tables and counter seating that serves
authentic Lebanese food. The décor is hip and cool
and the food is fresh, healthy and organic, with lots of vegetarian
and vegan options. Rumor even has it that there is no microwave or
can opener on the premises and the chickpeas are peeled by hand to
create an extra creamy hummus. Yes, my friends, that is some true
food love going on! So for my lunch I chose the garden falafel pita
sandwich ($5.50) which was delicious and filling and came with
avocado, hummus, and the bright pink pickled turnip that I can
never remember the name of. Super delicious with plenty of crunch,
colour and flavours; another lunchtime score.
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322 W. Hastings St.
While both places served very different
sandwiches, the one commonality was that you could tell that the
staff really enjoy their jobs. You can really feel (and taste) the
love at SO.CIAL and Nuba. So if you think your boring office lunch
can't be salvaged, think again. Stop wasting your time eating
flavourless, over-salted, and greasy food served by people who hate
their jobs. A great lunch can be had at an affordable price and you
don't have to sacrifice freshness and taste for a quick lunch-time
Jeannette Ordas is a Vancouver-based Web Designer and Food Blogger who is probably right now thinking
about what she'll make for dinner.
Posted: Fri, Nov 23 2007