High School Lunches Done Right


By Nic Mosher

I have always cherished lunchtime. My true love for lunch came my freshman year following the introduction of off-campus lunch. So many choices, so much freedom, and so much room for error. I made many mistakes that year, but I also obtained a lot of valuable information. It became my mission to have the best lunches possible, every single day. I have compiled everything you need to know in order to enjoy your lunches at Tam.

Graphic by: Meg Weisselberg
Graphic by: Meg Weisselberg

1. Plan ahead.

There’s almost nothing worse than getting out of class and realizing your friends have already left, or that no one knows where they want to go. This one is a simple fix. All you need to do is text your friends. Deciding where you are going and whom you are going with before the start of lunch is essential to optimizing the lunch experience. When this step is not completed it often leads to desperation, leaving many kids eating at Taco Bell more than twice a week.

2. Avoid fast foods.

While tasty and cheap, many fast food options can cause severe digestive problems. Trust me, no one wants to sit through an hour and a half of Spanish after having just consumed a box of Kung Pow Chicken from Panda Express. And as a general rule of thumb, if a meal contains both beans and cheese, it is best to avoid it if you would like to survive third period. India Palace’s spicy curry also falls under this category, for obvious reasons.

3. Spend your money wisely.

If you are given $25 a week for lunch, like me, then you must strategize. If you spend $7.26 on a Super Duper Burger on Tuesday, then you’re going to have cut back on Wednesday. If you treat yourself to luxurious meals too often, come Friday you might be eating stale 69-cent bagels from Safeway’s bakery.

4. Befriend an upperclassman.

It is essential to know someone who can drive. No matter what you order, after 100 days of the same restaurants, you’re going to want to mix it up a little. This entails venturing off to restaurants such as Harmony, Shelter Bay, and Smash Burger. Without a car, lunch will get repetitive faster than you can say “Grilly’s again?”

5. Avoid the trifecta.

The trifecta consists of Starbucks, Grilly’s, and Super Duper. All three of these are good options the first 10 times or so, and then you will want to switch it up. While it seems impossible, there are more options within walking distance. Among these are Whole Foods, Mama’s Café, and Joe’s Taco Lounge. Time is an issue when attempting to eat at Mama’s or Joe’s, but it is certainly a possible feat. Also, if one is willing to be tardy, the super steak nachos from Joe’s are an excellent choice. (See step two for more on potential digestive issues.)

6. Enjoy yourself.

Lunch is a time to be free and to relax. You’re out of class with your friends and appeasing your starving stomach. If you’re not enjoying your lunches, you’re doing something wrong.

If my lunch is not executed correctly, then the quality of my lunch is in jeopardy, and so is the rest of my day.