Lunch! That meal will fill you up. But to get your lunch to work, you need a conveyance. Sure, you can use some Glad Ware, but how confident are you about BPA levels in those things? Didn’t think so! And the hell if you can carry soup in one. Try some of these instead.;
Klip IT Lunch Cube 1.4 liter/48oz.
$4.99 at Container Store
Three compartments—one for your sandwich, two for leftover sides from Sunday dinner, or chips in one and guac in the other. It’s up to you. Once you figure out the necessary origami to get it into the dishwasher, you may never use anything else.
Fuel Glacier II 12 fl. oz.
$6.99 at Container Store
Soup will destroy your faith in most containers, but the Fuel Glacier II scoffs at scotch broth, titters at tomato, mocks mulligatawny. It’s also a nice way to keep fruit cool.
Glue and Glitter Lunch Kit (handmade bag, Lock&Lock four-compartment container, chopsticks, 5 napkins)
$45 at etsy.com/shop/glueandglitter or at Crafty Bastards
Ever try to take tapas to work? It’s paella by the time lunch rolls around! Solve that problem with the four containers inside the leakproof lunchbox inside a stylish bag. P.S.: Eat at your desk and no one will know if you use a fork.
Salad Blaster Bowl 26 oz. (salad) 2 oz. (dressing)
$4.99 at Container Store
No reasonable person would dress their lettuce at 7 a.m. and expect it to be crisp at noon. The made-in-Guatemala Salad Blaster Bowl offers problem-solvers the satisfaction of pressing the big button on top and carpet-bombing your greens with Newman’s Own. A quick shake, and things are just so.
Chug & Lug Container 22 oz. (milk) 10 oz. (cereal)
$2.99 at Harris Teeter
Like to eat cereal? With milk? At work? Dream on! But wait! The Chug & Lug has two containers, one to keep your milk wet and another to keep your cereal dry until business time.
Value RED lunch bags 5⅛ x 3⅛ x 10⅝"
$1.99/100 at Safeway
At 2 cents per unit, can you live with a little squishiness?
BearVault BV500 food container 700 cubic inches capacity
$79.95 at REI
Maybe you don’t work with bears. Lucky you. For the rest of us, this container is a need, not a want. Just make sure to store it downwind and don’t sleep with it in your office. Also, be aware that a bear in the Marcy Dam region of the Adirondacks has figured this thing out, so if you get sent up there on business, it’s probably best to just fast.
Sack Is the New Black
Packing your leftovers in a boring plastic container—even if it is some fancy contraption from the Container Store—will never be as great as having lunch with Roxy.
Roxy, the girl who cannot stop drawing, is the creation of D.C. artist Rania Hassan, who prints her in various colors onto reusable Velcro-closed lunch bags made out of Neoprene. This is the same stuff used to keep people alive while diving to the bottom of oceans, so you know it can handle a trip or 300 on the Metro.
Hassan’s “Roxy’s Tattoo” is inspired by a friend’s daughter whose math teacher had had enough of the margin-sketching on her homework. Chastised, the real Roxy started drawing, instead, on herself. In Sharpie. “She was in a lot of trouble, actually,” says Hassan.
Roxy is the best of these best-of local artisan lunch bags. But there are others. One design reminds you to “Drink Your Coffee”—which won’t even burn you or leak on you if it spills inside Neoprene. Another features Astrid the space-age cat. And a fourth, titled “Point of Light,” is a cool-looking lightbulb. All of them sell for $20 at Hassan’s Web site, shoofly.etsy.com.
Hassan, a Crafty Bastards veteran, started printing her designs on the bags as “everyday art.” She also creates less-portable mixed-media works involving oil on canvas and yarn work, featured at various local galleries. The bags are one of her biggest sellers, though, and she estimates the number of satisfied arty lunch-eaters is “in the hundreds.”
At her home studio in Bloomingdale, Hassan screenprints with a Gocco unit, a Japanese invention that uses flashbulbs to create a master image that can be transferred to all manner of materials. “It’s a lot less messy than traditional screen-printing,” says Hassan, 35, who works for the federal government in a job she’d rather not reveal. “You can say that my last job was as a designer for the White House,” she says.
Hassan does carry one of her lunch-bag creations to her secret job, typically filled with fruit and, if she’s lucky, some of what her husband/artist/cook made the night before. “It’s fun and very useful,” she says. “Plus, you get to carry it around.”