The Great Lunchtime Sandwich Rant
One of my esteemed colleagues asked me the other day why I didn’t just have a sandwich from Sainsbury’s for lunch like everyone else. It got me to thinking and the brain itch could only properly be scratched by a trip to Sainsbury’s for a normal person lunch.
Of course my pondering had little to do with the merits or otherwise of Sainsbury’s food, but more to do with whether the al-desko-inhalation-of-lunch culture that has a stranglehold on office life is really something to be aspired to or indeed celebrated.
I toddled towards the St Andrew Square branch and continued to ponder.
On today’s visit I didn’t want crisps so that seemed to exclude me from the meal deal. I stuck with the sandwich guidance opting for the ‘classic triple’ which lauds the finest sandwiches in all the land: the egg and cress; the prawn cocktail; and the bacon, lettuce and tomato.
I added a side dish of sweet potato falafel for Ballquest purposes.
After the self-scanner checkpoint was rendered senseless by my ineptitude, a charming chap came over and dealt with my acquisition and payment with wordless efficiency. £3.70 certainly made it an attractively low pricetag.
I ate as I walked thus making the return to my desk even more speedy. I was there and back having lunched in 29 minutes.
The sandwiches were fine. The bread was essentially an edible cardboard carrying case for the fillings. The egg was egg, the prawns were prawns, and the bacon was bacon; the bread was not bread.
The balls were half decent; six for a pound, no less. They contained interesting things like currants, too. Not a bad effort at all, Mr and/or Mrs Sainsbury.
But was this an experience I’d like to repeat or recommend to you? No, it really wasn’t.
I tend to avoid using reviews as a crowbar for campaigning points (well, most of the time), but the Sainsbury’s sandwich is definitely a symptom of a lunch culture that I abhor and choose to rail against.
Why don’t I just have a sandwich everyday like other people?
Because I have the huge privilege not to have to put up with their tedious mediocrity. Because I have a truly excellent employer – and team of people around me within that organisation – that indulge me in occasional lunches that last three hours and routine lunches that last a minimum of one. Because an hour away from my desk eating something that most of the time is interesting if not delicious has been transformative for my mental wellbeing and work productivity. Because eating unimaginatively for the sake of convenience is ludicrous.
So overall, if you find yourself eating the utterly banal Sainsbury’s sandwiches more than once a week it’s time to broaden your horizons. If the reason you’re shopping here is the cheapness that’s fine but please vary things and make sure you’re walking a good way to and from the shop. But I’d urge you to consider making your own lunchtime sandwiches at home and using better bread. And once in the home preparation groove, be a devil and make it a salad once in a while. Or a pie. You should also approach the middle of the day meal with fresh eyes and consider it is more than simply a functional calorific intake. I guarantee if you make the change you’ll feel better for it.
I ate: classic triple, sweet potato falafel
I wore: skinny tie
Total bill: £3.70
Address: 9 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2AF