Not Sad Desk Lunch

Sandwich Strategies for Work Lunches

November 12, 2013

As a defiant response to Sad Desk Lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty. Each week, in partnership with Earthbound Farm, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too.

Today: Food52's Assistant Editor Marian Bull shows us how to pack a sandwich that will maintain its integrity until lunchtime.


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Lunch sandwiches can be deceptive. You prepare one at home, slice everything perfectly, smear just the right amount of grainy mustard on your artisan bread, and set off for work, whistling a happy tune; then four hours later, you unwrap your small parallelogram of nourishment to find it soggy, and wilted, and altogether unappealing. You dump it in the trash when nobody is watching and you head down the street to buy a newer, better model.

But there is a solution! In the world of sandwich architecture, I find that compartmentalizing is the key to success: here, I cut into my avocado at the last minute, and carried my mustard separately to prevent sogginess. I sliced and stacked everything I knew would hold up for a few hours: rye bread, hard-boiled eggs, radishes, and chives. When I was ready to eat, on went the avocado and mustard, and my sandwich stood tall, triumphant, and sog-free. 

P.S.: Here's a new way to wrap your sandwiches.

Tell us: How do you keep your sandwiches fresh?


We're partnering with Earthbound Farm to bring you always fresh, never sad lunch ideas. Because dinner shouldn't be the only time that you put care into what you're eating.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • lourust
  • Sally Andersen
    Sally Andersen
  • ATG117
  • Christina Bogar
    Christina Bogar
  • Michele
Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull



lourust September 17, 2014
I slather the condiment on the inside of the meat of a meat sandwich rather than the bread, so the bread doesn't get mushy from the condiment.
Sally A. February 23, 2014
Can you help me with kid sandwich ideas? My boys hate peanut butter, mustard, and mayo. Love eggs, avocados, cream cheese/jelly, all vegetables...
Christina B. September 22, 2014
My kids liked sandwiches made with hummus and grated carrot.
ATG117 November 12, 2013
How long can eggs remain unrefrigerated?
Michele January 5, 2014
I make egg sandwiches of various sorts every week and they are fresh until lunchtime, and the late afternoon. If it the temperature is blistering hot I put a cold pack into the lunch box. I think the most important thing is to use fresh eggs and cook well.