Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lunch time at the cafe down the street...

Why'd we stop serving foods and drinks in human-sized portions? I simply love this ad from a 1940s magazine:

I admit, I don't know why this gentleman is wearing his hat at the lunch counter (!!), but notice one important thing (aside from his awesome suit and pocket watch): the glass of Coca-Cola that he enjoys. Is that even six ounces? Well, I'll tell you what it's not:

That's a big difference, isn't it? And it's not just the soda, look at his lunch. A nice sandwich that's not five inches thick. I bet he has a slice of pie after that sandwich, and it, too, would be a decent--not obscene--slice. Even if he has it a la mode, it's probably still less than half the calories total than what the average take-out lunch is today. It's just enough to get him through to dinner with his family.

OK, I lied. Notice a couple of other things: He's eating off of a plate and drinking from a glass. Nothing will go into the garbage but his napkin. He's also not eating at his desk or in his car. There's something very civilised about that. Relaxing. Time away from the office, chewing our food, sipping a treat of a soda. That's good on all counts.

So why'd we stop doing that? Cost and convenience. We want bang for our buck, so the more we can get for less, the better. Not necessarily. And if we throw away the plate and cup when we're done, there's no need for a dishwasher or server. But at what cost? That's two jobs gone, more junk in the landfill, and just that much more human interaction and civilisation down the tubes. I'd spring for a lunch like 1940 any noon time instead of brown bagging it and eating alone. Wouldn't you?


  1. I would love to lunch at a counter with my hat and gloves laying next to me. lol My husband takes his black domed metal lunchbox to the office every day, although he usually eats it at his desk. :P

  2. I might even go shopping once in a while if I could stop at a counter for a piece of pie and a cup of coffee!

  3. Found your blog via BoPeep - love the concept!

    One of our favorite places to get a hamburger at is an old diner that uses real plates and glasses. Gimme that over fast food plastics and paper anyday.

  4. I absolutely would LOVE to have a lunch at a lunch counter! (Preferably via a time machine instead of today's places with their tv's all over the place and/or loud music blaring).

  5. When you find that time machine, let me know!!