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Dining in your vehicle

Yeah, it's not safe. Moving at 2mph during the morning commute I will have coffee and toast or start eating my bag lunch. Your favorites in your car ?

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  1. somehow I always end up eating In&out burgers while driving. Clif bars on the way to the gym but that's really easy. coffee, obviously, various pastries, egg mc muffins.

    1 Reply
    1. re: soniabegonia

      Yes! I never eat egg Mcmuffins except when I take a long road trip that sees me leaving my house at 6am or earlier. Then it's a treat.

    2. I was once late for a meeting and had cooked fried eggs, toast and beans (yes I know very English) for the kids and myself for dinner. I realised I wasn't going to make the meeting unless I left now so I took my plate and silverware into the car knowing I would be stuck in traffic 5 minutes from my house. In dead stopped traffic I ate my dinner getting lots of chuckles and finger pointing from the pedestrian commuters.

      1. I never eat in my car, and I never let our kids in the car. The kids are now 46 and 51 years old. The car never had food spots anywhere because of that rule. I was once asked to get into a car as a rider among others in which kids were allowed to eat, and I was afraid to sit down.

        3 Replies
          1. re: ChiliDude

            Same here. My kids are still kids and have never starved to death despite my draconian stance.

            I am allowed to drink coffee in the car, however. Water only for minors.

            1. re: ChiliDude

              I am very much the same way. Just the adults in this house, but I will only allow tiny, bite sized, non-crumbly things like skittles or hard candies in my car. Water or unsweetened iced tea is fine, they won't get sticky. And all the trash in the little trash bag. My last car was recently replaced and it was 7 years old and spotless inside.
              For a very akward year a while back, the man and I lived and he worked for the same company in both Atlanta and Charleston, 4.5-5 hours from each other. That trip was made so many times, I could not even begin to count. No food entered the car, even then.

            2. High fibre tortilla spread with peanut butter wrapped around a banana. Quick, healthy, easy to eat, filling.

              Coffee is a given :)

              1. I never eat in my car. I don't know why, but I just don't like to do it. When on a road trip and stopping at a fast food joint, I will always park the car and eat inside. This has caused some aggravation for my travelling companion(s) who want to keep driving.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Reston

                  I'm with you. I just don't like the feeling I get when I eat in the car. I grew up eating in the car on the way to and from sporting events, but now, I stick to coffee and that's pretty much it. I have a very, very long commute (3 hours each way, though I don't do it every day - about 8-10x/month for 7 months of the year), and I'd rather drive hungry than eat in the car. In fact, I find that the hunger keeps me alert to an extent. I eat when I get to the office or when I get home.

                  1. re: Reston

                    We don't eat in the car, either. We don't eat fast food, though. Even on road trips.

                    However, a few weeks ago, we took dd for the first time to a childhood favorite of mine in the city that is an authentic, old-fashioned (been there since the 40's) drive-in restaurant with curb-side service and homemade frosty mug root beers. When our food came, (burgers, fries, and a milkshake for her), dd exclaimed, "Whoa... we're going to eat in the car? That is so cool!!" We weren't driving around of course, but it dawned on me that she was probably a rare 9 year old that had never had drive-thru fast food that had eaten their dinner in the car. It was a first for her to eat a meal in the car. (She has had snacks, though, because school is an hour drive away.)

                    Driving and eating at the same time would give me indigestion.

                    1. re: velochic

                      Too funny. Reminds me of the A & W Rootbeer stands in Indiana that I miss so much living in Georgia!

                  2. My "car" is the subway; I never have more than coffee or a bottle of water while on it. I wish the guy eating scrambled eggs across from me this morning had the same policy.

                    On road trips I won't eat actual meals in the car unless it's in utter desperation. I'd rather "lose" 15 minutes and eat it inside than deal with a car that reeks of food.

                    1. 14 year old is in travel hockey and we often have to be at a rink and hour before game time. We are 1/2 hour to 45 min. from our home rink and sometimes we have to travel between 1 and 4 hours. When the games are early, we do a Starbucks (for me) run and then Dunk n Doughnuts for their wraps, etc.

                      1. I've never eaten while driving, except to snatch at a french fry. But my best friend and I had a long-standing disagreement about eating at the drive-up root beer/hotdog stand in my hometown. She was outraged over the idea of us eating in the car when there were tables a few feet away, but I was always like "But they hang the tray on your car window! And they bring it to you! It's really cool!"

                        I always thought it was fun, but she never agreed. Fortunately, when they were young, my little cousins totally were in my camp, so we'd always stop there:) I suspect I have the mentality of a 9 year old in some very key respects.

                        1. ...and I thought that I was the only one who did not eat in the car or allow others to do so. I feel better now that I am not alone!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: ChiliDude

                            I follow Geneen Roth's guidelines for mindful eating. One is" eat sitting down in a quiet place; this does not include the car."

                            1. re: ChiliDude

                              My ex wife always said the house was messy as l never saw the mess, but if there was a spot on any of my cars l would see it three blocks away, thus no eating, no drinking, even water, no smoking, ah hell, just NO.

                            2. Not so much lately, but I've been known to do it.

                              Gotta get down the goodness
                              Of the McD's Filet o'Fish
                              while parked in the shade of their dumpster.

                              Experienced car eaters always make sure
                              they're equipped with a roll of paper towel s.

                              Here's a really fun memory
                              of a road trip
                              with burgers well munched in the car.


                              Be careful. It's road poetry.

                              1 Reply
                              1. I can tell you that it's difficult to hold a champagne class while driving a stick shift.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: beevod

                                  that's why you drink it from the bottle!

                                2. I like this thread!

                                  As a child, my family didn't own a car...every so often, my dad would borrow my uncles car, and we would go for a drive.
                                  Allot of the time, my parants would gather us up, real late at night when we were in our jammies, and the destination was always the same: White Castles!

                                  It was always such a huge thrill!

                                  Eating burgers and drinking milkshakes in the car, while driving around at midnight, in my pajamas, listening to AM radio is probably one of my favorite childhood memories!

                                  To this day, eating burgers in the car is a special treat...And yes, I still love White Castles burgers! My favorite!

                                  6 Replies
                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                        Late night jammy drives for burgers always filled us with wonder.

                                        I give credit to Dad for those joy-filled adventures.

                                        1. re: FoodFuser

                                          Aww, thanks guys.
                                          It really was wonderful...
                                          I'm glad this post brought the memory back.

                                          You are so awesome, thank you...brought a little tear to my eye this morning!

                                          1. re: NellyNel

                                            This brings back memories of being a kid in the early 60's, going to the local Loew's Drive In, and eating popcorn brought from home in the back seat, so as not to eat the overpriced popcorn from the snack bar. The parents watced the movie, and my brother and I soon fell asleep. A touch of irony, my first job was at the same snack bar, where it was all the popcorn you could eat, fresh out of the popper of course. We did this many times, but the one movie I remember them watching before we snoozed was Breakfast At Tiffanys.

                                        2. re: NellyNel

                                          Aww...I have similar memories of White Castle, but not at midnight(even though that sounds fantastic). I still love their burgers too!

                                        3. I have had many fabulous meals in my car. The ambience is perfect. The music sublime. The dining companions extraordinary!
                                          Most memorable: Soft shell crabs from Obryck's on my way back home from Balmer.
                                          All time favorite: Nathan's (Coney Island) hot dogs, french fries and root beer.
                                          Most difficult: Juniors pastrami on latkes.
                                          Messiest: Brennan and Carr roast beef sammiches, double dipped with sauteed onions.

                                          1. I guess I don't dine so much in my vehicle, but I often do buy food, drive out to the cliffs or a beach, drop the tailgate and sit in the back of my pickup scarfing down pizza to some tunes.

                                            1. For years I was a retail rep going from store to store. The only chance to eat was between stores.Many a meal consumed "on the road". Kept it simple, burgers fries etc...

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Hue

                                                OMG - Memories - For years I traveled the entire state - leaving my home sometimes at 4:30am to get to a small town for an 8am meeting then hustle out for another meeting 3 hours away. If I didn't eat in the (rental) car I wasn't going to eat. McD's used to have - do they still? A shake salad that fit in the cup holder and the chicken nuggets placed ever so gently on the console.

                                                I could never eat a burger or fries cuz' they all ended up in my lap - messy eater? NO! A lot of oncoming traffic..

                                              2. I don’t eat drive-thru fast food very often but when I did I guess I left crumbs especially from the breakfast biscuit sandwiches and then my Mom drove my car, looked down at the middle console, saw all the crumbs and drove into a tree. Just at a slow speed so it was a smashed light or fender. I don’t really remember. She felt bad but said I had a messy car.

                                                I do my food truck eatin’ in my car. Parked.

                                                1. After 15 years as an over-the-road truck driver, I have eaten EVERY kind of food behind the wheel. One of my favorites was a Sausage Melt Sandwich with grilled onions and add bacon from Waffle House. I always kept a roll of Shop Towel brand paper towels affixed overhead and close to hand because these sandwiches are not exactly grease-free. LOL

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                    Paper towels are a "must"
                                                    for any driving debacles.

                                                    Two squares placed to the lap
                                                    with backup from "extra napkins,please".

                                                    There is nary a stain or a spot on my seat
                                                    that would evidence the debauchery
                                                    of road food that I eat.

                                                    Why would one not be a carrier of paper towels?

                                                  2. I eat in the car!

                                                    I keep a towel for my lap and a cloth napkin at the ready.
                                                    My last job had no place handy to go out for lunch. If you ate lunch in the shop you were expected to answer the phone, deal w/ customers but not get paid for your 1/2 hour. So I brown bagged it and drove to a nearby park daily. Comfortable, quiet, and relaxing. Kept a book in the car for lunch time reading - a nice way to increase my reading time!

                                                    I often don't get hungry until I'm out of the house. I found a cute little plastic bowl with a suction cup which attaches to my dashboard (made for toddlers/high chairs I suspect). I fill it before I leave with some carrots, jicama, emergency cheese (string or Laughing Cow single servings) and crackers or nuts. Healthy, low cal, tasty and easy to munch n' drive! Keeps me from being tempted by sodium laden fast food - most of the time. :-D

                                                    1. I hate to be a party pooper, but a co-worker's lunch hour experience about 10 years ago has kept me from eating and driving at the same time.
                                                      He was munching on a burger, waiting at the traffic light to turn to come back into the store parking lot, and a lady rear-ended him. Hard.
                                                      He bit through his tongue so bad he needed about 10 or 11 stitches, and everyone at work had a good time hearing him talk funny for weeks. He never ate in the car again.
                                                      I can't have a bag of fast food in the car, even, without thinking of that!

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                        I laughed at that one, remembering a book from years ago.
                                                        Has anyone here read The World According To Garp?

                                                        1. re: eclecticsynergy


                                                          Oh yeah, I remember the book and the movie.

                                                          1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                            (Shuddering) yes.

                                                            I'll just keep the comments at that!

                                                          2. Over the years and after many cars, I developed a pattern of tolerance to which anyone is free to object. In my American cars, eat all you want. In my Japanese cars, no crumbs. In my German cars, eating is verboden. I tend to favor cars from countries that lost WW2.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                              In my American cars, eat all you want. In my Japanese cars, no crumbs. In my German cars, eating is verboden. I tend to favor cars from countries that lost WW2.

                                                              The countries that lost WWII make automobiles. The countries that emerged victorious make cars, or in the case of the British, leaky oil buckets.

                                                            2. Saw a woman driving in traffic once- driving along, not stopped. She was eating some sort of sandwich, drinking a cup of coffee, talking on her celphone, and putting on eye makeup in the rearview, all at the same time. Somehow. To this day I'm only 90% sure she had just two hands...

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                I see men shaving in their moving car!

                                                                1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                  my sister calls this "It's time to do everything but drive."

                                                                2. many funny postings. eating in the car was not allowed when i was young. eventually we were allowed to have milkshakes (the good ones tend to spill in slow motion). In the intervening years I have had too many meals on the go, riding and driving, although I keep it to finger food (waddaya mean a double double isn't finger food?)

                                                                  recently i gave a friend a ride. he had a plate of nachos. he offered me some. I told him that nachos were not really 'car food'. He muched away happily. Offered again. We came to a stop light and he offered a third time. I asked if he was sure it was a good idea. He was sure. so I scooped from the left, and the food on the right fell into his lap.

                                                                  Nachos are not good car food.

                                                                  1. My driver's ed teacher would let us go to Burger King, which had just opened on Long Island. We'd get a bag of burgers. I remember driving and eating. Now that's driver's ed.

                                                                    1. I once found myself wondering if, one day, archeologists would uncover a minivan in a surburban dig site a few hundred years from now. I concluded that they would think we were some kind of nomadic tribe who fed their children exclusively while driving to and from various locations. The dashboard and mobile video might be the equivalent of the hearth in Colonial times. Between the petrified french fries, lost chicken nuggets, small plastic toys, Cheerios, old juice boxes, napkins, wipes and untossed food trash, what else could they conclude?

                                                                      I had friends whose minivans were so disgusting that it was nearly impossible for me to actually sit in a seat for a short ride without sitting on food or food garbage. I have no explanation for this.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: RGC1982

                                                                        Don't paint us all with the same brush! I am a suburb-living mini-van driving (and loving) mom who lets my sons eat in the van! But, that have seat protectors under their car seat which are regularly cleaned. They are well acquainted with a wet-wipe and know to put the trash back in the bag. I promise you would never be scared to sit in MY mini-van :)

                                                                        1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                          This explains why mini-van drivers don't use turn signals - they're always eating!

                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                            My friend Andrew once showed up with a badly crumpled fender on his Toyota. When anyone asked him about it he would say, "You know the 'secret sauce' on a Big Mac? Well, the secret is that when you get it all over your hands it makes the steering wheel really, really slippery."

                                                                      2. Only water and shelled unsalted nuts. I went out to lunch with a friend and I was driving. She asked me to stop at a convenience store for coffee and I gave her such a look, she said "nevermind".

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: middleagedfoodie

                                                                          Great threads! I have ruined many shirts with coffee and food stains while being behind the wheel.

                                                                        2. I almost always road trip with my corgi and I'm not leaving her in the car so it's drive thru for us. (I live in the midwest on big boring interstates....) Sausage McMuffin and diet coke is a usual start the trip out morning food. (the dog also is allowed to eat in the car).

                                                                          1. I have workday breakfast in the car most of the time. It's either carrot-oat cake, my own version of healthful coffee cake (with the nut/cinnamon/raw sugar mixture in the middle, so it doesn't spill) or slices of homemade pumpkin bread. All not so crumbly and easy to eat without using utensils. It makes the morning commute enjoyable.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Lexma90

                                                                              Ahem. You do realize you have to post the recipes on the home cooking board now, right? :)

                                                                            2. I get bored in cars so eating food is a way to occupy time. Same with flying.

                                                                              We usually travel with cats so can't stop for sit down meals (and I prefer to just get to where I'm going). So on long trips (5 hour+) it's a sandwich, chips, and apple slices. As the passenger it's my job to keep the cats occupied so the BF can drive unmolested. So usually it's one cat on my shoulder trying to swipe at my sandwich and the other on my lap sneaking bites on the other side. Or if we are in a rush it's a quick stop at McDonalds.

                                                                              In highschool I did a lot of eating while driving in the car. McDonalds, Taco Bell, sushi, etc.

                                                                              1. My husband eats his oatmeal in the car. He puts it in a coffee mug and at every stop-light he grabs the mug and eats a few bites. He’s got a commute of over an hour, so he’s always done before he gets to work.

                                                                                I’ve never been a fan of eating and driving, but I’ve fed my kid in the car on the way to sports… we usually will make her a wrap of some kind and she munches on that while I drive.

                                                                                Coffee in the morning on my way to work is a ritual, I would feel incomplete and my day would be a wreck if I missed it.

                                                                                1. As to the question "Should I eat in my car?"....

                                                                                  Do a gentle appraisal of both self, and vehicle.

                                                                                  As to Self:
                                                                                  Are there subsistant food stains on the leg of your trousers
                                                                                  that sweep, left to right, near your kneecap and femur?
                                                                                  If this is so, this may cured by asking for tons of extra napkins.
                                                                                  Though physical therapy might be suggested
                                                                                  for "rolling the thigh drive-thru syndrome."

                                                                                  Now to your hands and your face.
                                                                                  Is their evidence of fast-food embrace?
                                                                                  Any grease on your chin
                                                                                  or food splash on your glasses?
                                                                                  God Forbid you are bearded
                                                                                  and have crumbles from biscuits.

                                                                                  Now to the car: just check the door handle.
                                                                                  is there evidence there of driving while prandial?
                                                                                  The buildup will be there,however gradual.

                                                                                  Now to the floorboard.
                                                                                  That clearest expositor.
                                                                                  It shows how you drive
                                                                                  while you slurp down your coffee.

                                                                                  As one takes honest assessment of eating and driving,
                                                                                  they should also take note of crustaceous deposits on their steering wheel.

                                                                                  Do wipedowns and cleanouts
                                                                                  Come as part of the warranty
                                                                                  for folks who don't pass
                                                                                  the above mentioned criterion?