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What food is so much better during lunch or during dinner?

I was just thinking - it seems there are certain foods that are really so much better during either lunch or dinner. For me, they are as follows.

Better during lunch:
-lobster roll

Better during dinner:

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  1. My favorite is a heavy lunch or brunch (on the weekends). I have always preferred eating light for dinner.

    1. Social conditioning, pure and simple.

      There are societies conditioned to have the main meal during the day and others have it in the evening. But what will generally "feel right" will be how its generally done where you are in the world.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        Yup. The whole 'breakfast-lunch-dinner' megillah is quite recent and hardly universal. I once read that 'a (British) gentleman never eats soup at lunch.' How arbitrary is that?

        1. re: mwhitmore

          Dunno about the soup thing, but British meals, for the middle/upper classes, could be quite formalised in the 19th and early 20th century. For many of us, the main meal of the day would have been eaten in the middle of the day and was called dinner. There would have been a more snacky evenign meal, called tea. Calling it lunch seems to be be after the Great War - although many Brits still use the original meal names (although it is mainly folk in the north of the UK and those from a working class background who do so)

          1. re: Harters

            Are you sure about that Harters? I always thought that the midday meal was always lunch and that the evening meal was either dinner or supper. Tea was something you had at 4pm but could also refer to the evening meal. Anyone for tiffin? ("Luxury! Handful of gravel for us lunch" - Monty Python)

            1. re: kagemusha49

              You forgot elevenses, something I was introduced to in the city of Chester.

              Growing up in Chicago, I was taught that supper was served as a formal meal during the middle of the day, and quite large. Dinner was lighter and served after 7 PM. Lunch was a non-formal meal with time off provided by your employer or school.

              1. re: kagemusha49

                My grandparents called the midday meal "dinner" and the evening meal "supper"

                Very common in the 1960's Midwest

                1. re: kagemusha49

                  Yes, I'm absolutely certain of the contents of my earlier post


                  By the by, food during the period of the Great War is the subject of my forthcoming book.

                  1. re: Harters

                    When I lived in Oxford for a year as a child, I ate breakfast, lunch and supper. My classmates, however, had breakfast, dinner and tea.

                2. re: Harters

                  Harters, the family I was raised with from age 6 were newly transplanted to California from England. their daughter became my 'bestie'. I ate meals at their house at least twice a week. SUCH great memories. and you're right, they ate like we didn't.
                  how typical is cold thin sliced roast beef with simple salad of basically
                  mixed oil&vinegar. pot of tea for her and I for breakfast everyday, white&sweet. thanks for making me remember that :)

            2. Lunch: soup
              grilled cheese sandwich
              potato chips
              3 martinis

              Dinner: stew
              fish and shellfish
              scotch and wine

              3 Replies
              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                If i had three martinis at lunch i wouldn't be awake for dinner......!

                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  Houston, the 80's, the three margarita lunch from Ninfa's on Navigation. They were killer strong back then, dumbed down now.

                  1. re: James Cristinian

                    I think the drinking culture has changed a lot. Saw Saving Mr. Banks and I was struck with the hotel drinking occurring midday when Mrs Travers went in for her pot of tea.

              2. Definitely garlic at dinner time rather than lunch because I don't like showering co workers with garlic breath.

                1. I like omelets for lunch but not dinner

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: NanaMoussecurry

                    My kids love when I make "diner night" for dinner which usually consists of cheese omelettes and bacon with toast & jelly.....

                  2. Lunch:
                    everything you mentioned above plus bagels, hot dogs

                    Burgers (somehow prefer these in the evening, but the dogs at lunch)
                    Roasts (too heavy during the day)
                    "Breakfast" (If I'm going to serve sweet breakfast food like pancakes/waffles/etc. at another time during the day, I find them better and more comforting at dinner.)
                    Hot vegetables (prefer cold at lunch)
                    Alcoholic drinks

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jbsiegel

                      I agree. Hot dogs for lunch and burgers for dinner.

                    2. Lunch: Vietnamese (less greasy)
                      Dinner: Chinese

                      1. I haven't had a set style of eating in years. I'll eat grilled fish for breakfast and oatmeal for dinner if I'm in that mood.

                        21 Replies
                        1. re: HillJ

                          well let's see.....if tuna sandwiches are akin to grilled fish, I highly agree.

                          1. re: iL Divo

                            I'm pretty sure I've eaten tuna salad for breakfast when I've been too rushed or busy to make anything more "breakfast-like".....

                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                              I love tuna sandwiches-if I've got a bit of tuna salad left in a Tupperware, I'm gonna slab it on bread and have lunch for breakfast :)

                              1. re: iL Divo

                                Yea, me too! Or on Triscuits, for a snack ;)

                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                  ........oh don't get me started on tuna and Triscuits

                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                    Hahaha, glad I'm not the only one.....!

                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                      oh my lawd, who on earth first turned me on to that I'd like to know . . . hahahahahaha

                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                        Absolutely! Tuna melts on Triscuits are killer good!

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          Tuna melts on anything (English muffins being my personal fav) are fantastic!

                                          1. re: jbsiegel

                                            English muffin tuna melts bring me right back to college weekends!

                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              HJ, I'll join you full circle on the English muffin tuna melts from older days! I use sexier cheeses now.

                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                Ah, sexier cheeses, point taken. Sometimes we just shred the cheese and fold it right into the tuna salad and then spread and melt. Gets real bubbly.

                                                Oh man, I have to make English muffins now...

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  My sequence:
                                                  1) Fork split English muffins toasted in toaster oven
                                                  2) Tuna salad topped on muffin halves, nuked 45 seconds
                                                  3) Sexy cheese copiously layered on top
                                                  4) back to toaster oven on broil mode until cheese melts
                                                  5) manga!

                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                      Put mustard on toasted EM, then overlap rounds of hard-cooked egg, top with a mixture of shredded cheese, mayo, chili powder, and caramelized onion. Broil till bubbly.

                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                        Interesting. Have you given that concoction a name?
                                                        I like the flavors. Pig lover as I am, I might slide a fried disc of Canadian bacon in there.

                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                          I used to eat/like Canadian Bacon back then, but I find Canadian Bacon more than inferior now & rarely use &/or purchase it anymore.

                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                    No sexy cheese here. Has to be a slab of American!

                                                    1. re: jbsiegel

                                                      Up until now, I've always used Muenster cheese. One thin slice cut into 4 squares and topped over the tuna which is sitting on a Triscuit then heated. My husband shreds white cheddar and folds that into the tuna salad, tops the cracker and then melts.

                                2. re: HillJ

                                  Agreed. Except that I don't much like American-style breakfast food at all, so I pretty much avoid the whole eggs/toast/cereals/bacon thing, and eat "lunch" and "dinner" foods all day...and I don't differentiate between the two. Leftovers for breakfast of any kind are the best.

                                3. Well, I instantly thought of Pizza because that pretty much just ain't right for Breakfast, ya know? I'll have a Blueberry Bagel at Supper time though.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: ShowUsYourRack

                                    I don't know of any broke student or young person who did not subsist on cold pizza for breakfast......

                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                        yep, because if nothing else, it's there/easy to grab/great take along

                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                          For me & my fellow college cohorts, it was all about $ and opportunity ;)

                                      2. re: ShowUsYourRack

                                        I beg to differ, we had pizza last night, and I actually dreamed of having it for breakfast, having been pizza-starved and that it was especially good pizza. I woke up late and nearly ran to the fridge to get my breakfast pizza fix.

                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                          Cold pizza and hot coffee has been my favorite Saturday morning breakfast since I was 10 years old.

                                      3. Single malt scotch.

                                        Not that it's bad for breakfast, cuz it ain't disgusting or anything, just that it's so much better for lunch or dinner.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. From your title, my first thought was no, I'll happily eat anything any time. But seeing your list, I actually kind of agree with it. Sandwiches etc. for dinner would be weird, and a carby pasta lunch would knock me out. I do sometimes eat Indian food for lunch, though, because I'm Indian.

                                          Oysters also seem like a daytime food. Hot roast meats are dinner.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Scrofula

                                            I like a good Steak, Roast, B.B.Q. or some other form of Meat for Dinner quite a bit. Hell, it's even in my name for how much I love a good Supper with Meat in the main course…lol.

                                          2. For me having heavy lunch or brunch is better. And dinner must be light salad, sandwich, wraps.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: prachishah

                                              I like to have certain portions of/for Dinner & then have the rest perhaps later on for a "snack", ya know? If not, then it could be a meal for tomorrow or another day. The only exception is pretty much a Buffet of course where you have to eat everything in one sitting.

                                            2. I've tried to like it, but I don't want hot tomatoes with my breakfast as a side dish.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                Oh jeez, my FIL does that! Every visit, he makes us eggs, sausage, burnt English muffins, & sautéed tomato halves. Normally i love summer tomatoes just about any way, but by the fourth day, I am about to lose my mind....

                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                  ....last 4 days in a row my hotel served buffet breakfast which I love but DO NOT UNDERSTAND why hot tomato halves are out for a diners' pleasure. so yesterday I put one on my plate, cut into it and thought 'nope'

                                              2. There are very few foods I would only eat at a particular meal or time of day. We pretty much eat anything anytime.

                                                I eat lots of leftovers for breakfast. My son has been known to make a burger first thing in the AM or French toast for dinner.

                                                1. Dinner- sushi. Lunch sushi is just not as good, I don't know why. A bento box, on the other hand, is good at any time. Part of the problem with bringing a bento box for lunch to work is that I usually eat it for breakfast, having been craving it since i put it togther the night before.

                                                  1. Fast food is better at lunch

                                                    1. Agree, Indian I can do whenever though.

                                                      1. My metabolism has its own quirks - which means that some things really do seem to work better at one or the other meal.

                                                        Generally, large meals make me feel energetic rather than sleepy. Interestingly, however, if I don't have a large meal immediately before bed I sleep terribly and wake up feeling worse. Breakfast generally needs to be heavy too or else I'm slow moving - so lunch is the meal that for me ought to be on the ligher side, all things considered, in order to feel best. As a result:

                                                        Better for lunch:
                                                        Sweet things: chocolate, cakes, pies
                                                        Chips (U.S. French Fries)
                                                        Cold meats

                                                        Better for dinner:
                                                        Large slabs of meat e.g. steaks, roasts, etc.
                                                        Baked potatoes
                                                        Stews of all sorts