The Elementary School Lunch Box

Location: Courtney’s (101 Castro St.)

Sandwich: Tuna salad with avocado and the PB&J

For kids who had a home packed lunch to bring to school in the morning, chances are there was a sandwich tucked somewhere in between carrot sticks, chips, slices of apple, and even a mom-note written on the napkin. For kids who bought school lunch, they probably still saw plenty of their classmates with Orowheat, Wonder, or Sara Lee bread slices filled with peanut butter or bologna or (God forbid) egg salad. This homemade style sandwich has become such a popular option for a school lunch that “sandwich” bags have become a Ziploc option size, rather than actual measurements like quart and gallon. I have fond memories of Oscar Meyer and sharp cheddar between spongey wheat bread. I didn’t know how much I was missing a lunchbox sandwich until I went to Courtney’s and had their tuna & avocado and their famous PB&J.

Courtney’s Produce is a small fresh produce corner store on Castro street. They are a cash only business that specializes in fresh picked fruits and veggies and fresh squeezed juices, as their main sign advertises. Those who frequent Courtney’s know that in a small refrigerated shelf with a wooden handwritten sign there is an abundance of sandwiches to grab and go. The sandwiches are pre-made with options like tuna, BLT, turkey, etc. All come with fresh cut veggies on good wheat bread, and I didn’t see a single sandwich on the board that costed more than $4.50.

Did not skimp on the tuna or the avocado.

I went with the tuna and avocado (which put me back probably $4) and was also tempted by a nearby table with more sandwich selections. However, each of these were all the same peanut butter and jelly sandwich on cinnamon challah with halved strawberries inside. This little guy is the best taste for value sandwich I’ve had so far. Two bucks took me to sticky sweet bliss. I’m forever in debt to the Jews that have pushed the deli sandwich to what it is today, but this time it was the squishy cinnamon challah that got me, pausing only to take this picture before demolishing the rest in one bite.

Thank you Courtney for filling me up for a few bucks. Also, thank you for the surprise of having that warm feeling of opening my lunchbox in grade school that I haven’t felt in years.

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