No, I am not talking about a section of road in a race where team staff hand out bags of food to the likes of me. The idea of me being able to grab a bag at 40km/h, sling it over a shoulder, rifle around inside for goodies and not crash into dozens of riders around me doing the same thing is laughable. If I want a feed during a ride, I stop at a cafe and lunch like the French.
What I'm referring to is the optimum time to have lunch, assuming you've ridden to work and are planning on riding home. If you eat too early, you'll be starving by the time you're hopping on the bike. Too late, and you're riding home feeling like your guts are full of half a buffalo. Which is what I did today - after being trapped in a long running meeting, I was famished by the time I emerged from the office.
An enormous burger with a side serving of onion rings.
Geez, it was good. But boy, did I pay for it a few hours later when it was time to dash. My guts were still grinding through the better part of the back end of a cow - it felt like I'd swallowed half a breeze block.
So the feed zone for me is around noon, and I have to stick to foods that won't wipe me out on the ride home. Creamy pasta is a disaster. The only pasta I can eat for lunch is home made stuff that isn't heavy as lead. Salads can be too light - if I have salad, I definitely need a pre-ride afternoon snack. Same goes for laksa - I love the stuff, but it doesn't fill me up. Laksa + no snack = bonking on the way home.
Most Indian and Chinese dishes are also a disaster - if I'm going Chinese, I stick to steamed fish and stir fried vegies. Fish and chips are a no-no. Any form of Subway, McDonalds, KFC or pizza is definitely to be avoided at all costs. Thai food is generally pretty good, and I love a good green papaya salad. The only downside there is the chilli tends to lead to an unpleasant afterburner effect.
This does tend to limit the options a bit - except that I've found I can eat just about anything the Japanese care to throw at me. The only downside there is the cost. If I could afford it, I'd have a bloody enormous bento box lunch every day - preferably with lashing of eel.