Production Lunches

One of the best things about working in television- getting fed. Not always, and not on every show, but for the most part- if you are working on set during production, it is unlikely you will ever go hungry. Usually this will take the form of catering/craft services, but there are times when you must rely on your local establishments instead. For example, if you are working at an off-set production office, or need to feed cast/crew on non-shooting days (as was the case on a reality show I recently worked on that had the cast living on set 24/7).

There are a number of things that always need to be considered when you are ordering food in this kind of situation (or really for any office lunch or large group). First, the restaurant needs to have enough options to satisfy a wide variety of tastes- with healthy/vegetarian/vegan/carnivore/etc options. Then of course they need to fit the (usually very strict) budget, and be able to handle a potentially large number of take-out orders.

Veggie Sandwich from Acme Cafe (with goat cheese, portobello mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, sun-dried tomato mayo and basil mayo on toasted ciabatta, with a side of broccoli almond slaw)

While working on a few shows in nearby neighbourhoods in Vancouver, I took note of every place we ordered from. The following are all in (or accessible to) the Eastside of downtown Vancouver (Chinatown, Gastown), and the South end of Main St in Vancouver. These places were all able to accommodate take out orders for up to about 10-15 people (or were at one point), and came in at or sometimes well under a $12-15 budget per person (depending on the show):

Pita Pit
White Spot
Lucy’s Diner
Fresh Bowl
Acme Cafe
Sushi (Spin Roll and Tsuki)
La Casita
Noodle Box
Thai Away Home
Vera’s Burgers

Mango Salad from Smak (with mango, peppers, carrots, cashews, cucumbers, thai slaw, herbs, argula and romaine, with a herb dressing)

My favourites? Smak (healthy fast food) and Nuba (Lebanese).

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