Deli Fresh & Ready to Eat: Gourmet Market Lunch Options

By: Toni Cunningham | October 28, 2013
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I’m sure many of you can relate to the following scenario: when Monday rolls around, you vow to eat so healthy throughout the week that your diet will rival that of Gwyneth Paltrow’s. You start your morning off with a healthy bowl of Special K, drive to work feeling like a registered dietician, and when you arrive at the office, you are greeted with a box of Krispy Kremes, courtesy of Bob from accounting. Before you know it, you’ve shoveled two of those glazed babies into your face, and well, better luck trying this thing out next week.

While it’s sometimes difficult (okay, nearly impossible) to ignore those sugary treats in the conference room, there’s still hope for a fresh and healthy week after you’ve indulged. While there are many aspects that may “prohibit” you from eating well at any time of day (free donuts, no time to pack your own lunch, etc.), I am not willing to accept your excuses on this one. Prepared lunches, my friend, are a life (not to mention health and time) saver.

If you’re not culinary inclined, or simply don’t make the time to pack yourself a lunch in the morning, praise the following local markets, as they have you covered when it comes to healthy (and delicious!) lunchtime meals on the go.

Holiday Market, with locations in Royal Oak and Canton, is my personal saving grace when it comes to pre-packaged lunch items. Walk into the Royal Oak one with a hungry tummy and you’ll spend your entire lunch break trying to decide whether you want a sandwich or sushi or a bowl of soup. I know, I’ve been there. They’ve got a chopped salad station, as well as a make-your-own-pasta one, where you can personalize your dish down to the shape of noodle and flavor of sauce. Should you simply want to pick something up out of the case and go, you can choose from an array of items like lasagna, salmon, grilled chicken and more—plenty more.

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Whole Foods, with several Metro Detroit locations, has more hip dishes made of organic and natural ingredients than one knows what to do with. The prepared food department includes a deli, burger bar, sushi and seafood bar, taco bar, sandwich bar, barbeque shack, and a partridge in a pear tree. If you can’t find something here to tantalize your taste buds, heaven help you, because I’m pretty sure Whole Foods’ prepared food section has enough variety to satisfy your lunch cravings for 365 days straight.

Market Fresh, 31201 Southfield Rd., Beverly Hills, is all about fresh, prepared foods. The pre-made counter has everything from soup to chicken potpie to pizza by the slice. Pop quiz time! Which meal will leave you full and get you through the rest of your workday? A) a cup of steaming, homemade soup from Market Fresh or b) a cheeseburger and grease-logged French fries from a fast food chain? This is a rhetorical question. If you enjoy Market Fresh, check out their sister location, Market Square, in Birmingham. They too have a prepared food section, with healthy and tasty items like stir fry and grilled salmon available for (quick) purchase.

Papa Joe’s, with locations in Birmingham and Rochester Hills, is an epicurean market with some seriously fantastic lunch-on-the-go items. The “gourmet to go” department provides you with hundreds of lunch items (breakfast and dinner too, should you need it). Like Holiday Market, they’ve got everything under the sun—a soup station (seafood bisque, anyone?), pasta station, sandwich station, and much more. The “much more” includes Kobe beef, Copper River Salmon and Cedar Springs Colorado Lamb. A nice upgrade from that can of tuna in your desk drawer, huh?

Westborn Market, with locations in Berkley, Livonia and Dearborn, has some of the best fresh produce around, as well as plenty of prepared food items. Ready-to-go lunch staples include sandwiches, soups, and salads, as well as more gourmet items like macaroni and cheese and sushi. If you’re stopping by either the Dearborn or Berkley location, try Westborn’s new “fully dressed” sandwiches. These choices are way more elaborate than your boring ol’ bologna on white bread. There are nine different pre-made sammies, including Fresh Roasted Michigan Turkey (with brie, purple onion rings, berry compote and romaine on a multi-grain cranberry bun), Po Boy (ham, salami and capicola with provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion and banana pepper served on a baguette), and New Age Mediterranean (with roasted red pepper, grilled zucchini, alfalfa sprouts, cucumbers and hummus).

If you’re on the go and your home or office are nowhere near any of the above markets, never fear! Fresh Corner Café is committed to “nourishing neighborhoods, one corner at a time.” How do they accomplish this? By delivering fresh, pre-made wraps and salads to over 35 Metro Detroit gas stations, liquor stores, convenience stores, cafés and grocers. To find one near you, check out their handy location map.

Now that you know these delicious lunch items are right at your fingertips, there’s no need to succumb to the “I-forgot-my-lunch-this-leftover-Halloween-candy-will-do-as-a-meal” drama. Starting today, point your eating habits in the right direction! And hey, we all fall off the wagon sometimes—so if you suddenly ingest a breakfast pastry, let it go, and get back in Gwyneth mode.