thermos.jpg
For all the time I spend with food, you'd think I'd have mastered the art of delivering it directly to my mouth. But my dwindling

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Seeking the Perfect Lunchbox for Leftovers

thermos.jpg
For all the time I spend with food, you'd think I'd have mastered the art of delivering it directly to my mouth. But my dwindling supply of unstained clothes suggests I'm still a rookie when it comes to keeping tidy: I have gravy spots on my sleeves, tomato sauce on my collars, and meat drippings on my pant legs.

All those battle wounds were acquired while I was sitting at tables, presumably in close range of napkins. In less-restricted settings, I'm bound to make an even more monumental mess. Yesterday, for example, I managed to varnish a microwave's insides with a cupful of black bean soup.

My knack for spilling and splattering food has pretty much kept me from trying to transport it. I wouldn't dare put a to-go box in my messenger bag, since whatever I was carrying would surely slosh on my notebooks and soak my cell phone. And that's probably a best-case scenario.

But I've been doing a tremendous amount of eating as I get to know Seattle, and that means I'm not always finishing everything on my plates. It feels terribly wasteful to leave my extra food behind, but I've learned from experience that Tupperware and a rubber band can't contain noodle soup.

So I've started shopping for a solution. I've looked at tiffin lunch boxes, bear-proof vaults, and Mr. Bento lunch jars, but worry those designs are a bit unwieldy. I'd like to find an ultra-secure, lightweight canister that I can keep in my bag for occasions when I might find myself facing a mound of uneaten curry. I'm not especially concerned with keeping food hot, but I definitely need a container that can stand up to the rattle of bike commuting.

The current leading contender is the "fashion food jar" pictured here. It only holds 10 ounces-I guess there's no such thing as half-a-pound of fashion food-but the descriptive copy promises it's unbreakable.

The jar's cute, but I don't want to make a $20 mistake. What's the reigning food-packing wisdom? Have you found the perfect trusty container?

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