What are you bringing to eat at Gen Con this year?
1
1
Posted by brotherbock

Assuming we all get to go, but assuming also that COVID is still a thing causing some level of concern in July and August...I'm guessing there might be more people bringing their own food to the Con this year. A lot of people bring food because of the cost of eating out--but maybe more this year cause of the virus thing.

So let's build a list. What are the best foods to bring to the Con, with an eye on "what might you actually be able to survive on healthily (or reasonably so) for the week" and "what can you prep in advance"?


  • Trail mixes--the kinds with fruit and nuts, maybe some seed action (although I'm not as big on seeds, personally)
  • Yogurt--for the fridge in the room, maybe a small soft-sided cooler to bring places with you.
  • Hummus--with some pita, or some cut veggies
  • Whole fruit (apples, oranges)
  • Hard-boiled eggs (only for the room...please)
  • Pasta salads
  • Oatmeal (get hot water from the hotel)
  • Chocolate
  • Jerky

I'm not big on bars (protein bars, energy bars, etc) for real eating, but I know they'll get mentioned :)

What else?

Posted by grellden

cupcakes!
or muffins.

Posted by ematuskey

If I go, I'm going to keep eating out because indulging for 4 days is part of the experience for me.  However, for those who want to be frugal/careful, and provided you have a refrigerator in your room:

1) Bring sandwich fixings (your favorite deli meat, slice cheese, condiments, etc).  Especially for those driving in, this would be an easy way to make sure you can make a nice substantial lunch or dinner.
2) If you room also has a microwave (or if you can bring your own), also consider making a big mess of something you can bring in a sealable tub and parcel out over the coming days--pasta, a casserole, whatever.  Except chili--please let's not have everyone bring a pot of homemade chili.  :p

The point is, don't just bring snack stuff, because--if you're like me--at some point you're going to get sick of it and want a real meal.  If you do a little prep, you can save money /and/ still enjoy your food. 

Damn, now I wish I was one of the people who drove in, because I might totally follow my own advice this year...
 

Posted by indynat

Oatmeal, hot water, Greek yogurt for breakfasts.

Lunch/dinner/snacks:  cut veggies, beef n swiss, bananas, mandarins, apples, green teas until I hit the Dryad booth for this year’s Con brew and Tatianas Tincture to avoid con crud, craisins.  Maybe bean salad.

also thinking salmon spinach salads in jars for omega 3s.  

will probably bring along vitamin water packets.

 

Posted by tinabear81

Well, having access to a full fridge/kitchen (yay extended stay hotel!!!!) changes my game up a bit.

Fresh Fruit,
eggs and bacon
lunchmeat, 
yogurt
the refrigerated jarred peaches I love
salad fixins
yes some meal bars and shakes
iced coffee and if balcony or sunny window, then sun tea.
maybe some really baller chicken salad my partner’s mother’s husband makes (I hate mayo/meat salads, but this stuff is amazing)
Beer
and icecream

really I’m gonna get Kroger to deliver food for 4-5 days. 

Posted by brotherbock

Oh, I forgot--for those getting to town early, the Farmer's Market is still happening on Wednesday mornings (9:30-1:30), maybe 6 or 8 blocks from the Con center. So fresh fruits, baked goods, etc. (If it's running, of course...virus virus).

This is also good for those not driving ;)

https://www.visitindy.com/indianapolis-original-farmers-market

+1 for drink packets, although these days I go with Skratch Labs powders. They have a Macha Green Tea with Lemon, and a Coffee flavor that are outstanding.
 

Posted by quarex

I find the best way to mitigate Ematuskey's very relevant concern about getting sick of snack stuff is to bring the biggest variety of non-perishable snacks you can.  I think last year I brought a half-dozen different types of granola/cereal/snack bars, and about again as many bags of different types of trail mix or dried fruit chips or weird jerky.

I mean, yeah, I am sure I spent as much on that as I would have spent on at least one pricey restaurant meal, but my goal for every Gen-Con is to eat a free buffet breakfast, skip lunch to maximize Exhibit Hall/Auction hours, and then have dinner late enough that the crowds have started dispersing.  So I definitely find it worth splurging a little bit to ensure you do not do something like bring 40 Quaker granola bars and expect that to keep you satisfied (I may have tried exactly this about 20 years ago; only barely better was the year I brought three different types of Little Debbie cakes).

Posted by tinabear81 quarex

quarex wrote:
I find the best way to mitigate Ematuskey's very relevant concern about getting sick of snack stuff is to bring the biggest variety of non-perishable snacks you can.  I think last year I brought a half-dozen different types of granola/cereal/snack bars, and about again as many bags of different types of trail mix or dried fruit chips or weird jerky.
I mean, yeah, I am sure I spent as much on that as I would have spent on at least one pricey restaurant meal, but my goal for every Gen-Con is to eat a free buffet breakfast, skip lunch to maximize Exhibit Hall/Auction hours, and then have dinner late enough that the crowds have started dispersing.  So I definitely find it worth splurging a little bit to ensure you do not do something like bring 40 Quaker granola bars and expect that to keep you satisfied (I may have tried exactly this about 20 years ago; only barely better was the year I brought three different types of Little Debbie cakes).
Yes to variety. My first GenCon, it basically took all my money to kennel my dogs and get my butt there. I packed 2 loaves of bread, peanut butter, jelly, and snack bags filled with a granola bar, a meal replacement bar, trail mix, a mini chocolate bar from Aldi, and a fruit cup. I had pbj for lunch and dinner every day and filled in the holes with the snack bags. I did not buy different flavors of things. By Saturday afternoon I never wanted to see any of that food again. Ugh

Posted by acidix

I'm mainly worried about snacks since I tend to eat out at the convention.

- Trail mix (this is number 1)
- Jerky
- Candy (I grab a big bag and throw some in my backpack every morning)
- Lembas bread
 

Posted by brooks acidix

acidix wrote:
I'm mainly worried about snacks since I tend to eat out at the convention.

- Lembas bread
 


Awesome. 

 

Posted by quarex tinabear81

tinabear81 wrote:
quarex wrote:
So I definitely find it worth splurging a little bit to ensure you do not do something like bring 40 Quaker granola bars and expect that to keep you satisfied (I may have tried exactly this about 20 years ago; only barely better was the year I brought three different types of Little Debbie cakes).
Yes to variety. My first GenCon, it basically took all my money to kennel my dogs and get my butt there. I packed 2 loaves of bread, peanut butter, jelly, and snack bags filled with a granola bar, a meal replacement bar, trail mix, a mini chocolate bar from Aldi, and a fruit cup. I had pbj for lunch and dinner every day and filled in the holes with the snack bags. I did not buy different flavors of things. By Saturday afternoon I never wanted to see any of that food again. Ugh
Haha.  Yes, see; you get it.  I do not think I ever recovered an interest in turkey jerky after the year I tried just eating a bag of jerky as a meal.

Posted by tinabear81 quarex

quarex wrote:
tinabear81 wrote:
quarex wrote:
So I definitely find it worth splurging a little bit to ensure you do not do something like bring 40 Quaker granola bars and expect that to keep you satisfied (I may have tried exactly this about 20 years ago; only barely better was the year I brought three different types of Little Debbie cakes).
Yes to variety. My first GenCon, it basically took all my money to kennel my dogs and get my butt there. I packed 2 loaves of bread, peanut butter, jelly, and snack bags filled with a granola bar, a meal replacement bar, trail mix, a mini chocolate bar from Aldi, and a fruit cup. I had pbj for lunch and dinner every day and filled in the holes with the snack bags. I did not buy different flavors of things. By Saturday afternoon I never wanted to see any of that food again. Ugh
Haha.  Yes, see; you get it.  I do not think I ever recovered an interest in turkey jerky after the year I tried just eating a bag of jerky as a meal.
One of those mini chocolate bars is still hiding in my freezer and I found the last granola bar hiding in the back of my fridge in Jan. I thought I would eat them after a few weeks. Haha. Food Ghosts of 2018. 

Posted by fethbone

This is all going off the assumption of having a standard mini-fridge and microwave. If you are one of the lucky people staying at an extended-stay property, you can cook pretty much to your heart's content:

- Obviously all of the portable snacky things (dry snacks, cereal, nuts, jerky etc.), but as several people have mentioned, you will get sick of that noise FAST if you try to survive on only those for four days.

- if you can bring or get a decent bowl and some butter, microwave scrambled eggs can be pretty good if you make then right, and nice alternative to hard-boiled eggs.

- Said bowl can also be used to make ramen in the microwave. Most hotels now have Keurig or Nespresso-style coffee makers, so gone are the ramen-in-the-coffeepot times.

- I find that fried chicken keeps quite well in the fridge and I like it hot or cold. When I travel and am in a hurry I sometimes just buy a box of fried chicken and nosh on it through the week. Or you could do rotisserie or shredded breast meat.

- Fruit and veggies

- Cheese. Also good for adding to the microwave eggs or sandwiches.

- If you're getting fancy bread from the farmer's market, don't forget to ask them to slice it for you.

- Sandwich/wrap fixings. If I am feeling really fancy sometimes I will bring some pre-cooked cocktail shrimp or smoked fish as well.

- On a thread last year about stealth-cooking in your room, someone mentioned Hot Logic warming totes, which apparently can be rigged into something like miniature low-heat crock pots. I have never tried this personally, but hey, could work. 

Posted by insane

crock pot goodness for the whole gang 

Posted by matthias9 fethbone

fethbone wrote:

- Obviously all of the portable snacky things (dry snacks, cereal, nuts, jerky etc.), but as several people have mentioned, you will get sick of that noise FAST if you try to survive on only those for four days.
 


Yeah, this is mostly what I am working with:
Almonds (good flavors in Blue Diamond, and they don't contaminate with peanuts, which could help your fellow gamers if allergic)
Jerky
Cliff bars

I could really use some fruits / veggies, but I have been prioritizing stability without refrigeration and survivability for a 9 hour car ride. 

If you can get to town and pick up some green grapes or something, that's a big bonus.  

Mostly, though, I'm just eating out at the convention and trying to have something to rely upon between games.   

Posted by traveller

Antibiotics.
Anti-virals
Anti-fungals
twinkies.

Posted by wkuchad

Sardines
RX bars
Almonds

Posted by brotherbock wkuchad

wkuchad wrote:
Sardines
RX bars
Almonds

Sardines? Tell me more.

Posted by fethbone matthias9

matthias9 wrote:
fethbone wrote:- Obviously all of the portable snacky things (dry snacks, cereal, nuts, jerky etc.), but as several people have mentioned, you will get sick of that noise FAST if you try to survive on only those for four days.

Yeah, this is mostly what I am working with:
Almonds (good flavors in Blue Diamond, and they don't contaminate with peanuts, which could help your fellow gamers if allergic)
Jerky
Cliff barsI could really use some fruits / veggies, but I have been prioritizing stability without refrigeration and survivability for a 9 hour car ride. 
If you can get to town and pick up some green grapes or something, that's a big bonus.  
Mostly, though, I'm just eating out at the convention and trying to have something to rely upon between games.   

Even without a cooler, there's lots of produce that should be able to withstand a few days at room temp, much less a 9-hour trip in the car. Most uncut fruits in the grocery store are on display at room temperature. On the other hand, fresh produce is heavier and bulkier than dry snacks. 

Honestly, I typically just eat out and budget accordingly, maybe bring some room snacks and extra alcohol. Last year I noticed there was a Farmer's Fridge vending machine in the mall food court (after I had purchased other food, of course); it's a refrigerated food vending machine that dispenses small meals like salads and grain bowls. I am looking forward to trying it this year, and may be a good option for people wanting minimally handled food.

Posted by brotherbock

As an update for myself--if Gencon happens (please universe, give us a break), I'll be on a tighter budget this year, but I will be thinking about actually trying to get to restaurants a little more now. That industry is getting hit hard. If I can afford it, throwing some money at the servers and cooks and bus people for good food might be part of my plan.

Of course, maybe I can use some of that sweet #republicanhandout money I'll be getting :)  (Just a joke, please, only having a little fun at Mitch McConnell being the one talking about sending money directly to people--the universe is ironic, at the least.)

Sign in to write a new post. New Post
1
1