Due in part to Diane Harris, lunchbox no longer solely refers to a tin or plastic carrying case for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, carrot sticks and a juice box, decorated with cartoon characters and Disney princesses.
Harris, co-owner of new restaurant The Lunchbox in McDonough, has wanted to own her restaurant for years.
The Lunchbox’s opening on April 9 was fulfillment of that dream.
Naming the business was a deliberate decision, based upon Harris’ determination to achieve a healthy work/life balance.
“I’ve worked in restaurants for 18 years,” she said. “I have worked as many as 90 hours a week. I decided when I went into my own business that I wasn’t going to work day and night. I decided to do the lunch hour so I could actually have time for my family.”
And The Lunchbox was born.
The restaurant remains true to its name and it only open during the lunch hours of 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week. On the weekends, the business keeps its doors open later into the evening, closing at 8 p.m.
Main attractions of the restaurant’s menu include barbecue-inspired dishes, a testament to Harris’ many years of experience working at Speedi Pig, a barbecue eatery in Fayetteville.
“My favorites [on my menu] are the smoked chicken and we have great ribs,” said Harris.
A plethora of barbecue sandwiches are offered, including pork and beef, drizzled with barbecue and squeezed in-between two piping hot buns. Toasted bread can be used in lieu of the buns if requested.
For lovers of lettuce, a chef salad or a salad topped with freshly battered chicken tenders is available.
Sweet tooths will also be delighted at the dessert offerings.
“We try to make our desserts,” Harris said. “We’ve done homemade banana pudding before.”
Lemon pies and brownies are also sold, Harris said.
Harris is a Locust Grove resident and has been for the past 14 years.
The warmth she has experienced from the McDonough community has been enjoyable, she said.
“So far, everyone over here has been very nice and helpful,” she said. “We are well pleased.”