Yes, that's Ben's Chili Bowl. Delicious, but not good for metro.
Most riders will adhere to this without worrying about it. Then there are those riders who think it's just a stupid idea. I mean, other subway systems let people eat and drink all they want. Yes, but have you see the creatures that lurk in those systems, living off the leftover foods of subway riders?
Not a fellow commuter I want to be near.
It is actually against the law to eat or drink in the system, and you can be issued a citation for not complying. Locals may remember that time a girl was arrested for eating french fries in a station. It prompted a change in their policy of dealing with snacking, but that doesn't mean it's a free-for-all now. Even metro employees need to keep stray food out of the stations, and for goodness sake, don't feed the raccoons!
This doesn't mean you can't take your restaurant leftovers home with you or carry around a soda you bought at a concession stand. It just means that you can't consume these items while you're in the metrorail system. I mean really, is your ride so long that you can't go without munching on something or sloshing your beverage around? Wouldn't you rather consume your delicacy in a setting that's not swaying, jerking to stops, and filled with grime anyway? And if you find yourself hurrying and needing to eat, plan your time better. Eat that granola bar on your walk to the metro, not inside the system.
Ben's Chili Bowl lunch: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Genuine NYC subway rat: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_tim/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0