Of all the imaginative ways that local restaurants are responding to the coronavirus outbreak, the most sensible for anxious consumers and strained businesses alike has been the trend toward ready-made meals to go. This includes both generous combo packs and effortless heat-and-eat kits.
We recently called in an order for a delicious chicken parmigiana spread from the Minneapolis outpost of Mucci’s Italian. Priced to move at $30 for two people (or $45 for extra chicken), the family-style meal came with a large house salad with pepperoncini, and a bright vinaigrette; a duo of salt-crusted, rosemary-flecked focaccia rolls; a tangle of of homemade pasta tossed in marinara sauce; and big enough portions of the crispy, cheesy main event to make dessert feel like an overkill. (That said, we’re kicking ourselves for not ordering tiramisu for later — or a frozen pizza or frozen lasagne for the recession-friendly prices of $10 and $15, respectively.) Special shout-out to owner Tim Niver and his superstar team for running such a tight ship under this COVID-crazy duress. They embody hospitality at its best.
Here is a roundup of other curbside suppers peaking on our radar:
- Wrecktangle Pizza at North Loop Galley is selling everything you need to make pizza at home (fresh dough ball, cheese, sauce, and pepperoni) for $12. Order online or call 612-695-6525.
- Grand Cafe and Eastside are offering a daily-changing $30 Take-and-Bake meal. Today’s was pork shoulder with braised collard greens, sweet corn pudding, and buttermilk biscuits; a previous lineup included stick-to-your-ribs beef stew with bread, plus breakfast muffins for the following day. New meals are announced each morning and may be ordered online. Pick-ups are in 15-minute blocks from 5 to 7 p.m.
- Tenant has a $15 soup-and-“fancy” bread special for two; the rotating options include chicken wild rice, chicken gnocchi, beer cheese potato, pork and beans, roasted cauliflower, and roasted mushroom with kale (“GF/DF/Vegan – also still good” reads the menu, lol). Call or text 612-827-8111 to order.
- Apoy has a step-by-step D.I.Y. kamayan feast to go for $20 per person. The traditional Filipino spread includes seafood, meat, rice, and grilled vegetables. (Sorry, karaoke not included.) Call 612-824-4719 to order; 24-hour advance noticed required.
- Centro at Popol Vuh is now selling family-style meals, including a taco pack for four with a pound of protein (your choice of chorizo, tinga, or cachetes), plus rice, beans, and tortillas for $25. Enchiladas for four with avocado, romaine, crema, and queso costs $40 for four to five people. Order online or call 612-345-5527.
- Kieran’s Kitchen Northeast at the Food Building is putting together hearty meal packages for two to four people to be heated up at home. Recent combos include citrus-glazed pork belly with Tamari barley, turnips, and slaw ($42) and braised chicken with black beans and cabbage salad ($36). Order online or call 612-354-5093.
- Newcomer Mary Ellen’s Bistro is doing a $20 brunch-ready go bag with roasted potatoes, fresh-baked blueberry muffins, and bacon-cheddar-and-green onion quiche, orderable online.