The order for shelters in place across the city that sprawls over the next few weeks has called the restaurants an essential service.
Many restaurants that had never offered a take-out service before have moved to the new model. While many people will naturally turn to places where they’ve always ordered take-out (burgers, pizza, tacos, and drive-thru being the most likely), now is the time to order from local restaurants. that you might not even consider going out.
I understand that some people have serious concerns about take-out, and I answer them in the accompanying precautionary information. I’m not telling you to order take out; you should do what makes you most comfortable.
I also realize that many people are going through a difficult time financially. Some recommended dishes might seem like a luxury at times like this, but local restaurants need our money right now. If you are able to splurge and want to do it, I’m sure they would appreciate it. My birthday is Friday and I plan to give myself the gift of not cooking.
If you have questions about specific orders or safety protocols, visit restaurant websites or call them. If there is a restaurant you like, check out their website and give them a call. If they are open I know they would love to hear from you. Also, be sure to tip as well as you can.
Better Half Cheeseburger ($ 7). You can get one of the best cheeseburgers in town at this all-day cafe that offers curbside service via a car jump from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (until 3 p.m. on Mondays) . 406 Walsh Street 512-645-0786, betterhalfbar.com.
Dai Due Quail and Parmesan Sandwich ($ 15). Think of the parm chicken but with a superior bird. The restaurant takes orders on call from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Monday and its butcher’s shop is open for retail service. 2406 chemin du Manoir. 512-524-0688, daidue.com.
Emmer & Rye and TLV Grilled Lamb & Beef Kofta Plate ($ 15). Rainey Street Restaurant and Fareground’s Israeli street food stand TLV have teamed up for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Curbside pickup is available from Emmer & Rye. Free delivery is offered for those in the Rainey Street area. This is one of the best Middle Eastern food in town. 51, rue Rainey 512-366-5530, emmerandrye.com.
Butternut risotto at Foreign & Domestic ($ 25). These people know how to make comfort rich as well as anyone in the city. The North Loop Restaurant offers take-out dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and brunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. 306 E. 53rd St. 512-459-1010, fndaustin.com.
Franklin BBQ Breast Breast ($ 25 / lb). Always wanted Franklin Barbecue but didn’t want to mind the line? The famous barbecue restaurant takes online orders for curbside service. Open your trunk and they will put your order in the car for you. There is a minimum of $ 50 for orders. Ten percent of all sales go to the Austin Relief Fund of the Houston-based Southern Smoke Foundation, which helps members of the hospitality industry in need. They serve from 11 am until full Tuesday through Sunday. And, yes, they still sell.
Roasted Red Ranger Half Chicken Dinner for two with sourdough bread, spring green salad, sweet potatoes and ras al hanout pecans, plus brownies and ice cream for dessert, from Hestia ($ 70). The high-heat restaurant that was one of the most exciting openings of the past year offers delivery and curbside options from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday Saturday. 607 W. Third St. # 105. 512-333-0737, hestiaaustin.com.
InterStellar BBQ homemade sausages ($ 6 each). 12233 FM 620 N. Suite 105. 512-382-6248, Facebook.com/interstellarbbq. One of the best barbecue restaurants in town has set up a curbside service.
June’s All Day Fried Chicken Sandwich with Kohlrabi Salad and Fries ($ 16). You can have one of the best fried chicken sandwiches in town delivered between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily. Other McGuire Moorman Hospitality restaurants with curbside services include Swedish Hill, Jeffrey’s, Elizabeth Street Cafe, Lou’s, and Joann’s Fine Foods. 1722 S. Congress Ave. 512-416-1722, junesallday.com.
Whole smoked chicken with homemade pickles and Koshihikari rice from Kemuri Tatsu-Ya ($ 28). The Japanese smokehouse has a limited menu and also sells bottles of sake to go. 2713 E. Second St. 512-893-5561, kemuri-tatsuya.com.
Blue lamb bn ($ 13). One of the best Vietnamese cafes in town serves a variety of vermicelli bowls, sandwiches, and snacks to share. 9070, boul. Office # 303. 512-770-1100, lebleuatx.com.
Pad gra bow at Little Thailand ($ 12). One of the best Thai restaurants in the area takes orders over the phone. As an added bonus, you can take a short drive and get away for a spell. 4315 Caldwell Way. 512-551-9930, littlethailandtx.com.
Crab salad sandwich with trout roe for lunch ($ 10) and oxtail lasagna for dinner ($ 25) from Lenoir. Specialists in “hot weather catering” offer curbside take-out from noon to 8 pm Wednesday through Sunday. The restaurant with one of the best wine lists in town also sells take-out bottles at 40 percent off. 1807 S. First St. 512-215-9778, lenoirrestaurant.com.
Lasagna with fermented peppers and smoked mozzarella for two or three people from L’Oca d’Oro ($ 40). Maybe you tried your hand at homemade pasta while at home. I bet you didn’t do it as well as Chef Fiore Tedesco and his team. 1900, avenue Simond 737-212-1876, locadoroaustin.com.
Vegetable paella at Parkside ($ 12). The downtown Texas bistro offers curbside service and is committed to taking employees’ temperatures before they enter the restaurant. 301 E. Sixth S. 512-474-9898, parkside-austin.com.
Uchi Hama Chilli Cold Tasting ($ 17). You know we are in uncharted territory when one of the city’s best fine dining restaurants delivers exquisite sushi and other dishes to your car. Customers can book a curbside pickup time on OpenTable by visiting uchiaustin.com. 801 boul. S. Lamar 512-916-4808, uchiaustin.com.
Fourteen of my takeout options, all of which currently offer the service, include: Bartlett’s | Deckhand Oyster Bar | Fresa’s (boul. Lamar) | by Garbo | Sliced homemade pizza | Hoover’s Kitchen | JuiceLand | Julie’s noodles | Lucy’s Fried Chicken | P. Terry | Poke Poke | Quality seafood | Safran | Sala & Betty | Thai Lada | Via 313
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If you’re going to be ordering takeout, make sure the restaurant has social distancing in place, with marked waiting points or curbside service and limited engagement with touchscreens. Once you’ve bought your food, don’t touch your face on the way home. Wash your hands and use disinfectant wipes to clean the outside of the package when you get home. Transfer the food to your own dishes and wash your hands again. If you want to take it a step further, microwave your food for about 90 seconds.
Full coronavirus coverage at Statesman.com/coronavirus.
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