In this time of social distancing, the Twin Cities restaurant community needs lifting up.
And we need delish meals. Assistant Content Director Emily Den Boer shares some of MSPC staff’s favorite local spots for takeout, cocktail kits and more.
I miss eating out at restaurants, much like every other person in quarantine.
Even on the days I feel that I’ve channeled my inner Betty Crocker and reached Ina Garten potential (cocktail-making talents not included), I really miss restaurants. I go to bed most nights thinking about what my first meal “out” is going to be. I want to put a napkin on my lap and smell food whizzing by my head and get recommendations from a talented server, even though I know in my heart of hearts that I’ve already vetted the menu and chosen a dish (or four).
And I want restaurants to survive. The ones whose tables I’ve celebrated birthdays at, impressed my out-of-towner parents with and had first dates in. The ones whose greasy foods have helped me the morning after a rousing karaoke performance at 1029 Bar (miss you too, old friend), or my go-to neighborhood favorites that are just a walk away for a morning coffee and pastry.
It’s because I want them to survive that I’ve taken it upon myself to be a loyal participant in The Takeout Game. There’s no doubt about it and no way to sugar-coat it: These are tough times. And in tough times, I like to lean on the comforts of a wonderful meal made by wonderful people in these wonderful cities.
It’s in that spirit that I’m sharing a few of the favorite takeout options I’ve had since social distancing began alongside the favorites of my food-and-coffee-motivated colleagues:
Amazing authentic curries and a recommendation that came from a team member who used to live in London, no less. The secret is to order one level milder than you think you can handle.
Coffee is the key to survival in quarantine. Plus, the shop is doing some great things to support its staff. Our favorite roasts are Dad Rock (a dark roast) and The Residency (a new house blend). Beans are also available at Lunds & Byerlys.
Just $35 for a growler or bottle of wine, large pizza and large salad. Walkable for you downtown folks!
The restaurant has pivoted to be “Dinette -n- Out” and it has specialty burgers and sandwiches not on the usual menu, like the Mac Daddy. (Full disclosure: I will be eating there tonight. I have a soft spot in my heart for homemade Mac sauce.)
I sit and think about this pizza crust from time to time. Don’t even get me started on the empanadas. And, if you’re on the fence, just say “yes” to the churros. It’s quarantine!
A pickup order at Baja Haus turned into a lovely eating experience on a beautiful spring night next to Lake Minnetonka. I ordered the shrimp mole burrito bowl and in a weak moment could’ve eaten the cardboard container to taste more of that queso.
The lobster roll tastes just as good via carryout as it does in the restaurant, and I appreciate that you build it yourself so the griddled milk bread doesn’t get soggy. (Yes, I am team Original. I don’t want to hear it from you Connecticut lovers.) I accept an extra charge and sub lobster mac for fries. If double the lobster is wrong, I simply don’t want to be right.
A newcomer that opened just before quarantine began, this Hawaiian and Balines restaurant has curbside pickup. I’m partial to the Brussels sprouts for a starter and crispy tofu dish for an entrée, but, quite frankly, the entire menu piques my interest.
Incredibly efficient curbside pickup. We ordered all of the things (hello, yucca!) and ate ourselves full. No regrets to be had. Cocktail kits are available, too.
A crowd favorite at MSPC, Lucé’s pizzas and easy pickup got a few call-outs from our staff. The current spring special, the San Pedro enchilada pizza, comes with Fritos to crumble on top. I will say no more.
I feel that as a food community we do not talk about the PB&J pizza at Red Rabbit enough. I know pineapple is polarizing, but partnered up with bacon and jalapeno, it’s simply unbeatable. Carryout available and easy to execute.
Another favorite among the MSPC team, the rice bowls and burritos are pretty hard to beat as takeout options go. I, for one, could be content in quarantine with an unlimited supply of the Yum Yum sauce.
This kit comes with two big bags of burgers, fixings, chips and salad enough to serve a family of four. And the burgers got great reviews from all involved.
I invite you to share your favorites in the comments and on Instagram with the hashtag #takeout2liftup. Together, we can lift this restaurant community up and enjoy some excellent meals in the meantime.
Read next: Why Organic Social Media Strategy Still Matters