Since Covid-19 is still here and restaurants continue to stress alternative options to dining in, we’ll bring you each week a roundup of takeout meals recently enjoyed by dining editor Timothy Malcolm. 

What it's like to eat takeout crawfish at home.

Juicy Crawfish

With crawfish season now fully underway, I'm happy to report my first consumption of the year at this Westbury-area spot (hey, I'm keeping it local to start). Prices were pretty high to start the 2021 campaign (just two pounds of mudbugs with one corn, potatoes, and a half-pound of sausage cost close to $35), but for it still being winter, I didn't mind much. About 95 percent of the crawfish were big and meaty enough to eat, while Juicy Crawfish's medium-spiced Cajun flavor hit me with just the right dose of garlicky heat. My little kids even enjoyed a couple of crawdads.

The issue going forward will be whether the cold snap either destroyed or direly set back the season's offerings. We're still uncertain. Hopefully we can get those crawfish like always, and deep into the summer, because man, would I like to be outside sucking down my share. 

Golden Dumpling House

Speaking of the kids: The 4-year-old was craving dumplings and noodles one recent night, so I flew (read: drove) to Asia Town and Golden Dumpling House for steamed pork and shrimp, pan-fried chicken, and beef soup dumplings. I also ordered zha jiang mian—or noodles with soybean paste—and a few onion cakes.

If you've been to Golden Dumpling House, you know all of that food costs like $30. Also, it didn't dawn on me until after we started eating, but if you're getting takeout dumplings, maybe steer clear of the xiao long bao. The soup dumplings just didn't have the same impact 30 minutes after they were steamed, as I imagine the hot broth inside absorbed into the wrappers and limped them a little.

Anyway, the fried dumplings and onion cakes were terrific (makes sense), the noodles were seriously tasty, and even with the delayed gratification, even the soggier dumplings were delicious. Golden Dumpling House is great—get some food from them.

Marfy's beef and cheddarer at Blood Bros. BBQ.

Blood Bros. BBQ

Let's stay on Bellaire Boulevard and talk about Blood Bros. BBQ. During the citywide power outages and recovery period last week, restaurants slowly opened back up with limited menus. Blood Bros. did such a thing and on Thursday featured nearly a dozen items, mostly sandwiches, along with about four sides. 

I had a couple of folks to feed, so I picked up Marfy's beef and cheddarer—with shaved beef and melted queso sandwiched between perfectly browned Texas toast; the Pig Moe, with pulled pork, melted provolone and mozzarella, and blueberry-habanero sauce; and a smoked brisket cheeseburger. I gave away the cheeseburger, but I had bites of the other two and ... whew. The meaty Pig Moe is perfect for heat lovers because of that sharp habanero, while the beef and cheddarer hits every spot necessary. The cheese and sauce oozed out and begged for a couple chips for dipping. The beef was super juicy. An outstanding sandwich.

Things are back to normal (well, relatively speaking) at a lot of restaurants in town. But I know I can trust more than a few when the going gets tough. That's just how things go in Houston.