What We're Ordering Out: A Seafood Feast, Refreshing Ice Cream
Since COVID-19 isn't going away any time soon and restaurants continue to stress alternative options to dining in, we'll bring you each week a roundup of takeout dinners recently enjoyed by dining editor Timothy Malcolm.
While you order tons of takeout, don't forget the fish (and other creatures) in the sea. I say this after I wolfed down a container of arroz a la tumbada: rice, chicken, chorizo, charred shrimp, chewy calamari, a couple of mussels, and a couple of clams bathing in a salty broth that brings out the freshness in the seafood. It makes a wonderful date night dinner option; just add some mezcal margaritas via the take-home kit that serves seven to eight. I also ordered the popular lechón, and the crispy shredded pig and sweet, pliable corn tortillas were a hit for both late-night and second-day snacks.
Picking the right tacos for your optimal Fusion experience is a brain party. Should one pair the creamy cremini queso melt with the more vegetal and dialed-back tofu taco? Is it too much to get lamb keema and chicken tikka masala in the same order? There aren't wrong answers here; it's just all about preference. Me? I had to start with the fried oyster taco with a small container of buttered hot sauce to top to my heart's content. From there it was the lamb keema, with the right punch of masala and plenty of cucumbers and tomatoes to balance it out, then the cremini queso bomb to be gluttonous. Spending more than $20 on your food is not a hard decision, because with every $10 pre-tax you spend on takeout, you get a free margarita.
Full stop, Burger-chan wins the award for finest takeout customer service during the pandemic. I ordered a couple of burgers for the family online, picking all my toppers the way you'd do at Greenway Plaza, then I drove into the plaza's parking garage to a labeled area to retrieve my grub. I texted a number and within three minutes a Burger-chan employee, mask and gloves on, was at my passenger-side window with the bag. Two days later I got a text from Burger-chan asking about a specific item's quality; it turns out some customers complained about the item, and chef Willet Feng wanted to make sure people were satisfied and whether the restaurant had to change something up. That's great. Oh, and the burgers, whose patties cover the entire bun radius, were delicious (I got mine with two dashes of ghost peppers because I'm a heat fiend).
The Annie Cafe and Bar
You may want to take advantage of Annie's takeout packages, where you can curate a three-course meal with superb results. For example, I ordered wild mushroom soup with duck prosciutto and huitlacoche; heritage chicken topped with mushroom fricassee, cipollinis, and grilled bacon (plus a side of brussels sprouts with bacon and blue cheese); and cookies and brownies for dessert. Tack on a couple of house-made margaritas with take-home Annie cups and you're living. Other entrée options include steak, snapper, beef tacos, and mushroom rigatoni.
After a few hours absorbing swampy air, a couple of cool scoops from Cloud 10 were in order. I visited the Heights location and picked up a scoop of basil with passionfruit and a scoop of black currant with lavender marshmallow, and oh, did I hit the jackpot. You can have your bold dark chocolate and your kitschy PB&J, but give me a balance of tart and bitter with just a few sweet, airy 'mallows. Anyway, if you want ice cream during any of these uncomfortable afternoons, you know where to go.