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.
Aga's was full for socially distant dine-in service on the night I ordered takeout, a good sign that the popular Indian and Pakistani restaurant was running on all cylinders. One bite of the fiery chicken tikka masala proved it. While the goat chops reign supreme among super fans, I'm a sucker for a good biryani, and the version with goat here is among my favorites in the city. Pro tip: Load up on extra garlic naan since you're bound to have leftovers for the next day's lunch. Aga's also goes great with a fruit-forward red wine.
Speaking of busy spots, I was very happy to see a bustling Tan Tan when I arrived to pickup my substantial order late last week. The Chinese and Vietnamese diner that reminds me a bit of a Houston version of Miami's Versailles felt like the place to be, but I was not disappointed with my takeout grub back at home. It, of course, started with the house special rice cake—an omelet with rice cakes (crispy outside, soft and warm inside) and scallions—one of my favorite appetizers in the city. From there I indulged in two-alarm kung pao beef and a heaping batch of fried rice with pork, chicken, and shrimp.
My newest mission is to explore the Middle Eastern and Israeli eateries that populate the area around my new neighborhood of Westbury. That started with a pickup order of schnitzel (breaded and fried chicken) in a pita with creamy hummus at Dino's Middle Eastern Cuisine, a shoebox of a spot near Braeswood Boulevard and Hillcroft Avenue. The service? My original order included the Israeli flatbread laffa but the restaurant was out of it, prompting a phone call from the restaurant that I didn't hear. When I arrived I was asked to substitute the laffa order, which meant I had to wait a few minutes longer. When my food arrived 10 minutes later the host thanked me for my patience. "So we'll charge you double," he joked. Oh yeah, I'm a fan.