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 meals recently enjoyed by dining editor Timothy Malcolm.
Angelo Emiliani, a Houstonian who worked under Chris Bianco of Phoenix's Pizzeria Bianco, started this pop-up pizza business in Los Angeles. Then he came back to Houston in November and continued the work. Currently he does Neapolitan pies at 8th Wonder Brewery and wherever else he may be most days (check the Instagram), and on Sundays he fires up square pizza, sandwiches, and other Italian fare at Flour and the Girls near Gray and Montrose.
If I were Pitchfork.com, I'd rate Angie's Pizza 9.2, Best New Pie. I had the cheesus square with sausage; the base is airy yet sturdy, and the crust is crispy and has that hard-to-pinpoint nutty edge that I last found sitting at the bar counter at (wait for it) Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. Sauce? Cheese? Meat? First rate.
My only complaint was my recent order came 25 minutes later than the time I had scheduled, and wait time is something a pop-up without traditional service needs to nail. Clean that up, because I'm excited to try all of this menu.
It's wild, but this warehouse-type structure in Uptown is where you can find food from B.B. Lemon, B.B. Italia, and provisions from The Butcher Shop at B&B Butcher's. Berg Hospitality Group is set up at the ghost kitchen here, where you can order pickup or delivery. It's most convenient for folks west of the Loop who maybe don't want to travel to Washington Avenue for a juicy B.B. Lemon cheeseburger or to the Energy Corridor for fettuccine alfredo or grandma's ravioli.
I recently ordered some pickup from Italia and got it at Fair Food Co. Even after a drive home, my alfredo was warm enough not to need reheating. Plus, it was plated well in a nice, deep container—no need to transfer to another dish. My order came with a basic side Caesar and plenty of menus. Overall? Darn good. A good option for those wanting higher-grade takeout pasta that doesn't sacrifice quality.
On January 10, Brett's BBQ Shop owner/pitmaster Brett Jackson took a bunch of bacon-wrapped, macaroni-and-cheese-stuffed meatloaves off the smoker, wrapped them up, and gave them to the customers who pre-paid for the privilege. Needless to say, this gluttonous foodstuff was a hit, and on Sunday he did it again. This time he smoked about 120 meatloaves—as many as he could pull off while still doing everything else at his top-notch smokehouse. Folks, this thing is a meal. Cut into the middle to reveal perfectly cooked mac 'n' cheese spilling out. A big smooch of smoke comes with every bite.
Jackson likes trying new stuff in the smoker; for instance, his Thursday special of brisket enchiladas is terrific, and a recent addition of caprese sausage (!) made me wonder what else he could pull off with pork links. You'd do well to order something once in a while from him (hint: order meatloaf today for Sunday), and drive over to Katy to pick up the goods.
Since opening in spring 2019, Polanquito has quietly been serving some of the best straight-up Mexican street food in Houston. At a recent visit I picked up a hefty quesadilla with Oaxacan cheese, epazote, and huitlacoche. Polanquito doesn't skimp on size or flavor here. I just loved the cochinita pibil taco, with the pork so juicy it started falling out of the homemade tortilla. Tremendous.