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.
When Ryan Lachaine of Riel put a pizza sub on his special Canada Week menu back in July, he was not only aiming straight for my sandwich-loving heart, but he was also offering us a little preview of the new lunchtime sandwich concept he started three weeks ago at his Montrose restaurant. Louie's has that pizza sub, plus a few deli favorites (Italian sub, turkey club, chicken Parmesan, BLT), but an early favorite seems to be the Fish-R-Filet, and it's not hard to see why. Crispy flounder is blanketed by melted American cheese and a perfect dill tartar sauce, which is all between two onion buns. It's outstanding. Pro tip: Get a side of fries because you'll want to sop up all that extra dill tartar sauce spilling out of the sandwich.
The chicken-fried chicken family dinner at Ritual is one of the best deals I've found during the pandemic. For $50 you'll get four chicken fried chicken breasts with a big ol' container of country gravy; sides of eggy mashed potatoes, garlicky green beans, and super-cheesy "macaroni" (the mac and cheese is made with fusilli); a salad; and pillowy dinner rolls. It's more than enough food for a family of four. If you order online you'll have to use Delicious Concepts's Roovy app. That may be annoying for some, but once you've downloaded it the ordering process at Ritual (or sister restaurants like Millie's and Pinks Pizza) is a snap.
Last week I moved from the Heights, so for my last meal in the neighborhood, I looked up one of my favorite hangs. I've written about the bar's stellar burger, but its taco game is just as strong. Order online and you can pick any and all toppings for your tacos. Example: For my carne asada I added jalapeños and a few dabs of rojo sauce, and after one bite I was sweating. My favorite is the barbacoa, where beef cheeks are smoked and simmered in adobo. Three tacos is exactly the right amount for dinner, and you'll pay no more than $12. Thanks to the Heights, and thanks to the great Cantina.
Last Wednesday evening, while we were anticipating some kind of action from Hurricane Laura, I noticed that Elliot Roddy's little restaurant was featuring a special of quarter chicken rubbed with house mole and served with piquant rice, queso fresco, and a couple of corn tortillas. For $15, it hit the spot. We also ordered the outstanding T.C. Turkey Club—buttermilk-brined breast fried up real crispy with arugula, tomato, onion, and that addictive cilantro ranch sauce—because no visit to Elliot's Table should go without it. The kids got some house-made chicken tenders with fries. While Laura never showed her teeth around our parts, we at least had a delicious dinner at home.
If you need some TLC any time during the pandemic, few things hit the spot quite like Kenny & Ziggy's matzo ball soup, in which the pillowy dumplings are found in a heaping chicken broth with pulled poultry, noodles, carrots, and celery. The soul-warming soup goes great with a side potato pancake, crispy on the edges and still hot, with sides of sour cream and apple sauce. For those not looking for hot foods in the sweltering summer heat, of course K&Z's has sandwiches, from more traditional deli fare like pastrami, turkey, and Swiss with Russian dressing, to wild cards like corned beef atop a potato knish. Ordering takeout from K&Z's is pretty simple: You can call the Post Oak Boulevard restaurant or choose your meal online, then you'll just pick up your bag at the hostess stand.
A shoutout to one of my favorite bars in the city, which has been making fun cocktail freeze pops that instantly have you back in the summer of 1995, when your parents' freezer was stocked with a plastic rainbow of sugar juice. Called Julep Pops, these treats are frozen versions of favorite cocktails (cherry bounce sour, mint julep) at three for $12. My strawberry margarita pop was boozy and refreshing, perfect for a hot summer afternoon by the pool (kiddie or otherwise).