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.
One of the midweek specials at One Fifth is this street-food fantasy where lamb, a couple of vegetables—let's not overdo it now—and a generous helping of tzatziki are stuffed into a thin homemade pita that shockingly doesn't fall apart. Served with triple-cooked fries and some toum, it's a lux lunch or filling dinner option. I probably overdid my order at One Fifth by adding on some of that rich, garlic-buttery Turkish hummus with more pita, since I spent about 20 minutes seeing stars after eating, but the hazy thrill was seriously worth it.
Speaking of overdoing it, last weekend I ordered some Stanton's City Bites for the family and went ham by opting for the Miss Piggie. In case you haven't had it, the Miss Piggie is a rare patty that includes ground bacon and is topped with more bacon, a full crispy hash brown, and cheddar. (A thick-sliced tomato and lettuce leaves rest under the patty in an example of correct burger construction.) I added some tater tots because I was in the mood to double down. I love that Stanton's burgers are just the right size, with the egg-washed bun perfectly covering the patty, giving you equal amounts of everything in one bite.
For around $12 each, AKA Sushi's bento boxes are a worthy lunch deal. I got the ginger pork and was rewarded with sliced, juicy, and marinated pork, plenty of sushi rice, a few pieces of tempura (shrimp and vegetables like squash), seaweed, and a sliced orange. It was enough for myself, my wife, and my kids (who only eat about one-eighth of the food they're given), especially since it came with a small salad and miso soup. If you'd rather get a maki roll, try the daily sushi that gives you a chef's choice maki (mine seemed to be primarily a combination of shrimp, avocado, and cream cheese) along with three pieces of nigiri (in mine was tuna, salmon, and eel).
Chicago Italian Beef & Pizza
I audibly oooh'd at the stretchy mozzarella of my deep dish pie from Chicago Italian Beef. I aaah'd at the flavorful, strong crust that held together all the veggies and meats (olives, onions, peppers, mushrooms, sausage, pepperoni). I ate two slices for dinner and came back to the fridge the next morning for a third. Of the deep-dish pies I've had in Houston, this is now my favorite. I'm still searching for one that requires fork and knife simply because of its absurd heft, but, full stop, this is good pizza. Bonus: Get the porky fries, doused in thick, Cheez-Whiz-like cheddar and slices of bacon. They're hard to put down.
I'll start sprinkling some outdoor options into this piece considering patio season is upon us and more restaurants are thinking creatively about how to operate al fresco. For example, Rosie Cannonball opened its Spritz Patio about a month ago, located at the Goodnight Charlie's outdoor seating area and touting a separate menu from the main restaurant's. Cocktails are refreshing and whenever possible call back to the Mediterranean (the Negroni Sbagliato is a beautiful combination of bitter and slightly bubbly), while the food menu keeps things relatively light. My favorite small plate was the peaches and jamón, where some brilliantly juicy Texas beauties are served with stout ham bits in a tantalizing basil romesco. But be sure to keep an eye out for weekend specials; when I visited it was all about East Coast oysters. My wife and I (celebrating our wedding anniversary) ordered a dozen Blue Points from Connecticut, then went back for another six. Oysters and cocktails outside? Oh, did we need that.