You can make your own Bernie's Burger Bus burger by bringing home a kit.

Image: Jodi Horton

Some of us are dealing with pandemic anxiety by teaching ourselves how to cook our favorite foods from scratch.

See, for example, my husband, who recently purchased 20 pounds of wheat berries and is currently milling his own flour, as well as cultivating multiple yeast strains for a sourdough starter. He delights in his ingenuity and finds satisfaction in his autodidactic-fueled carbohydrate creations.

His wife, on the other hand, has deigned to use boxed mixes and tube frosting to satisfy her cravings for cake. And, not even brand-name, mind you, but rather the generic versions that have been gathering dust in the dark corner of her pantry for God knows long. She delights in her laziness and finds satisfaction in the paucity of dirty dishes.

There is, however, a happy middle ground known as “semi-homemade.” Maybe you are even familiar with its high priestess, Sandra Lee. Here are the local restaurants who can help you embrace this concept with their (almost) DIY meal kits.

For Pizza, See…

To construct your own Nu Yawk-style pie, order a pizza kit from Russo’s Pizzeria. Available for delivery (free if you go through its website) or pick-up, it contains house-made sauce, mozzarella cheese, and two balls of dough. Coppa Osteria is also offering make-at-home kits for cheese or margherita pizzas that come with dough, olive oil, cheese, marinara sauce, and the option for additional toppings. Call the restaurant or order online for pick-up or delivery. Plus, Coltivare is challenging diners to “break out that pizza stone” that has been sitting in the cupboard and serve up their own slices using the restaurant’s DIY kits (pick-up or delivery) with ingredients for either tomato, basil, and mozzarella pizza or pepperoni, Parmesan, and tomato pizza. 

For Burgers, See…

Well-done, rare, medium-rare, bloody as hell? You can choose-your-own grilling adventure with a burger kit available for pick-up (call to order) from Bernie’s Burger Bus. For the low, low price of $25, you will receive four 44 Farms house-ground beef patties, buns, cheese slices, and pickles, plus ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. Keep it extra classy by tacking on a pint of “tipsy” onions or garlic tomatoes from Bernie’s Bodega.

For South Asian Food, See...

Inspired by Bollywood flicks to host your own South Asian banquet? Call Verandah Progressive Indian Cuisine to order the other components for your feast (up to one week in advance), such as its lemon or tamarind rice mixes, and its tomato cream-based makhani and cashew and onion korma sauces, both of which are available in 24-ounce to-go containers. If you’re feeling extra ambitious and seek to try your hand at concocting your own curry, you can also purchase rasam powder, sambar, and even dehydrated lemon and orange peel from the restaurant.

For Dessert, See…

The situation: in a desperate attempt to entertain the rugrats, you have turned them on to The Great British Baking Show and now they’re clamoring for vol-au-vents, marjolaine, and other complicated confections. The solution: Tell them the necessary ingredients aren’t available right now (not always already a lie) and order a cookie or cupcake decorating kit from The Dessert Gallery. The kits, which come with six balls of cookie dough or four cupcakes, respectively, plus two frostings of different colors, sprinkles, spreading utensils, and instructions, can be picked up at the Gallery or delivered.