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Get Your Take Out

I read an article in The Boston Globe yesterday that was captioned with an image that said getting take out these days is our civic duty. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to compare take out with voting but I agree that it’s important.

In the early days of the pandemic, nearly a year ago now, we treated our kids to take out every Wednesday. Why Wednesday? Because that was the night we traditionally had them over for dinner and we suddenly couldn’t do that. So I would place and pay for the order for them and they would go get it. Now when we do get together we tend to get take out. It’s a treat for me to not have to cook and everyone gets to have their favorite.

Sometimes Dale and I get take out for ourselves, as well. When the weather was warm we regularly took a drive somewhere pretty, picking up food from somewhere on the way, and then we would have a car picnic. I now keep a picnic basket in the car and it’s stocked with paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, salt & pepper, and wet naps.

Our local options were generally fairly limited to pizza but over the last several months the restaurants have adapted and even the swankiest places now offer take out. My tip for cold weather? Turn on the oven and heat up your plates and then when the food arrives put it on your own plates. It will not only look better but it will stay hotter for far longer.

I miss indoor dining. I miss spontaneously stopping somewhere for a drink and an appetizer. I miss lingering over a drink, meeting new people, chatting with the bartender. But until those things feel comfortable for me again I will be getting take out. I hope you will, too.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. We are getting take out once a week as well and the restaurants are good getting better, more than subs and pizza. They are doing daily specials, roasted chicken dinners, pastas and trays. When we eat at home, we take the insulated grocery bag and two of the heated pads from my pot luck carriers. At home, we are plug in the Salton electric hot tray (that wedding present is getting used, Mom was right). Happy we can discover new places listed in Globe and local online sources.

  2. I agree… we have been trying to get some form of take out at least every other week. (it will get easier now that it is Lent… Pittsburgh is big on Friday Fish!)

  3. We’ve gotten take out maybe six times in the year since the pandemic started; our options are pretty limited near us in both places. But I welcome the break from cooking and now that you’ve pointed out that it’s my civic duty, I may get cheesesteaks or pizza more often!

  4. I read an article suggesting there are permanent changes restaurants are adopting, like expecting people to not linger over their meal. Or servers attentively checking on you. I’ll be honest, the best thing a restaurant offers me is a complete experience of great food, relaxing atmosphere and being waited on. Otherwise, it’s an expensive version of a meal I can cook at home tailored perfectly to our preferences. Having worked both sides of the house in restaurants, I’ll be interested to see what changes stick. I also think those predictions might be more accurate for a big city than smaller communities where restaurants serve that critical third space function. Meanwhile, we are intentional about it when we get take-out.

  5. Although I do get take-out a bit, we generally like home cooking better than most take-out, even pizza at home is generally better than pizza take-out for us. So, we buy food that I am unable or unwilling to cook, like Chinese. I do tip generously when I get take-out, and I realize that restaurant workers are struggling these days. I agree with Robby, restaurants are valuable to me in the areas of truly great food, a lovely atmosphere and service that leaves me feeling pampered.

    1. A chef I learned a lot from suggested that eating out should generally be for an experience you can’t or won’t replicate at home. Chinese and Thai are like that for us also. I can do some things at home, but don’t want to spend all day prepping for the full experience of dim sum, etc. It was an eye opening perspective. At the same time, sometimes that experience is just enjoying my spouse free of distractions and interruptions and then we go for whatever sounds good.

  6. With a number of food restrictions in my diet, dining out has not been a big part of our lives but I do get take out a few times a month, usually on a night when I am too tired to make dinner after having our two little boys for a play date!

  7. We get take-out every Saturday for dinner (pretty much) and try to support the smaller places for a lunch or breakfast as well. We don’t have a lot of choices locally either – I can’t wait to be able to go back inside!

  8. We’ve typically been getting takeout on Fridays and Saturdays, both because we like to support local restaurants and because by that point in the week we’re usually out of dinner ideas. In the before times, we’d usually have Friday night dinner at my parents’ and go out on Saturday, so not that much has changed except where we eat. I’ve also been really impressed by how many places have shifted and adapted — and I hope that aspect is here to stay!

  9. I do hope that some of the changes the pandemic has brought to dining stick around … like curbside pick up, online ordering, and ‘family meal deals!’ We’ve eaten in restaurants a few times during the past year, but they’ve been our favorite restaurants and ones that I’ve felt very comfortable in due to the accommodations put in by the restaurants (spacing, barriers, etc). We do take out pretty regularly, though, and I love supporting our local restaurants! I agree with others that when I go out to eat sometimes I want to feel pampered, so I hope that part sticks around!

  10. Do you know that we haven’t gotten take out ONCE. (I guess I’m a civic-slacker. . . ) We have cooked dinner at home every night since March 13 (the last time we went to a restaurant). I love eating at restaurants, and look forward to doing so again. I’m just not a fan of reheating restaurant meals, I’m afraid.

  11. We have been cooking at home A LOT, and enjoying it for the most part. We do get take-away/delivery sometimes, but I’ve been disappointed by everything except pizza, subs, Chinese & charcuterie. Perfectly cooked food placed into a container (sometimes so beautifully!), that waits on a shelf for pick up (even when I arrive earlier than arranged so I can try to minimize that), and that continues to steam all the way home (even a short distance)… not good.

    I can’t wait to regularly eat & drink in a restaurant!! Or distanced outside when the weather is nice!

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