Hello, MONTROSE STAR readers! I’ve missed you. A month in the hospital took me out of the loop, but COVID-19 has taken everyone else out of it, too.
I was in a post-op facility after being discharged from Methodist. The staff and facility at Houston Transitional Care couldn’t be lovelier, but their food is inedible. By contrast, Methodist has some great menu items — and you do order from a menu! Avoid the meatloaf.
Thankfully at post-op I had the option of having outside food delivered to me. I became known as the Non-Galloping Gourmet. (Get it? I couldn’t walk yet. Ha ha ha!)
I had some wonderful DoorDash experiences. Jersey Mike’s, Molina’s, Bangkok Thai, and Palazzo’s Café, take a bow. Saltgrass and Outback were dismal; most of their dreary, mushy food was tossed in the biohazard bin.
After coming home, I found that several well-known Houston restaurants have devised special menus to attract pick-up and delivery customers.
Riel has spawned Louie’s, a lunch-only sandwich and salad operation. I ordered an Italian sub and a side Caesar salad for delivery, and both were outstanding with high-quality meats and cheeses, and fresh salad ingredients. Order pick-up at RielhTX.com; delivery through DoorDash or Favor.
And the good folks at Goode Company have added a fried chicken pop-up serving from Armadillo Palace.
According to The Houston Chronicle’s Alison Cook, the chicken wears “a distinctive crust, crackly and prone to bursting apart in sharp shards. The seasoning [is] mild but plenty assertive, with a bit of buttermilk tartness…” Order pick-up at GoodeCompanyGoodeBird.com.
But now we get to the question of dine-in options. Restaurants are just now starting to get into their groove and more Houstonians are dining out. Is it safe yet?
My recent hospitalization raised my risk of getting COVID-19. Still, friends have called, and birthdays are being celebrated.
Generally, I have felt safe in going to popular places like Pappasito’s and Carrabba’s. Both places provide the requisite hand sanitizer and are taking visible steps to socially distance tables and sanitize them at every opportunity. Staff is masked at all times. And the food is up to their usual standards.
A Tex-Mex spot in the Heights seemed to be the most vigilant, also taking each patron’s temperature on entry. But their food was a scorched reminder of the costs some restaurants are cutting to keep the fire burning. And they’re not putting prices on the menu anymore. But this place is no Irma’s (never has been), and they charged far more than their food was worth it. The founder must be turning in his grave.
For now, presuming you will take all precautions such as social distancing, wearing masks when walking through a dining room, and even bringing your own sanitizer (I do it), choose a high-profile restaurant or one you know and trust, and have fun!
And if you’re not ready, that’s OK too. Now is a fantastic time to open a cookbook or read Paula Dream’s always inspiring column, find those recipes you’ve always wanted to try, and get in the kitchen. You may be surprised at your own cooking skills!