I don’t have to tell you how trying this time has been. This Coronavirus epidemic has affected almost every aspect of our life and left us relearning how to spend our evenings.
Most restaurants have closed their dining areas, which leaves an entire local industry in the lurch, and shuts down a favored pastime – and way to socialize and unwind – for everyone.
Before the outbreak, I looked forward to dining with a friend about once a week. And though, in the scale of things, it’s not a very significant loss in a world where friends have canceled weddings and lost income, it is something I miss.
Losing a good meal at a friendly restaurant hurts. But it hurts the local eatery more. Local restaurants are struggling during this difficult time and we need to help them if we want them to survive through this.
Luckily, a lot of local establishments are fighting the good fight.
I found, while driving around during lunchtime one day, that most local restaurants are offering ways for you to still get your favorite food while being safe and socially distant.
A lot of restaurants already have a to-go system available and still operating, but many restaurants are going one more step and bringing the food to your car.
The Tipsy Oak, The Grease Monkey, Piccolo Mondo and other local restaurants now offer curbside pickup. Most eateries seem to be promoting some type of curbside pickup/to-go option. Some are even doing delivery (And don’t forget that alcohol can be delivered with that food, says Gov. Greg Abbott.)
And then there’s some fun innovation. J. Gilligan’s Bar & Grill created their own drive-thru in the parking lot. It actually made me smile seeing it.
I would suggest checking your favorite restaurant’s social media or calling them to see what options they have.
While writing this column, I looked up about a dozen local establishments and found that almost all of them had updates on how they are adapting to the situation.
And at press time, some of them were even doing deals.
If you don’t want to trek to the restaurant – or can’t – and the eatery doesn’t have delivery, third-party delivery apps, like Uber Eats and GrubHub, offer options to get your favorite comfort food meal to your door without being in contact with anyone.
I ordered dinner using one of these apps, and asked for a contactless delivery. The courier left my food on a table I set next to my front door and just rang my doorbell to alert me. We were never in contact with each other, and I felt like it was a safe option for delivery during this time.
These apps are great, but they can cut into the profit margin of a restaurant, so just keep that in mind. If you’re fine with using the restaurant’s curbside option, it is the best way to make sure that your local favs get as much profit as possible.
Anything works for helping our local eateries. I felt more comfortable using the app because of the contactless option, but I couldn’t help but partake in Prince Lebanese Grill’s “Ultimate Quarantine Survival Kit” – a family-sized chicken shawarma meal (including salad) with a jug of cinnamon tea and a roll of toilet paper. I ordered it online via their website during the morning and headed to the restaurant at the time I scheduled pickup. They brought it out to my car, and I laughed as they handed me the roll of toilet paper along with my food.
I was in and out in less than 10 minutes and didn’t have to leave my car.
But please, please, be safe about it, and be courteous. We are all in this together. And we can all get through this one good meal at a time.
Sara Pintilie is a writer, editor and photographer who offers a millennial’s take on matters of