Restaurants

With All Houston Restaurants Closing Their Dining Rooms, the City’s Best Spots Shift to Takeout and Delivery Under the New Coronavirus Reality

Curbside Becomes the New Normal — Here are Some Great Options

BY // 03.16.20

Even before Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced the closure of all Houston bars and clubs and Houston area restaurants being restricted to delivery and takeout beginning at 8 am Tuesday, James Beard-nominated chef Justin Yu took the preemptive step of announcing on Instagram that he was closing his famed Theodore Rex restaurant to inside diners but that the kitchen would remain open for takeout orders.

Yu was only hours ahead of the city/county mandate that will undoubtedly prove devastating to much of the city’s hospitality industry.

“We’ll be offering our entire menu tonight to go as well as beer and wine to go,” Yu said via video on Instagram. “So hopefully you can shoot us a call and we can still get to cook for you . . . But then starting Thursday, we’re going to have a fun, really fantastic new menu that we’re going to do until we get through this . . . We’ll see you guys on the other side of this. So please be safe.”

Theodore Rex late night Houston
Theodore Rex is shifting to takeout only — for now.

For days, restaurateurs across Houston, facing dismal business in light of COVID-19, have been stepping up their game not only in terms of cleanliness but also in hopes of keeping the kitchens and staff busy with the addition of curbside service and special menu offerings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the weekend, Brennan’s rolled out curbside romantic dinner menus for two such as shrimp creole with jasmine rice and mesquite grilled redfish with roasted vegetables. General manager Carl Walker feared that it only would be a matter of time before the state of Texas follows other states and shuts down restaurants and bars (and it started happening Monday). Under this new impending reality, Walker says he is planning to release more of a comfort food menu.

Ben Berg’s B&B Butchers & Restaurant is already offering extensive takeout options, which include a variety of high-quality steak cuts, hamburgers, deli meats, hot dogs, bagels and more — and a dreamy sounding, three-course take-out meal for two for $135.

At Cajun-influenced hot spot Eunice, chef Drake Leonards is gearing up to roll out “Mawmaw’s Curbside” with a special menu of family style southern dinners. Just up the street on Richmond, chi-chi Tony’s full menu is also available for curbside pick-up and for orders of $75 or more Tony’s will make free home delivery within five miles of the restaurant.

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille has introduced a special In-or-Out three course menu available for dine in or take out. The prix fixe menu includes a salad (choose from three), entrée (choose from eight) and dessert (chose from three) for $45 per person or a two-course lunch selection of either a salad and a lunch portion entrée or a lunch portion entrée and dessert, both for $29. No worries for fans of Perry’s mammoth pork chop. The full dinner menu is available for pick up as is Perry’s Pork Chop Friday lunch — a lunch cut portion of the chop served with whipped potatoes and applesauce for $16.

Of course, there is Doordash, UberEATS, Favour and other delivery platforms for those squeamish about venturing out. But that might not be your preference.

Even high-end  Steak 48 has joined the takeout party. The fab filet is only a phone call away.  Doris Metropolitan has extended its full menu for take out and The Butcher Shop is also available for customers to call ahead and pick out their cuts of meats along with freshly baked breads.

Kata Robata is also open for curbside pickup and delivery within a three-mile radius (for orders over $125) from 11:30 am to 9 pm daily.

Guard & Grace is making the curbside option particularly appealing by offering a 20 percent discount on all takeout orders through the end of March. Arnaldo Richards’ Picos is offering a $25 discount on orders of $100 or more.

Postino Wine Café, with multiple locations around Houston, has created special curbside packages: Date Night-In: Bruschetta board  including “1 snacky thing, 1 salad” for $25. Kickback Pack: Bruschetta board, “3 snacky things” and a cheese board for $45. Wine To-Go:  two pack for $30, four pack for $55.

The Clark Cooper Concepts family of restaurants is going all curbside and in a nod to employees is preparing daily family meals for employees to take home, providing one less financial worry for those who have lost their jobs during this tumultuous time. This includes the ultimate see-and-be-seen spot Brassiere 19 (know you can enjoy its food without being seen).

All of Landry’s 16 Houston areas are offering a 10 percent discount on all to-go orders. That includes Grotto, La Griglia, Vic & Anthony’s and the remainder.

Both State Fare Kitchen & Bar and Sambrooks’ The Pit Room are offering full to-go menus as well as special family friendly bulk menus.

Houston Home Restaurant Delivery

A number of restaurants are making an even larger outreach by offering delivery within certain radiuses. Catering and special events concern A Fare Extraordinaire has updated its website and is offering “re-heat and eat or upgrade your freezer cuisine” with delivery, for a price. The homepage lists more than 30 favorites. Delivery is $20 within Loop 610, $15 between 610 and Beltway 8 and $20 outside Beltway up to 20 miles. Diners can order online from AFE’s website and select from the fresh or frozen menus. Items include truffle mac and cheese, short ribs, and chocolate chip toffee cookies. Within 48-hours, the food will be delivered in reusable containers with easy reheating instructions.

The hip Heights Grocer, specializing in small production, natural wines, has gone to delivery-only as of Monday, with that status in place “for the foreseeable future.”

Churrascos The Woodlands is offering free delivery within a five mile radius while the Union Kitchen with six locations is offering complimentary delivery within a three mile radius.

In addition to offering its full menu for take-out, Field & Tides is providing $5 delivery service to The Heights, Hunters Creek, Spring Valley, and Montrose on orders of $20 and more.  The restaurant will offer a $50 gift card after customers place a third order. That can be used for dine-in once normal business operations resume.

As with many restaurants, Hando, located at 518 West 11th Street Suite 500, offers takeout orders as well as deliveries from UberEats, Postmates and GrubHub.

All of Benjy Levit’s restaurant concepts — The Classic, benjys, Local Foods, — are offering free home delivery on orders of $50 or more and includes reduced retail prices for beer and wine.

 

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