I remember telling people in the pre-quarantine days that I feared going insane if this shelter-in-place situation actually became a reality. Even though I knew that it was necessary, I worried that my social and constantly busy self might shrivel up into a ball of unwanted isolation. Surprisingly enough, that has not at all been the case.
I’ve been savoring both the moments of solitude and togetherness. I’ve cherished the extra time spent with my little fam. And I’ve loved the extra time to further explore passions and hobbies that have been on the back-burner.
I’ve had the opportunity to read and write and exercise like it’s my day job (and honestly, it sort of is right now.) For the first time in, well…, ever, I’ve allowed myself to slow down and really reflect on what I want and what matters most. This slowing down and introspection thing means I’ve also had time to do magical things like have a family picnic on an empty downtown rooftop and go on a semi-spontaneous beach trip and, obviously, eat all of the things ever. I thought I’d take some time to list my top five new-to-me takeout eats that I’ve drooled over in the past few months.
- Via 313– Pickle Pizza. Pickle. Pizza. Enough said. But I will say a little more. I wasn’t sure if I’d be a fan of Detroit style pizza, as I visited Chicago and wasn’t a big fan of the deep dish. But that caramelized crust had me swooning. Lesson learned. I will never assume that thicker crust pizza is all the same, ever again.
- Bird Bird Biscuit – We picked up a couple of these big babes on our way to the beach, and it was absolutely the best way to start a mini-vacation. Hubs and I both opted for the Queen Beak – spiced and breaded chicken thigh meat with cayenne black pepper honey and bacon-infused chipotle mayo. We added cheese because, cheese. That crispy, juicy chicken paired with the buttery, crumbly biscuit was an experience so delicious that it often makes its way into my daydreams. If you’re looking for drool-worthy eats + local black-owned businesses to support, you definitely don’t want to miss out on these beautiful biscuits.
- Halal Brothers – The lamb shawarma bowl is life-changing. Fresh, flavorful, filling and lasts me for dinner and lunch the next day too. (And honestly, I still can’t finish it all because the portion sizes are THAT big.)
- Tumble 22 – Hands down the best hot chicken I’ve had in Austin. And that macaroni? There’s something just slightly tangy about the decadent sauce that takes this mac to masterpiece level. This is arguably my favorite local spot right now, and I have some pretty serious chicken withdrawals if I don’t get my weekly fix. Full disclosure? I bought the $20 deal for a family of four tonight. I am the main fan of spicy fried chicken in my family of three, so I will be eating beans, kale slaw and chicken tenders for four by myself for the next few days. I ain’t mad about it.
- Big Belly BBQ – This unassuming little North Austin food truck packs a big barbecue punch. The brisket quesadillas left me swooning, and the dirty fried rice with chicken is a delicious way to spend $7. I tried all of the carbs on my first visit, but can’t wait to go back with my Keto husband to try ribs, sausage and brisket by the pound. And also the banana pudding, because your girl is definitely not carb-conscious. This is another incredible black-owned Austin eatery that you’ll want to hit up like, yesterday.
Alright, dish the details on your latest dishes. What delicious things have you eaten recently?
PS: Just a quick reminder to wear your mask, stay safe and that all lives don’t matter until #blacklivesmatter.