Seattle restaurants remain closed for the duration of the stay-home order, but so many of them are offering excellent takeout — which, in turn, is an excellent way for those who have the means to support our local, independent chef/owners and those still working with them. One thing to keep in mind: Delivery apps take a significant cut of the restaurants’ already slim profits, so if you can and you’re comfortable, picking up your food instead is a real help. And these three are just our latest favorites — here’s our list of many, many more Seattle-area spots offering takeout. There’s a good chance your neighborhood standbys are, too, and they need you now more than ever, so give them a shout!
The city’s best roast chicken from Homer
Homer: 3013 Beacon Ave. S., Seattle; 206-785-6099, restauranthomer.com; Wednesday-Sunday noon-2 p.m. and 4:30-8 p.m.
After sampling a zillion roast chickens around town, I’m gonna declare the best right here and now: Homer’s. It’s cooked textbook perfect — crispy skin, juicy white and dark meat — and at $25, the best roast-chicken deal in Seattle. Just before you pick up your order, the brined bird gets tossed in the 800-degree wood-fired oven for a charred finish. The poultry comes with a spicy-and-sweet chili-and-fruit paste and some quartered cabbage that has been roasted until the singed edges turned lacy. Those blackened leafy greens have the texture of an al dente pasta sheet and maybe, just maybe, might be my path to a carb-free future.
But regulars come to this Middle Eastern-Mediterranean restaurant for lamb. Braised ribs ($17) are like lamb butter on a stick, cut with cumin, pear and, for crunch, pistachio. For a taste of spring in the Yakima Valley, a medley of roasted and raw asparagus spears ($13) gets served as a salad with a creamy, rich taramasalata sauce, za’atar and breadcrumbs, then fortified with slices of cured lamb shoulder that tasted like gamy roast beef. It’s the best asparagus dish I’ve had this season.
— Tan Vinh
Food from Rondo equals fun
Rondo: 224 Broadway E., Seattle; 206-588-2051, facebook.com/rondojapanesekitchen with menu/ordering at orders.cake.net/11276538; Wednesday-Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday-Monday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., closed Tuesday
I firmly believe that food should be fun during the time of coronavirus, but we the locked-down cannot — or at least should not — live on Cap’n Crunch alone. The stuff that Rondo on Capitol Hill is making for takeout seems especially relevant to one’s interests right about now: It’s both healthy (or at least healthy-ish, depending on what you order), and also much more varied in terms of tastes and colors and textures than anything anyone’s going to put together at home right now (at least if anyone is me).
Rondo’s the newish Broadway sibling to nearby Suika (closed for now) and Tamari Bar (serving its own takeout menu also worth checking out), and, FWIW, they’re all siblings to a few Vancouver, B.C., places, too. All have been in the business of the happy-making, drinking-friendly Japanese snacks known as izakaya, plus the likes of extra-tasty sushi, sashimi, ramen and more. Also, of course, the drinks, including fruity ones that are grumpiness-decimating, are actually good, and sometimes served inside personal-sized watermelons, which should be pictured in the dictionary under “fun.”
So it makes sense that Rondo’s coronavirus takeout menu just gets more and more legitimately delightful as you scroll down it. Twice-a-day takeout happy hour, including vegan choices? Yes, please! Daily specials like “UNI SHOOTER THE BEYOND” or a deluxe uni-and-Wagyu bento box with fresh-off-the-local-fields panko-fried asparagus? Indeed! A roster of $5 street-food snacks including yakisoba, a not-all-that-“mini” unagi bowl, takoyaki, bao, ham-and-cheese katsu and approximately two dozen more? Hello there, I like you! A $30 takeout-combo special that’s any three of the $5 items plus an adorable 900-milliliter milk-carton-style package of Hakushika junmai sake? Come right along home with me!
In terms of fun for our times, I’m going to put takeout from Rondo right up there with spring-blossom-watching, favorite-music-listening and cat-petting. Please pass the sake!
— Bethany Jean Clement
The beautiful and generous take-home feasts of Cafe Munir
Cafe Munir: 2408 N.W. 80th St., Seattle; 206-783-4190, facebook.com/Cafe-Munir-117120638400154; Tuesday-Saturday 3-7 p.m. for curbside pickup; call as early as 12:30 p.m. to schedule
The Sunday family-style feast has been a longtime staple of this Loyal Heights Lebanese restaurant. For $25 per person, chef/owner Rajah Gargour presents a parade of hot and cold mezze plates, followed by a larger main course for the table. Now, the feast is a regular part of Cafe Munir’s takeout menu. I ordered Gargour’s choice, which came with five 8-ounce dips, two main courses and two desserts ($75, feeds three). On a more recent menu, the special added another dip ($100, feeds four). A la carte items are available as well; check the daily menu on Facebook.
Alongside the usual favorites of hummus and baba ghanoush, my chef’s special had a vibrant tub of tahini bi jazar, a sweet roasted carrot dip with tahini; bisara Munir, a smoky lentil dip with roasted garlic; and mukhadara Alaina, with roasted poblano chilies, yogurt and sweet onions. There was msakkhan Munir, half a roasted chicken slathered in sumac and sweet onions and wrapped in bread, and yakhne bil hummos, a garbanzo bean stew with garlic and carrots, plus plenty of flatbread. Dessert was a silky-smooth milk pudding with a side of syrupy orange flower water. I added on two orders of the addictive garlic sauce.
Specify a pickup time when calling, but know that main courses are served cold with heating instructions. Instead of racing home and scarfing down dinner while it was still hot, being able to luxuriate over the mezze while the chicken and stew heated made it feel more like being at Cafe Munir enjoying a leisurely paced dinner with friends. The feast is listed for three, but portions are large, so thankfully I’ve still got a few leftover dips (and garlic sauce!) to enjoy for lunch. If you’re looking to further immerse yourself in the experience, there’s Lebanese wine and beer available for purchase when you pick up dinner.
— Jackie Varriano