The holiday-entertaining season is in the rearview, but it’s still much too early for a weekend picnic. What’s a hungry – and busy, and perhaps a tad lazy – diner to do when a sit-down restaurant won’t fit the bill, but spending an evening in the kitchen is simply too much work?
Enter the booming business of restaurant-cooked dinner finished off at home. From bags to boxes, Alexandria’s food scene is making cooking and serving a joint effort. Here are a couple of options around town to whet your appetite.
Stomping Ground, 2309 Mount Vernon Ave.
Del Ray’s favorite biscuit-and-brunch purveyor has expanded its menu to dinner and, further, to dinner you can pick up and take home to either pass off as your own or give credit where due. From down-home Southern fare to all-vegetarian dockets, the take-home menu changes from week to week.
The restaurant’s “Stomp at Home” pickups are on Fridays and Sundays weekly, with upcoming menus including the likes of grilled steak with chimichurri paired with veggies and strawberry shortcake, or gumbo with shrimp and Andouille sausage and all the fixings. Expect to pay $45 per box – each parcel is plenty for two – and pick up on Friday or Sunday nights between 4 and 6:30 p.m. Reserve in advance.
Society Fair, 277 S. Washington St.
Need a bento box for a quick-fix meal at home? Prepping for date night? Society Fair has you covered, no matter the occasion. The eatery’s Bags to Go program allows diners to pre-order the meals of their choice to be picked up on the Big Day. And like Stomping Ground, the restaurant’s menu runs the gamut from daily specialties like the Italian bento box (featuring olives, hard-boiled eggs, prosciutto, and more) or the hoping-for-springtime Catching Fireflies bento box with the likes of beets, kale salad and pasta.
More in the mood for date night? Some upcoming editions of the popular Date Night Bag include a St. Patrick’s Day-themed shepherd’s pie, served with an Irish Caesar salad and other festive accoutrements, and chicken piccata with mashed potatoes, mixed greens and an olive oil cake. Prices run from $8.99 to $13.99 for bento boxes; for date night bags, expect to pay $49. Reserve in advance.
Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at www.kitchenrecessionista.com. Email her any time at email@example.com.