Appetite: 4 Ingredients for a Stellar Pandemic Picnic

Appetite: 4 Ingredients for a Stellar Pandemic Picnic

A selection from Haute Dogs & Fries.

A selection from Haute Dogs & Fries.

A Friday-night picnic under the stars may look a little different in this age of social-distancing, but the weather waits for no pandemic, and the nights have turned warm and balmy. Instead of going out to a crowded park, why not venture a little closer to home – your backyard, front steps or even parking lot will do – and enjoy a more private picnic for the family? Any (or all) of these eateries will certainly fill out your menu.

Haute Dogs & Fries, 610 Montgomery St.

What is more quintessentially picnic-worthy than hot dogs with all the fixings? Haute Dogs has you covered with all beef, chicken or veggie dogs – and more combinations of toppings than you can name from memory. From a buffalo dog with blue cheese crumbles to a pho version piled high with noodles, jalapenos and more, your picnic has never been so creative – without even having to fire up the grill. Be sure and save room for onion rings and cheese fries – no meal is complete without them.

The Handover, 728 King St.

For a more outside-the-box – or, maybe, an inside-the-bento-box – picnic idea, the Handover is an excellent choice indeed. With fresh hand-rolled sushi, bowls and, yes, bento boxes, the Handover offers a fresh, lighter take on a picnic feast – without skimping on flavor. Choose from a plethora of rolls ranging from bulgogi to cucumber-ume (Japanese plum), or mix things up with a bento box featuring a roll, three sides and a beer or sake for a few dollars more if you wish. Bowls, too, are a great option, featuring sushi rice with a variety of proteins to choose from, plus the likes of spicy mayonnaise, lotus root, kaffir lime and more.

Wine Gallery 108, 108 N. Patrick St.

What good would a picnic be without a glass of wine to wash everything down? Wine Gallery 108 is offering curbside pickup as well as delivery with contactless payment to make your wine procurement easy. Call the shop at 703-549-9463 to place either specific wine orders or to give the Wine Gallery 108 staff a chance to help curate your collection with your specific likes, dislikes and price point in mind.

Maribeth’s Bakery, Old Town Farmers Market and delivery

For more than three decades, Maribeth’s Bakery has been a farmer’s market staple, gracing Market Square with sweet treats every Saturday year in and year out. During the pandemic, Maribeth’s is bringing these pastries, breads, cookies and cakes to customers’ doors with online ordering and delivery. Make your selection by 4 p.m. and your order will be fresh-baked that evening and delivered the next day. See for all the details.

Hope Nelson is the author of “Classic Restaurants of Alexandria” and owns the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at Email her any time at