Among the changes inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic is a necessary evolution among Dallas restaurants, surviving by shape-shifting in response to diners' changing needs, whether that's curbside delivery or alcohol kits to go.
At first, everyone hunkered down and dove into the pioneer thing, baking and making things from scratch. But that's not fun anymore. Next step: Give me the raw materials so I can just throw it in the oven.
In this emerging "pantry" trend, restaurants sell grocery-style items like milk and eggs that save diners a trip to the supermarket, or else a meal kit with all the ingredients you need to cook a dinner at home. Some restaurants jumped onto this quickly, including trailblazer Whiskey Cake, Asian Mint, Jasper's Uptown, Meddlesome Moth, Nosh Bistro, and Perry's Steakhouse. (Read about their offerings here.)
These are the newest pantry kits just introduced:
Fogo de Chao
Brazilian steakhouse chain has launched a new "Fogo To-Go" menu that ranges from ready-to-grill to ready-to-eat.
- The Full Churrasco Home Experience is an all-in-one assortment of ready-to-grill meats including Picanha (top sirloin), Fraldinha (bottom sirloin), chicken legs, lamb steak, and Brazilian sausage – plus a variety of Brazilian sides, Pao de Queijo (cheese bread), and the steakhouse's iconic red and green service coasters. This complete package starts at $95 and feeds six or more people.
- Date Night Grilling is a romantic meal for two with choice of any two of Fogo's ready-to-grill steaks or entrees such as ribeye, filet mignon, or Atlantic salmon, plus salads, vegetables for cooking, Pao de Queijo, and desserts, to enjoy over a bottle of exclusive Fogo Tribute wine. This cook-at-home package starts at $98 and includes heart-shaped red and green service coasters.
- Celebration Pack is a fully cooked, ready-to-eat meal for four with an assortment of Fogo's most popular cuts (Picanha, Fraldinha, and marinated chicken breast), sides, salads, Pao de Queijo, and Chocolate Brigadeiro cake. Starts at $75, feeds four, and includes a pack of candles for the cake.
Fogo is also offering fresh produce and pantry staples including asparagus, mixed greens, bananas, pineapple, russet potatoes, milk, cream, butter, eggs and more, avialable for delivery or curbside pickup.
Steakhouse chain has introduced its LongHorn Steak Shop, a one-stop shop where you can find everything you need for a complete steakhouse dinner at home. Order online and pick up at your local LongHorn without having to get out of your car. Choose from uncooked cuts such as the Flo's Filet, Outlaw Ribeye, Renegade Sirloin, and New York strip. Prices start at $6 per steak. Each order comes with seasoning, cooking instructions, and honey wheat bread.
Side dishes you can heat up at home are also available. Many locations offer beer, wine, and liquor to go. Order online at LongHornSteakhouse.com and pick up the same day using LongHorn's Curbside To Go service. If you prefer an already-cooked meal, Family Meal Deals start at $9 per person for a family of four.
Chic fast-casual concept is making available its supply of produce, proteins, and competitive prices - rivaling most grocery stores for the quantity and quality of items. The chain just rolled out grocery boxes and a la carte grocery and prepared food items for online ordering at all currently open markets, including Texas. Initially tested in the company's Colorado restaurants, the groceries have proven to be extremely popular. Current offerings include the following (additional items are being added as interest grows):
- Re-Fresh Box: 1 head romaine, 1 lb. broccoli, 2 bunches asparagus, 1 lb. cauliflower, 2 lb. carrots, 2 cucumbers, 3 sweet potatoes, 1 lb. fingerling potatoes, 1 lb. mushrooms, 3 avocado, 3 apples, 1 lb. strawberries, and herb seasoning. $60, enough for 8-10 meals.
- Petite Re-Fresh Box: A smaller version of the Re-Fresh Box, with 1 head romaine, 1 lb. broccoli, 2 lb. carrots, 1 lb. potatoes, 3 apples, and 1 lb. additional fresh fruit. $25, enough for 4-5 meals.
- Grill Box: 3 lbs. grass-fed steak, 10 servings pasta and mac & cheese sauce, 2 bunches asparagus, 1 large loaf sourdough bread, full soup container fresh chimichurri sauce, and 1 gallon classic lemonade. $80, enough for 8-10 meals.
- Basic Box: 2 raw chicken breasts, 1 loaf sourdough bread, 1 dozen eggs, 1 gallon milk, 1 lb. carrots, 1 lb. broccoli, 12-oz bag local coffee, and toilet paper. $50, enough for 4-6 meals.
A la carte items include salad dressings, sauces, quarts of soup, quarts of sides, bakery items, bulk raw and cooked proteins. Order online at modernmarket.com or through the app.
Fast-casual cafe chain has launched Newk's Pantry, a new service with grocery items and meal kits in-store, available through curbside pickup and delivery. Newk's Pantry allows you to shop for key groceries from Grab & Go coolers while picking up entire family meal kits. Offerings will include:
- Newk's Grab & Go - includes a la carte sliced meats, cheese, bread, proteins, soups, and salads
- Produce - bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lemons
- Dry / Paper Goods - Toilet paper, paper towels, pecans, and dried cranberries
- Desserts – cake slices, brownies, crispies
- Dairy - Cheddar, Swiss, Gorgonzola, hard boiled eggs
Meal Kit offerings include all the ingredients you need to make Newk's dishes at home:
- Soup & Sandwich Kit (lunch meat and cheese, bread, soup)
- Family Lunch Essentials (lunch meat and cheese, bread, mac & cheese, Newk’s chips, brownie’s, applesauce packets)
- Family Meal Kit (soup, salad, protein, bread, beverage)
- Build Your Own Pizza Kit (ingredients for your pizza choice – Pepperoni & Sausage, Pepperoni or Margherita – choice of regular or Cauliflower crust)
- Take & Bake Mac and Cheese
- Mac & Cheese Bar Family Meal Kit
Italian-American chain is opening its pantry. Guests can order a Family Kit which includes choice of fresh pasta from tagliatelle, bucatini, rigatoni, or strozzapreti; and choice of pasta sauce from Bolognese, marinara, garlic parmesan cream, or basil pesto. It comes with a large Caesar salad and parmesan garlic bread. It's $65 and feeds 4-5; some assembly required.
- Heat & Eat Meal options feed two and include brisket with mashed potatoes, tamale pie, king ranch casserole, chicken & dumplings, meatloaf, breakfast casserole, and more.
- Take & Make meal packs - where you get all the ingredients to cook at home - include a burger kit ($32.50), grilling kit with burgers and ribeye steaks ($50), and a surf & turf kit with ribeyes, shrimp, potatoes, and 2 pounds of broccoli ($65).
They're also selling grocery items including kosher salt, flour, eggs, burger buns, green bens, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, onions, avocados, celery, and garlic. And if you'e not into cooking, there's their regular menu to go as well as a daily featured alcohol kit. Call 214-730-0596 for pickup.