.Takeout Food Offers a Taste of Normalcy and Comfort

A sumptuous dinner of rack of lamb in chimichurri sauce with astonishing smashed potatoes—the ultimate comfort food—and sauteed market veggies ($38) formed the centerpiece of a recent curbside delivery from Gabriella Cafe

We added an order of never-better house focaccia and a bounty of those chartreuse Castelvetrano olives ($9). Proprietor Paul Cocking handed me a shopping bag with our order in front of my car, and I handed him an envelope containing a check for the meal, plus gratuity. At home I opened one of my earlier vintages of Randall Grahm’s Le Cigare Volant and made it a festive occasion. I recommend that you order dinner for pickup from your favorite restaurants. Keep them going. They’re pared to the very minimum. Now it’s up to us.

Iveta Does Lunch

Last week we called up Iveta on Delaware and ordered a pickup version of one of our favorite lunches: a huge turkey and havarti on sourdough, a bag of sea salt chips, and a Cowboy Cookie. I waved, the cashier waved back. In I dashed and exchanged the lunch items for a $20 bill, and a big tip. We ate lunch on our deck. Thanks to Iveta for the comfort food. They have incredible little scones to go, too!

Iveta, 2125 Delaware Ave., Santa Cruz. Open 9am-2pm for pickup. Order at 713-5946.

Dinner to Remember at Alderwood

How fondly I recall that last dinner I spent with my friend Kate at Alderwood, a few days before the official close of on-site dining. The colossal burger, plus super-sized baked potato pommes frites! The meal included a terrific glass of Rhône wine and a rococo deconstructed chocolate/caramel Napoleon with a side of chocolate gelato. Outstanding. Seated in a booth that left plenty of space between diners, we enjoyed what we realized would be the last such in-restaurant dinner for a while. We enjoyed every bit of it! Our thanks to the team at Alderwood, who are currently among the intrepid eateries keeping a curbside link to the community. 

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Alderwood, 155 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz. Open 4-8pm, Tuesday-Sunday. 588-3238. 

Kelly’s French Bakery is still baking bread and pastries for groceries and pick-up orders, offering scones, morning buns, baguettes, bagels and lots more. 

Kelly’s French Bakery, 402 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz. Call 423-9059, extension 2, on Monday-Saturday for pickup on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.   

Barceloneta announced a small menu for contactless pickup or delivery, including paella, ribs, and salad. Order online from 4-7pm Wednesday-Saturday. 

Barceloneta, 1541 B Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. 900-5222, eatbarceloneta.square.site

Payroll Relief

Congress’s coronavirus-relief package currently includes $350 billion in paycheck support for businesses to continue making payroll. Any company with 500 or fewer employees can get up to $10 million in forgivable small loans. The countless restaurant workers who have found themselves out of a job will also get some relief. The package, retroactive to January 27, expands the unemployment benefit by an additional $600 a week for up to four months, plus an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance for those out of work because of the pandemic. 

Soif and La Posta owner Patrice Boyle agrees that this unemployment expansion can be helpful in keeping workers afloat while restaurants wait to reopen. Soif has discontinued its pickup food service in consideration of staff safety. La Posta has ended its ready-to-eat pickup menu. They have bread available for preorder three days a week. 

“Clearly the worker hours needed for a takeout model are not the same as those needed for a restaurant doing table service,” Boyle explains. “As for the employer loans, it is still a bit unclear as to what exactly will happen and whether it will be enough. Restaurants play the role of moving money around in a social network. It comes in and almost immediately it is spent on wages, food and drink, rent and utilities. Many of the restaurateurs I know have just about spent it all, and takeout is even less lucrative, though it keeps our connection alive with customers and subsidizes employment for a few.” 

Check out our continually updating list of local takeout and delivery options.


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